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Pregnancy
Here are a few tips to help you stay active and practice safe exercise throughout your pregnancy.

There is no doubt that children follow their parents’ lead when it comes to adopting healthy behaviors, but exercise during pregnancy may benefit your little one before they’re even born. Research suggests that exercise during pregnancy may improve your baby’s neuromotor development and increase the likelihood that they’ll lead an active life. While more research is needed on the relationship between mom and baby’s physical activity habits, exercise has tremendous health benefits for the expectant mom.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), women who exercise when they are pregnant are more likely to have a vaginal delivery. Exercise during pregnancy may also help support healthy blood pressure levels, healthy weight gain, healthy gestational length (how long you carry your baby), and a healthy birth weight for your little one. Here are a few tips to help you stay active throughout your pregnancy.

Exercise During Pregnancy: First Trimester

The first few weeks of pregnancy can be thanks to your body’s changing hormone levels, and you may not feel like exercising. However, getting your body moving can help you feel better.

If you were exercising prior to pregnancy, you can usually continue your usual workout routine with a few modifications. If you’re new to exercise and are trying to figure out where to start, low-impact activities like swimming or walking are great options. Always discuss your exercise plan with your healthcare provider to make sure it’s safe and appropriate for you during pregnancy.

Feeling overwhelmed about welcoming your new baby to the world? Consider adding yoga to your day to help support healthy blood pressure and improve muscle strength and flexibility (a bonus for preparing for labor). During pregnancy, yoga has also been shown to support healthy sleep, mental health, and manage discomfort during pregnancy. Classes or videos designed for pregnant women will have you avoid certain poses or postures that put pressure on the back or abdomen. Hot yoga classes should also be avoided during pregnancy.

Second Trimester Exercise Tips

By the time you reach week 13, you may feel like you’re getting the hang of pregnancy. First trimester symptoms (like upset stomach) may start to subside, and you may even feel like you’re starting to reclaim your energy. The second trimester is likely the time in your pregnancy when you will be the most active. Pilates and yoga can help with flexibility and stretching, while walking, swimming, or jogging can help support heart health and a healthy weight during pregnancy.

The second trimester is also when you may need to expand your wardrobe to accommodate your changing body. Exercise clothes should be loose-fitting, breathable, and of course – comfortable. There are many brands and considerations for choosing maternity fitness gear, and you don’t have to break the bank. Check out clothing swaps, sign up for email discounts, and join mommy-to-be groups for deals.

Balance issues? As you progress through your second trimester, your growing belly will impact your balance and back muscles. Wearing shoes with a good grip and arch support will help you stay on your feet and keep you comfortable. Minimize your time on concrete or pavement, as softer surfaces have less impact on your body.

Third Trimester Exercise Tips

As you enter the home stretch of pregnancy, you may once again lose interest in working out. But remember, sitting too often puts extra pressure on your back and limits circulation. Whether at home or work, try to get up and move once an hour. This movement not only helps with blood flow and back strain, but it can also help support healthy bowel movements and relieve any discomfort you may experience during pregnancy. Walking, even at a slow pace, can help support healthy blood pressure levels and a healthy weight. Feel lighter while you work out by engaging in swimming or light water aerobics or continue to focus on your mental health through a few minutes of yoga each day.


Exercising During Pregnancy: How to Stay Safe

Regular communication with your health care provider can help you better ensure you are exercising safely throughout your pregnancy. When working out, be on the lookout for signs of overexertion. This can include feeling hot, nauseous, or dehydrated. Any discharge, spotting, or pain is also a signal that you should stop and consult with your doctor. Be sure to fuel your body well so you can maintain your energy levels and support a healthy pregnancy. And of course, make sure you stay hydrated – especially if you’re exercising in warmer weather.

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