While not precisely a pregnancy myth, the notion that pregnant women should avoid or don’t need to exercise is an outmoded view that nevertheless leaves many potential moms wondering, “What exercise can I do, and how much is too much?”
However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women obtain about the same amount of activity as non-pregnant persons.
The ACOG recommends that pregnant women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. They define aerobic activity as “working the major muscles of the body in a rhythmic manner,” and moderate intensity movement as “movement that elevates one’s heart rate and causes one to sweat.”
If you’re pregnant and looking for strategies to enhance or maintain your daily activity while staying at home, there are a variety of activities you can attempt at home. Brooke Cates, founder of the Bloom Method, which offers online prenatal workouts through StudioBloom, including BirthPREP, suggested a few moves that are both beneficial and simple to do at home.
Best at-home exercises for pregnant women
Cates advises the following techniques for strength-building exercises at home that are both safe and beneficial to pregnant women.
Squats: According to Cates, wider squats might assist a pregnant woman practise stretching her pelvic floor. “Simply reduce your stance if wider squats are unpleasant due to frequent pelvic difficulties, such as symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) or pelvic girdle pain (PGP), which is common during pregnancy due to relaxed ligaments,” Cates added.
Reverse flys: Using lightweight handweights, bend at the waist and straight lift the weights out from your body while standing with feet shoulder width apart. This exercise, according to Cates, helps strengthen the upper back muscles (particularly the rhomboids), which will aid in maintaining excellent upper body posture as the pregnancy continues. She also mentioned that it’s good for “preventative muscle growth for the lengthy hours of nursing and bottle feeding postpartum.”
Glute bridges: To practise glute bridges, lie down on your back with your knees bent and drive down with your feet to lift your hips. When done in conjunction with inner thigh squeezes, they will assist improve strength and awareness in the core and pelvic floor while also increasing stability in the glute muscles and inner thighs. “This simple exercise can also help avoid symphysis pubis dysfunction, which can cause severe discomfort in the pelvic region,” Cates explained.
She also mentioned that exercising while engaging your core can help you improve and maintain pelvic and spinal stability.
Along with toning and strengthening muscle, the Mayo Clinic recommends that pregnant women engage in cardiovascular activities such as walking, swimming, low-impact aerobics, and stationary cycling. They also advise ladies who have never exercised before to start small, with a 15-minute exercise session and progressively increasing their time.
Why exercise at all during pregnancy?
Despite the fact that professionals advocate exercise, many pregnant women will still hear from family and friends (especially those of a younger generation) that it is neither necessary nor good to exercise while pregnant.
“Everyone told me to get plenty of rest in bed while I was pregnant with my son. That was simple because I was always exhausted, but I couldn’t stay in bed all day “Mom.com spoke with Kimberlee Leonard. “I signed up for prenatal yoga and swimming because I thought it would be beneficial to both myself and my baby to get out and be active.”
Cates concurred. “Even short bouts of activity during pregnancy can benefit mom and baby in terms of easing labour and delivery, [aiding] healthy blood flow, and increasing oxygen and nutrition delivery to the baby,” she explained.
Types of exercise to avoid while pregnant
Any exercise that requires you to lie flat on your back, exercise at high elevations, workouts in hot conditions, or hot yoga, according to the Mayo Clinic, should be avoided. Also, before beginning an exercise regimen, all pregnant women should contact with their doctors or care providers.
Most exercises are safe during pregnancy, according to Cates, as long as a woman is conscious of her body. “There aren’t many things a pregnant woman should avoid doing during her 9+ months of pregnancy,” she stated. “While we frequently advise women to reduce their participation in sports such as skiing, weight lifting, leaping, and traditional abdominal workouts, there are far more chances for women to stay moving in all the ways they enjoy than to limit themselves.”
- What is the best workout for a pregnant woman?
These activities usually are safe during pregnancy:
Walking. Taking a brisk walk is a great workout that doesn’t strain your joints and muscles. …
Swimming and water workouts. …
Riding a stationary bike. …
Yoga and Pilates classes. …
Low-impact aerobics classes. …
- Which exercises should be avoided during pregnancy?
Any workout that may induce even minor abdominal stress, such as jarring motions or abrupt changes in direction. Activities that necessitate a lot of leaping, hopping, skipping, or bouncing. Deep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises, and straight-leg toe touches are examples of exercises. Stretching while bouncing.
- Can I do squats while pregnant?
Squats are an effective resistance workout during pregnancy for maintaining hip, glute, core, and pelvic floor muscular strength and range of motion. Squats, when done correctly, can help improve posture and have the potential to aid in the birthing process.
- Can I do planks while pregnant?
Planks are generally safe to do while pregnant as long as your doctor gives you the go-ahead. 1 In fact, abdominal activity provides various advantages for pregnant women, including support for pelvic floor muscles and prevention of difficulties such as frequent urination throughout pregnancy and postpartum.