Many women are nervous about working out when they are pregnant. After all, when you get pregnant, it seems like everything that you once took for granted is now a potential risk, from the food you eat to the places you go. However, when you take the right precautions, working out during pregnancy can not only be safe for your future baby, but it can be beneficial for you both. Using pregnancy cardio workouts and strength routines, you can improve your health during pregnancy.
When you are starting a new pregnancy workout routine, it is essential to listen to both your doctor and yourself. A workout that is beneficial for one person might be dangerous for someone else. Be sure to check in with your doctor to make sure that you know the specificities about your body and your fetus’s health. It is also essential to pay attention to what your body is telling you. While pregnancy comes with frustrating aches and pains, know what is normal and what is not. If you are experiencing severe fatigue or abdominal pain, do not try to push through that. Additionally, if you experience vaginal bleeding while working out, stop immediately and seek medical assistance. Pregnancy workouts are supposed to help you feel better during your pregnancy, so if your body cannot handle such workouts, take a break or modify the workout to something that you can do.
Moderation is Key
Pregnancy is not the time to push yourself to athletic extremes. This is not the time to try to get your fastest running times or increase your weights. After all, your body is busy creating a person. Even if you are incredibly athletic usually, you should make your workouts a little more moderate to accommodate for the fetus that is growing within you. You do not need to be Serena Williams. This is also not the time to jump into a new type of exercise routine. If you have never been a runner, that is something you can delve into after your pregnancy. This is the time to modify the exercises that your body already knows how to do in order to accompany your pregnancy. However, during the first trimester, you can usually carry out your pre-pregnancy workouts, with the exception of horseback riding and contact sports.
Cardio While Pregnant
When we are not pregnant, we often practice cardio exercises as a tool to keep our weight down. However, cardio during pregnancy is not about losing weight. Gaining weight is an essential part of a healthy pregnancy, so it is important that you do not try fighting this weight gain. Therefore, when you work out during pregnancy, you should focus much less on the calories you burned or improvements in stamina. Instead, try to focus on how you feel during and after each workout. While pregnancy cardio routines should not lead to weight loss, they do have many other positive effects on your body.
Benefits of Cardio During Pregnancy
While you should not be using your pregnancy cardio workouts to lose weight or perfect your athletic prowess, there are many health benefits associated with these workouts. Regular exercise can help improve everyday aches and pains caused by your pregnancy. It can also help regulate your digestion, and keep your muscles toned and strong could possibly even make childbirth easier.
Pregnancy Cardio Exercises
Now that you know the basics of working out while you are pregnant, here are some pregnancy cardio workouts that you can try. Generally, you should stick to low-impact, moderate cardio workouts, such as swimming, brisk walking or light jogging. When you are swimming, make sure you are not holding your breath for too long. Doing 15 to 30 minutes of swimming or jogging each day will ultimately be more beneficial and less dangerous than the occasional longer workout.
Additionally, prenatal yoga and strength exercises can help prevent pregnancy aches and pains. Doing a variety of squats can help prepare your body for the weight it will be carrying in your third trimester. Core workouts, such as planks, can help keep your abs strong, which will help during childbirth and possibly even prevent unnecessary injury.
Recommended Pregnancy Cardio Workout Equipment
There are a lot of specialty items marketed towards pregnant women. Work out gear is no exception. Here are some items that could potentially help you work out more comfortably while pregnant.
While it does not have to be pregnancy-themed, it is important to wear loose-fitting clothes or maternity clothes while you are working out. Tight clothing can cut off circulation to certain areas of your body, and loose-fitting clothes will be more comfortable, so you can focus on your workout instead of adjusting your clothes.
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2. Exercise Ball
An exercise ball is always a workout essential. An exercise ball can be a helpful tool for core and ab workouts. When you are not working out, you can use it as a chair to subtle-y work on improving your posture. These exercise balls are specifically made to withstand extra weight, so if you are worried about popping a normal exercise ball, this might be a useful thing to invest in. However, your baby weight is probably not drastic enough for it to be dangerous to use other exercise balls.
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During the latter part of your pregnancy, it feels like your belly gets in the way of everything. Even tying your shoes becomes a daily challenge. Thankfully, there are products like these shows that make it easier and quicker to put on supportive shoes, even when it is hard for you to bend over.
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While resistance bands are always a useful workout tool, they are especially helpful during pregnancy. Unlike other weights and machines that require certain movements, resistance bands are versatile. You can use them for arm, back and leg strength exercises. That means that you can not only get a varied workout from them, but you can use them to adjust your workout to how you are feeling that day.
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You can use walking weights like walking dumbbells to combine your walks with weight training. Just make sure that the weights are an appropriate weight. In other words, you want weights that are heavy enough to keep your muscles awake and working, but not overly strenuous. If you do weight training regularly, take it down a few notches while your pregnant, preserving your muscles without focusing on adding more muscle mass.
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Working out regularly is beneficial for having a healthy, safe pregnancy. If you maintain self-awareness and open communication with your doctor, you will only need to make moderate adjustments to your normal exercise routine during your pregnancy. If you do not include exercise routines into your non-pregnant life, your pregnancy is not the time to try drastic new workout regimens, but it is a great time to start moderate healthier fitness routines for your future family.