Experts insist on the benefits of pregnancy exercises when carrying a child, since it is healthy that future mummies keep moving.
There's a tendency that leads many people to picture pregnancy as a sedentary stage, based on eating, resting, sleeping, having medical check-ups and planning a lot. While that's true, so it is that exercise during pregnancy is nothing but beneficial for future mummies. Not only can it prepare you for the physical challenge of labour, but it can also help reduce pregnancy symptoms like back pain. Doing physical activity when waiting for your munchkin's arrival may improve your muscle tone, give you extra energy and help you sleep better. Also, those women who keep moving during these 9 months have it easier when it comes to getting back into shape, after delivery.
Whether you usually work out or not, you should consider doing it throughout pregnancy in order to prevent problems regarding blood circulation, constipation and haemorrhoids, among others. That's why from CaptainMums, we suggest trying any of the following risk-free pregnancy exercises, which should be done every other day.
Pregnancy exercises: Plié
To do this exercise, you first need to stand parallel to the back of a chair, and use it to rest the closest hand on it. Bend your knees and turn out your toes to 45 degrees, so that your feet are wider than shoulder-width. Then, lower your torso as much as you can while keeping your back straight and pulling your belly button up and in. By doing multiple series of the plié squat exercise, you can strengthen your hamstrings, buttocks and quadriceps.
Pregnancy exercises: Side-lying thighs lift
This is one of the common floor exercises in pregnancy and, as its name indicates, it puts your inner and outer thighs to work. How? Lie on one of your sides, resting your head on the convenient forearm, and use the other arm to keep you stable by touching the floor. When you are ready, lift the 'upper' leg straight to about the hip height, and bend the other leg back (the one on the floor). Take your time, do a few reps and then switch sides.
Pregnancy exercises: Plank
Start by getting into a press up position. Bend your elbows; place your hands flat on the floor, so that your wrists are under your shoulders. The point is for your body to form a straight line from shoulders to ankles, lifting your knees and preventing your belly from sagging. Hold the position for one or two breaths, and do so up to five times. Such an exercise is good for your arms, back and core.
Pregnancy exercises: Bicep curls
Yeah, you can also work on your biceps and shoulders when being pregnant, and it's so easy! Sit on the edge of a chair with your back straight, keeping your arms at the sides. Hold the dumbbells (not heavier than 3.5 kg each) in your hands and bend your elbows, forming a 90-degree angle with your arms. Slowly lift the weight up to your shoulders height, and then take the way back by lowering the arms.
Pregnancy exercises: One-arm row
Use a flat bench or a sturdy chair and place the right leg on one edge of it, keeping the left foot on the floor while bending the torso forward. You need to keep your back parallel to the floor, and that's why it's easier if you place your right hand on the other edge of the bench/chair. Pick up the dumbbell with the left hand, with the palm facing your body, and hold it in line with your arm extended down. Once you've achieved this starting position, you just have to bend the left elbow, so that you pull the weight up to the side of your chest. Hold it for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Don't forget to keep your lower back straight while doing this exercise, which is useful to improve muscle tone in your back, biceps and triceps.
Doing such pregnancy exercises is good, healthy and convenient (they can easily be done at home), but don't forget to ask the doctor for advice before starting them. Depending on your physical state, he or she will tell you which are the most suitable ones. Keep in mind that you may not be able to these pregnancy exercises if you suffer from any pregnancy complication or there's a particular risk, given your situation.
Pregnancy exercises: Alternatives to keep you moving
If you aren't amused by any of the options listed above, you can always choose a different sport or activity that you enjoy. Just think that doctors recommend walking about half an hour a day, five times a week, and that alone should do the trick. However, you have many other options, including: running (early on your pregnancy and with moderation), swimming (try aquanatal classes!), cycling (better with a stationary bike), yoga, pilates, dance and pelvic floor exercises.
When doing pregnancy exercises, you should choose the ones that work better for you and, at the same time, make you have a good time. Don't struggle, stay active but do it while having fun. There's no need to 'punish' your body right now, since the whole point is to get it toned... and ready for labour!