Eating well, keeping stress at bay, and exercising regularly are all important for everybody, but perhaps even more-so for expectant moms. Women who work out or are otherwise physically active might heave easier and more enjoyable pregnancies. Prenatal workouts and fresh air can even help reduce pregnancy signs like morning sickness, fatigue, and mood swings. But how do you stay active?
Prenatal exercises and an active lifestyle are suitable for almost every woman. Only if you are on bed rest for a threatened miscarriage or pre-term labor should you shun physical activities, as they can trigger contractions in women who are already at risk. For everyone else, even women who were mainly sedentary when they were wondering how to get pregnant, an active pregnancy should be encouraged.
If you were not working out before you got pregnant, it is best to start slowly and discuss your exercise plan with your doctor or midwife. Gentle cardio is a great place to begin–walking and Pilates are both wonderful options, and swimming is especially beneficial because it supports your body while also exercising your muscles. Do make sure to stay hydrated during your workout, listen to your body and take a break when you start getting sore or tired.
Do you have a busy schedule or work full-time? I know from experience that it can be hard to know where to fit in time for exercising. The good news is that everything that gets you busy and makes your heart beats faster is physical exercise, even if you never step into a gym. Gardening, decorating your baby’s nursery, and walking up and down stairs all contribute to your physical health. Don’t feel the need to take it easy and avoid these activities just because you are expecting a baby, as they are hugely beneficial for you.
Some types of exercise are not suitable for pregnancy. At the risk of stating the obvious, I’ll say the bungee jumping and white-water rafting are not a great idea while you are expecting a baby. Horseback riding, skiing, or any other sport that carries a large risk of physical injury should wait until after you give birth. And as you enter the third trimester, lying on your back for prolonged periods of time can reduce blood flow to your baby’s placenta. As long as you stay away from obvious risks and listen when your body tells you to stop, an active pregnancy is healthy, enjoyable, and might even help you have an easier labor and delivery.