Gone are the times when pregnant women had to stay in bed for all nine months and were forbidden to work. Now sports activities are recommended for ladies of any age and health condition. Sporting activities provide lots of benefits for a mom and a child. Your little one will love your perfect heart rate, lower BMI, and life energy.
Pregnancy is a special period when you need to prepare your body for the future life changes. For some women, body changes are the most obvious, and they dream of returning the previous body forms as soon as they can. Pregnancy is not a reason to avoid sports activities. Even more, a pregnancy workout plan may help to prepare the whole body for the delivery and easy-and-fast post-delivery recovery. Though, you have to remember about some restrictions not to hurt your child. Follow our workout guide to avoid the pregnancy workout routine. It does not matter whether you are a strong trained iron lady or a lazy sofa slacker; you can find the activity to your taste and health level. Stay tuned!
1. Train smart
Physical pregnancy exercises are essential for many reasons. They train body muscles, so gaining pregnancy kilos does not increase discomfort for the future mom. Outdoor training supports the oxygen level that is very useful for a baby inside you. What you really have to care about is to train safely. You have to avoid all types of possible falling. Do not run too fast; forget about speed cycling and potential aggressive sports like hockey and football. Never try sky jumping or boxing, be careful with any activities over 6000 feet. Think about pregnancy workouts at home with the ease of access to the relax zone and water supply. Do not become overheated, especially during the pregnancy workout of the 1st trimester, drink enough water. When you plan the pregnancy workout, add some substantial snack 30 minutes before the training, it will provide you with enough energy.
2. CrossFit pregnancy workouts
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that it is safe to continue or even start an early pregnancy workout if you feel normal. CrossFit training is known to be the most controversial type of sports activity. Some gynecologists still doubt if it is safe for a future mom to lift weights and do intense jumping. It can be harmful to the joints due to the increased level of the relaxin hormone. However, you can substitute these harmful activities by squats. Squats are great even without weights and they are safe for the knees.
ACOG insists that constant training during pregnancy may lower the risks of depression and diabetes, support you better sleep, and minimize constipation. All the mentioned is worth training half an hour a day.
3. Pregnancy cardio workout
When we speak about pregnancy cardio workouts, we have to remember that we have to maintain the fitness level, not trying to increase it immediately. So cycling can go for cardio training, but you have to control your heart rate and pressure every minute during the training. You better prefer stationary bikes or ride the paved routs to decrease the shocking vibration. You also have to consider that your growing belly influences the balance, and you may fall, try to be careful and slow. Always wear the protection and the helmet while cycling outdoors.
You can also focus on Zumba dancing. The combination of cardio movements and music can have a relaxing effect on the belly. Pregnancy workout clothing for Zumba dancing can be a bright and rising mood as well. Breast support sports bra is a necessary thing for a pregnant dancing woman. The increasing breast may hurt without special support if you move to fast. Just remember to ignore fast and high-impact movements and follow the rhythm of your heart.
Your shoe size can also grow, so use special shoes for better shock absorption. You can even replace the standard shoe liner by a gel shoe insert. Do not wear high heels to Zumba class, substitute them with comfortable snickers. It is ok if you get the shoes one size bigger than your ordinary ones. After the D-day, your feet will come to the norm again.
4. Yoga forever
It seems everybody knows yoga to be the safest pregnancy core workout. It is immensely important to engage the core muscles. Though, some poses can be harmful to a baby and stressful for the future mom. Avoid the poses when you have to lie flat, to prevent the uterus press on a large vein. It may decrease your blood pressure very fast. Also, try to be careful with a high level of balance poses. They can cause falling due to your changed gravity center. Think about stretching activities to improve flexibility and focus on correct breathing. Prenatal yoga classes can teach different modified poses for pregnant women. Join such a class or look for a coach who specializes in pregnancy activities. It is a type of pregnancy workouts that can continue right up to your delivery date. After the D-day, you may also practice some poses and increase the level potentially.
Barre classes are also suitable for a pregnant lady. It is a balanced mixture of yoga, Pilates, and some ballet movements. Barre training includes various balance activities and core strength exercises. It is a naturally low impact workout that is perfect for moms. Though some positions are dangerous, for example, substitute deep first position plie by the second position plie. Consider your safety and health any time you move.
Speaking about Pilates, avoid abdominal crunches when you lie on your back. Crunches may increase the risk of possible diastasis recti. Instead, substitute this exercise with the Pilates bridge, when you have to rise only your hips and make it with low impact. It is also a super activity to straighten the back and the upper part of the legs.
5. Focus on your feelings
You are the only person who knows how you and your baby really feel. Monitor your health, heart rhythm, and blood pressure before and after exercise. What is suitable for your best friend can be a marathon running for you. Many ladies are shocked by how their strength and workouts change during the pregnancy period. Even if you are a gym rat, your new condition may change your rates. You have to remember that it is a temporary feeling and it is a variant of being normal as well. When your belly progresses, it may become harder to perform the same workouts. Pregnancy workouts during the second trimester may vary from pregnancy workouts of the third trimester. You may keep them the same program concentration, but make them less intense and fast. Always think of you both and take care.
6. Reduce workouts intensity
Pregnancy is absolutely not the time to put the records, even when we speak about cake baking and cross-stitching. Do not push yourself into the max. Start slowly and follow in a moderate temp. If you practice running, always wear your fitness bracelet to check the heart rate. The usual recommended heart rate for effective training is 140, though you do not have to follow the exact number. If you feel out of breath, switch to walking instead of running. Try to breathe deeper and slower to control the breathing until you feel better. You may think that you are in bad shape, but the truth is that you breathe up to 25 percent more than in your usual non-pregnant life. The reason is that you need to get rid of carbon dioxide levels in both your blood and the blood of your kid.
If you prefer pregnancy abs workout, you also have to forget about intensive training. Avoid exercises that may add stress to the pelvic floor or create coning of your belly. Coning means the feeling when your abdominal muscles bulge and become too firm during the training. Fit pregnancy workout is something that improves health and better tonus, being not harmful to the mother and the child. So dial down your dream Olympic program, and focus on the inner feelings.
7. Add new activities
Now you have time and a wonderful possibility to try something new. If you are religious about intense contact sports, switch to personal training. If you were a fan of sole morning running, try group yoga classes or Pilates in the evening. The pregnancy ball workout is not intense but suitable for the core and the belly. Never tried dancing before? Get one class of Zumba or Latino dances. Share your best workout pregnancy DVD with other ladies in hope, and exchange expectations and emotions on the coming event. It will help to control mood disturbances caused by hormone fluctuations. The gym is a great place to be when you are expecting the child. It is a productive place to meet new people and to create community links for the future. After the delivery, you will need friends to share new experiences and to ask for support. Make plans and friends right now.
8. Swimming and other water workouts
Swimming is a type of activity when you use the muscles you never expected to. Being supported by water, this training is not stressful to the body, so you can avoid muscle strain and injuries. You feel more agile and definitely lighter.
However, there are some precautions for water training as well. Never swim in stagnant water as it is an anaerobic aquatic environment for harmful bacteria. Do not forget about the right water temperature and hypothermia possibility. Your baby will suffer more from exposure than your body. It is better to choose pregnancy gym workouts for swimming. Visit the pool that has all safety recommendations and licenses. It may offer you water aerobics class in addition to the swimming lessons. And remember the most important thing: enjoy the process.
Pregnant women have to monitor their feelings and body stress during exercise. If you have some obvious problems during the training, they are usually not caused by the workout. The problems can be the signs that something went wrong with your body, and the training has just brought the problem to the forefront. You have immediately stop training and consult the doctor if you have the following problems:
- Extreme headaches
- Vaginal bleeding
- Excessive nausea
- Abdominal cramping
Try to be careful with your workouts if you had some problems with the previous pregnancies. The doctors recommend being extremely careful if you had preeclampsia before, or if you carry more than one child inside.
Post pregnancy workout
Gym visits do not have to be stopped after the delivery. Even more, after postpartum bleeding is over, it is even recommended to start a post-pregnancy workout for abdominal muscles to return to the previous form. It is also a good opportunity to control the possible mood transformation. Workout after pregnancy influences hormone level and controls postpartum depression. The best post-pregnancy workout is aimed to help the mother to return to ordinary life as soon as possible.
ACOG recommends that mothers try at least 30 minutes of walking every day. The best thing is that you do not need any special equipment, only the pair of your favorite comfortable snickers. Stay in form!
By now, when you already know that pregnancy workouts are not only OK but are also encouraged for the future mom-to-be, you can make your personal training plan. If you still have some hesitations, consult your personal doctor whom you do trust, then lace up the snickers and keep training.
Please, share your training program and experience with us in the comments below. What kind of sports do you prefer?