We all know about the benefits of exercise. But that doesn’t make it any easier to get to the gym. When you’re pregnant, motivating can be that much harder, yet there’s increasing evidence of how exercising during pregnancy can be helpful.
Luckily, there is more than one way of getting a workout. I was a big fan of prenatal yoga the first time around, using dvds to practice at home when I couldn’t get myself to a class. But you can keep your fitness level up without having to buy (or rent) a single thing, not to mention not leaving the house.
Women’s health and fitness expert Joan Pagano suggests four very basic moves to stay fit during pregnancy. The exercises use only your own body weight as resistance, so no equipment is required.
1. Squats, to strengthen the lower body and take pressure off the lower back as your weight increases.
2. Standing push ups, for upper body strength—done on an incline, leaning against a wall.
3. Pelvic tilts, to release lower back muscles and strengthen deep abdominals to support the uterus
4. Back extensions, to strengthen the back, support your spine, and help with postural alignment
These four exercises, done in reps of 15-20, 3 times a week, will give you a solid pregnancy workout, says Pagano. For details on the moves see her article. And for more of Pagano’s Pregnancy Fitness expertise, you can check out her website.
photo: dizznbonn / Bonbon/ flickr