Whether you’re already a fitness-oriented person or your pregnancy has you thinking about the state of your body more than usual, exercising during pregnancy can be an excellent idea—when you do it right. There are, of course, limitations to what you can safely put your body through during pregnancy, and those limitations only grow as you progress through to your final months. But keeping up a fitness regimen with these limitations in mind is certain to keep you positive, energetic, and ready to bounce back into the gym at 110% after giving birth.
5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Walking. Simple is good when you’re pregnant. Anything involving high impact, high speed, or any other intense or risky movement can wait, especially as you move into later months of your pregnancy; the same tumble you’d shake off any other time can be catastrophic when your body’s dedicating so many resources to your new child. Walking has a lot to go for it; convenient, low impact, and safe from day 1 to day 270. Just be careful with treadmills; make sure you have the kill switch set up correctly!
- Swimming. Sometimes it’s nice to move freely, to get away from the extra weight and the awkwardness of the baby bump. Swimming gives you all the benefits of walking plus that, with the caveat that finding somewhere to swim might be trickier than finding somewhere to walk. If you can get into a pool regularly, however, you’ll probably find it to be your ideal exercise during pregnancy.
- Stationary biking. Not one for walking or swimming? A stationary bike can be an excellent way to get your exercise in without the risks inherent to an actual bike. Plus, you can enjoy a magazine, book, or television while you go (without the risks of a treadmill getting away from you). If you’re looking to get more of a workout in, this is an excellent option, as you can up the intensity without compromising safety.
- Don’t strain yourself. If you’re used to beating yourself to a pulp in the gym, you’re going to have to take it down a notch. With your body dedicating resources to developing your pregnancy properly, you don’t have those resources available to help you recover from an intense workout. This makes it very easy for exercise during pregnancy to cross over into the realm of overtraining, turning your health benefits and move improvement into health problems and mood swings.
- Keep fueled. Make sure you’re getting plenty of fluids while exercising pregnant, and don’t be shy about eating a bit more if you need to. Your goal isn’t to lose weight during pregnancy, after all, it’s to maintain fitness and health. Drink plenty of water, replenish electrolytes if necessary, and you’ll be fine.