Staying fit during your pregnancy will help you to prepare your body for labor and lead to reducing the risk of overweight. Every healthy woman with a normal pregnancy can start to exercise or continue her regular physical activities during pregnancy.
How often you should regularly exercise during your pregnancy primarily depends on the level of fitness you have before you became pregnant. There is one thing you should keep in mind all the time. Exercising is good, but before you start, you need to go to the doctor and to consult with him which particular fitness routine is the best and harmless for you.
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Toning Up While Pregnant
The National Institutes of Health recommends that women should be physically active during pregnancy in consultation with their gynecologists. The doctors will determine toning, cardio, and other exercises which fit best for each particular expectant mother.
Get in shape while pregnant – Exercising during your pregnancy will reduce aches and
pains and help you stay in good shape. It is crucial for you and your baby to keep a toned stomach during pregnancy. There are a few important steps you should add to your daily plan to make you more relaxed and much comfortable with all changes which pregnancy brings.
- Pick the type of exercise you prefer. Swimming is the safest exercise during pregnancy, but you can also go walking, biking, and running. If you prefer aerobics or yoga, go for it.
- Make an exercise schedule and stick to it. If you have exercised before pregnancy, you can continue with a usual routine if your doctor agrees and if you feel comfortable. If you are a beginner, start with five minutes a day. If it fits you, you can add five minutes each week, but you shouldn’t exercise more than a half an hour a day for the beginning.
- Eat well-balanced, healthy food. Include enough vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in your diet. You will need to consume up to 500 additional calories each day. The most experts claim that a healthy, average woman should gain 1-5 pounds during the first trimester. Throughout the rest of the pregnancy, she should gain up to one pound per week.
- Do Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles and prevent uncontrolled urination. They are a comfortable and convenient way to strengthen your abdominal and pelvic muscles. You can exercise while relaxing, working, or sitting. Take advantage of these training and prepare yourself for birth.
- Do moderate-impact cardio exercises regularly. Some sports will help you keep your body toned and in excellent shape. Don’t forget to warm up five minutes before beginning with your training.
Easy Arms-and-Legs Workout for Pregnancy
Toning arms and legs while pregnant is of great importance. Your feet will suffer a significant burden during the nine months of your pregnancy, and you should try to strengthen them as much as possible. On the other hand, your arms need to be strong for carrying your newborn baby. Choose the exercises that fit you the most. Consult your doctor and, if he agrees with your training plan, you can start with exercises.
1 – The best arm exercises for pregnancy
- Upright row with two 3kg weights
It would be excellent if you can start with physical activities during your first trimester of pregnancy. These exercises are the best way to strengthen your arms and shoulders from the very beginning.
Hold one weight of 3 kg in each hand. Put your arms positioned together with palms which are faced the ground. Your feet should be in the hip-width apart. Lift weights to the midline of your chest. Then slowly lower them to the starting position. Repeat the exercise up to 20 times. After you take a rest for a little while, do another set.
- Shoulder press
Hold your feet in the width of your shoulders. Take the weights in your hands at shoulder height. Try to keep your palms facing forward. Raise your arms until they are fully extended and return them to the starting position. You can do this exercise both in the standing position or while you seat on a bench. In both cases, you aim to complete up to 30 repeats divided into two sets.
- Bicep curls
There are two options for this exercise. You can sit down on a chair or stand. If you decide to stand, you should place your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep in mind that your back needs to be straight. Take one weight of 2-3 kg in each of your hands. Your arms should be next to your sides and hold your palms facing forward. Stretch your hands with weights half-way up and keep them in this position about three seconds. Then curl them to your shoulders. Slowly lower arms back to the start and finish the first repetition. Try the exercise up to ten times.
- Triceps extensions
Sit down on a chair with your back in straight position, while your feet are flat on the floor. During the first trimester of your pregnancy, you can do this exercise while you stand on the floor. The principle of both versions is the same.
Hold a weight of middle-heavy in each hand and keep hands behind your head. Bend your elbows and point them upwards towards the ceiling. Slowly lift the weights towards the ceiling and after that lower them behind the head. Repeat the exercise ten times and, after a rest, finish the second set.
2 – The best leg exercises for pregnancy
- Squat and rotate
During the first trimester of your pregnancy, you should start with thigh exercises to
workout legs using basic squat techniques. It is the easy way to strengthen and tone your lower-body while pregnant.
Hold a 3kg weight in each hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Your arms should be bent and in front of your chest. Try to slowly squat, keep your chest raised and your arms in the same position. After you slowly straighten your legs, slowly rotate until you can look over your shoulder. Repeat this to the other side.
Repeat the exercise up to 20 times. Depending on your condition and trimester of your pregnancy, you can make a smaller twist, and choose to avoid weights if it’s necessary. You should tone your legs while pregnant, not to get too tired.
- Hip Flexion
It is an excellent pregnancy leg workout which will strengthen your hip and thigh muscles. Stand behind a table or a chair and hold it with one hand to keep your balance easier.
Bend your left knee and bring it far of your chest. Avoid bending at the waist or hips. Stay still for one second and then lower your leg all the way down. Repeat the exercise with your right leg. You should repeat a procedure 10-15 times on each side. Take a rest and try doing another set of repetitions.
- Knee Flexion
This pregnancy thigh exercise is of great significance for every pregnant woman in order to strengthen the muscles in the back of the thigh. This exercise is not too difficult if you do it correctly. Stand near a table or chair and hold it to keep your balance.
Easily bend your left knee, raise your foot toward the buttocks. The point is to move your leg slowly up and gently back it down. Repeat the procedure with your right leg and do the exercise using alternately one by one leg 10-15 times. After taking a rest, you can do another set if it’s not too hard for you.
- Standing hip lift
This exercise is excellent for toning and strengthening your legs. You will also learn how to maintain your balance as your belly grows during the time. Stand near a chair and adhere to it to keep your balance.
Try placing your left hand on the hip and bend your left knee. You should shift your weight to the right leg. Try to balance without leaning. Extend the left leg in front of you and slowly return it to the first position. After that, extend it behind you and return it to the starting position. Avoid rotating your hips or shoulders. The ideal solution is to do the exercise two times with fifteen repeats on each leg.
- Leg Raises
Lie on your left side. Put the left arm on the floor and support your head with your palm. Place the right arm on the floor in front of you. Bend your left knee. In the same time, extend the right leg straight above your hip. Try to extend it off the floor as high as you can. Then return the leg to its original position. It is one repetition. After you complete all 10-15 repetitions, do the exercise on the opposite side.
Take a kneeling position near your bed. It is possible that you will need to place your hand on it if you feel out of balance. Place your left sole on the ground in front of you. After that, put your right foot on the ground and come up to a standing position. The next thing is to place the left knee on the ground, then the right one. It is one repetition. Repeat the whole exercise alternately leading one and another foot 10-15 times.
- Squat to reverse lunge
It is one of the best back leg workouts. Stand with your feet with hips-width apart. Bend both knees until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. After that extend your legs and return to the original position.
Take a significant step back with your left foot. Slowly bend your right knee to 90 degrees to carry out a reverse lunge. Then bring your back leg to the original position. Do a second squat and finish a reverse thrust on the opposite side. It is the way to complete one repetition. After that, alternate the side.
Cellulite is the unfortunate changes during pregnancy. It usually forms on your thighs, tummy, hips, and so on. Actually, the hormone Estrogen is ‘guilty’ because the body of a pregnant woman has a tendency to store fat.
The pregnancy demands limitations of extreme diets, but you should find the way to get rid of cellulite and increase your self-confidence. There are various possibilities which can help you. Let’s see how to prevent it during pregnancy.
1 – Minimize foods that lead to the appearance of cellulite – Avoid fast foods, fried foods,
fatty meat, cheeses, sausage, and marinades. Choose fish, skinless poultry, and lean meats.
2 – Enjoy vegetables and fruits – prepare healthy meals with fresh vegetables and fruits. It is the secure way to help your body to eliminate toxins and avoid cellulite.
3 – Keep pregnancy weight under control – There is a higher possibility of getting cellulite when you gain more weight.
4 – Practice the massage twice per week – It improves blood circulation, reduces the level of toxins, and thus reduces the cellulite formation.
5 – Exercise regularly – Light cardio exercises will tone your body. If you exercise from the first trimester, you will keep the cellulite under control in the long run.
6 – The secret is in fluid – Drink more water. It will reduce cellulite, which will lead to the glowing and fresh skin.
7 – Reduce salt intake – Take healthy foods and reduce salt. It is the safe way to avoid problems with cellulite.
8 – Skin brushing – It is a popular way to remove cellulite. Just brush across the skin in circular motions, and you will notice a reduction of cellulite very soon.
Pay attention to stay well hydrated during exercising. Wear quality shoes to reduce unexpected injuries. Avoid lying on your back. Take a break as often as possible. Keep away from physical contact exercises that could impact your abdomen and sudden movements which can hurt your baby. Water sports, horseback riding, boxing, hockey, or skiing, are not appropriate exercises for a pregnant woman.
Every activity which leads to overheating is not allowed. Feeling dizzy, possible nauseate, and faster heartbeat are signs that you should slow down. If you notice vaginal bleeding, early contractions or have high blood pressure, you should discontinue exercising. Take care of yourself, and your baby will be healthy and well too.