Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can no longer exercise. In fact, light exercise can help relieve some of your aches, pains, bloating, and swelling. It can also improve your mood, endurance, and sleep while preparing your body for labor.
The ideal recommendation is to exercise for about 2½ hours each week. However, there are some limitations as to the kinds of exercises that are recommended as your pregnancy progresses. Safe activities include:
You can also do Kegel exercises to help strengthen your pelvic floor for labor.
After your first trimester, you should avoid balance training exercises, as well as any positions that require you to lie on your back. It’s also recommended that you avoid contact sports or exercises with a high risk of falling.
It is important to maintain good body mechanics while you’re exercising. Lifting with your legs and not your stomach is the key to safety. And the maximum weight lifting recommendation while pregnant is about 25 lbs.
Even if you didn’t exercise regularly before you were pregnant, you can still start doing so today. (Be sure to consult with your health care provider before starting any new exercises, especially if your pregnancy is high risk or you have known complications.)
But if you’re trying something new, be sure to start slowly. Once you find some exercises that work for you, you can gradually add more repetitions. Just remember to listen to your body and don’t overwork yourself.