9 Safe Exercises Pregnant Women Can (and Should) DoMichelle Horton
Even if you know the truth about safe prenatal exercising, you still might have a long list of excuses.
A sedentary lifestyle.
But there are simple exercises that are both easy and extremely beneficial to both you and your baby, even for beginners. Of course you should check with your doctor or mid-wife about your health status before starting any exercise program, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy. And of course these don’t apply to pregnant women on bed rest.
But for everyone else, here are 10 no-excuse exercises to get you up and moving:
1. Take a walk 1 of 9Moderate exercise (like walking) is safe in healthy pregnancies, even for those who were sedentary pre-pregnancy, according to Raul Artal, MD, lead author of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' (ACOG) guidelines on prenatal exercise. Even if you have no time to hit the gym, there are easy ways to sneak in more walking: park further away in parking lots, opt for the stairs, take a 10 min. walk around the building on your lunch break, etc.
Photo:Erik Isakson/Blend Images via WebMD
2. Kegals 2 of 9
3. Swimming 3 of 9Swimming is a low-impact option, perfect for those with achy joints. Even if walking feels like too much pressure, swimming might be the relief (and exercise) you need.
Photo credit: Tracy Frankel/The Image Bank via WebMD
4. Pelvic Tilts 4 of 9Pelvic tilts (which can be done on a stability ball, standing against a wall, or on all fours) are designed to strengthen your core and ease back pain. To do this kneeling pelvic tilt, kneel down on all fours with a straight back, and then gently arch like a cat.
See more at WebMD (Photo: Ruth Jenkinson/Dorling Kindersley via WebMD)
5. Tailor Exercises 5 of 9Stretching is something that all pregnant women can (and should) do, and tailor stretching is especially beneficial because it stretches your pelvic, hip, and thigh muscles. It can also help with lower back pain.
See how to do these tailor exercises at WebMD (Photo: Erik Isakson/Blend Images via WebMD)
6. Yoga 6 of 9If you're typically intimidated by yoga, pregnancy could be the perfect time to start. Most prenatal yoga classes are modified versions of a gentle yoga, perfect for beginners. In fact, yoga pros who are used to accomplishing complicated moves could be frustrated in prenatal yoga, so it could be in your advantage to start now.
7. Meditating 7 of 9Exercising and relaxing your mind is an important aspect of prenatal fitness — especially for women preparing for a natural labor.
Photo: Flickr/luluemon athletica
8. Dancing 8 of 9No matter your skill level or available time, every single one of you can stand up and shake your behind.
See this 40+ week pregnant woman dance herself into labor.
9. Prenatal DVDs 9 of 9If the gym is out of the question and a cold winter (or hot summer) makes it hard to head outdoors, it's not hard to sneak in a quick prenatal exercise DVD in your living room.
Buy Erin O'Brien's Prenatal Fitness Fix, $12.99
Thanks very much to Brita for sponsoring this post. Check out more posts in this campaign.
Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.
Plus, we’ve got 10 more exercises you can do while pregnant!