Experts agree that exercise isn't just allowed but highly recommended if you're expecting. Exercise can reduce your back pain, give you more energy, improve your body image, and help you get back to your pre-pregnancy shape after you deliver. The fitter you stay during your pregnancy, the better you will feel.
Here are 6 exercises you can do during your pregnancy that will help you stay fit and positive. Before you start any exercise program, be sure to consult with your doctor.
1. Side Leg Lifts
To strengthen your inner and outer thighs, lie on your left side and support your head with your forearm. Bend your left leg at a 45-degree angle, while keeping your right leg straight. Use your other arm to support yourself. Now, lift your right leg to about the height of your hip and repeat. In the same position, bend your right knee and place it on a pillow for support. Lift your left leg as high as you can to work your inner thigh. Turn over and do the same on the other side.
Make sure the movement is slow and controlled for the best results.
The plank is great for strengthening your core, arms, and back. Get on your hands and knees, keeping your wrists right under your shoulders. Straighten your legs out behind you until you are in a push-up position, with your body in a straight line. Tighten your tummy and back muscles so you don't sag. Now hold this position for a few breaths.
3. Bicep Curls and Lifts
To strengthen your biceps and shoulders, sit on the edge of a chair, keeping your back straight and feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms by your sides, holding two weights in your hands with your palms facing your body.
Bring your hands up until your elbows form 90-degree angles. Keeping your elbows at the same angle, bring the weights to shoulder height then return them to the starting position. Repeat.
4. One-Arm Row
One-arm rows are great for your back, biceps, and triceps. Grab a sturdy chair and place your left knee on the seat while keeping your left foot on the floor. Bend forward and support yourself with your left hand on the seat, while holding a weight in your right hand.
Start with your left arm fully extended towards the floor and palm turned towards your body. Now, bend your left elbow up so it forms a 90-degree angle. Hold your elbow in that position and then lower it again until your left arm is straight once again. Repeat and then switch to the other side.
Swimming is an excellent way for you to get some cardio and an overall strength training workout in while you're pregnant. There is little risk of injury while in the water and you'll also have better range of motion without putting any pressure on your joints.
Any form of exercise in the water can be done, even during your final trimester. Even if all you do is a little walking in a pool, it's great exercise and will significantly help your energy levels while pregnant.
With yoga, you can maintain flexibility, strengthen your muscles, and manage your blood pressure. It's also quite relaxing. A good gym will have yoga for pregnant women, so make sure to check a class out…you definitely won't regret it!
If you decide to forego a class and do yoga at home, make sure that you skip poses that require a lot of balance as your pregnancy progresses. Know your limits, stay safe to avoid injury.
To learn more about staying fit and healthy while pregnant, contact Augusta Health Fitness. Our team can work with you to devise a complete exercise regimen.