It is important to continue exercising even when pregnant to maintain a healthy and strong body and mind.
You might be wondering whether you will be able to continue with your exercise regime as before. The great news is that you can continue exercising to stay fit, but as your pregnancy progresses, you should consider a lot of things to ensure it is safe for you and your baby.
Listed below are exercises that you can do in each trimester.
**Keep in mind that it is best to consult your doctor before starting your fitness routine while pregnant. Always keep yourself hydrated. Make sure to listen to your body at all times.**
During the first trimester, experts recommend that you continue your regular exercise routine as long as you are not experiencing a high-risk pregnancy. You should aim to get a minimum of 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity like walking, stationary cycling, jogging, or swimming each week. Additionally, aim to include strength training exercises.
During this time you can focus on exercises that help labor and childbirth easier. Exercises to do during the first trimester are:
- Lie flat on your back with your feet flat, and your knees bent.
- Take a deep breath and inhale.
- On the exhale, engage your abdominal muscles and pull your belly button down to your spine, making an impression of your spine on the floor.
- Slowly exhaling through the movement and lifting your vertebrae one at a time, lift your pelvis so that it is a little higher than your hip bones. As soon as you reach your shoulder blades, stop and inhale.
- Slowly exhaling, as you bring your body back down, get back to the starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps.
- Standing in front of a chair, keep your feet hip-width apart.
- Squat down in a sitting motion but don’t sit on the chair. Exhale as you squat.
- Inhale as you stand.
- Take four to five seconds to sit and at least three seconds to stand.
- Repeat this exercise for 2 sets, 15 to 20 repetitions each.
- Go down on all fours. Keep your hands in line with your shoulders, a neutral spine, and your hips over your knees.
- Keep your back neutral and tuck your abdominals in.
- Bend one knee up to the ceiling, while flexing your foot.
- Return to the start position and repeat on the other side.
- Repeat this exercise 10 to 12 times.
During the second trimester, you should avoid exercises that involve lying on your back for extended periods. It is also best to avoid running and jumping. You can try variations of the exercises you did in the first trimester.
Leg-lifts lying sideways
- Lie on one side and bend your bottom knee. Try to keep your legs stacked together.
- Slowly lift the top leg exhaling for three to four seconds as you do the movement.
- Inhale for three seconds as you bring your leg back down.
- Remember to lift to only what feels comfortable for you.
- Do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and both facing to the right.
- Take a deep breath and raise your left arm to the ceiling.
- On the exhale, bend your torso sideways to the right.
- Stretch to what feels good for your body.
- Repeat in the other direction, 10 to 12 times.
- Facing a ledge, place your hands on it shoulder-width apart.
- Step back into a standing plank position and keep a straight line.
- Bend your arms slowly and lower your chest towards the ledge.
- Straighten your arms and return to the starting position.
- Repeat this for two sets with 10 reps each.
In the third trimester, you will notice that your body slows down as your body is preparing for labor. Walking, swimming, yoga, pilates, and bodyweight moves are great exercises to keep your strength up at this time.
- Standing up, keep your feet hip-width apart.
- Lean your upper body forward and interlace your hands.
- Move one leg back behind you, creating a staggering position.
- Slowly lift the back leg to the side and squeeze your outer glutes.
- Come back to the stagger position and repeat.
- Repeat the exercise on the other side and do 12 to 15 reps each.
Curl and Lift
- Sit on a chair with your back straight, your feet flat on the floor, and your arms at the sides.
- With your palms facing your body, hold a weight of 5 to 8 pounds.
- Bend your elbows in a way that your arms form a 90-degree angle.
- From there, lift the weights to your shoulder, lower your arms and return to the starting position.
- Repeat 2 sets each, 10 to 12 times.
- Go down on your hands and knees. Keep your wrists under your shoulders.
- Lift your knees and straighten your legs, letting your body form a straight line.
- Hold it for one to two breaths and slowly go up to five breaths.
- Keep a straight back and don’t let your belly sag.
Staying fit and healthy during your pregnancy increases the chances of a smooth and happy term. Try to exercise at least a few days a week if not every day. Always remember to take precautions when exercising. It is better to err on the side of caution and speak to your doctor if you feel that something is wrong.