If you thought of pregnancy as a time to rest easy, think again. Exercise has multiple benefits for expectant mamas, including controlling their weight and easing delivery. Unless your obstetrician advises you to stay away from the gym, there’s no reason you can’t continue your regular fitness routine, perhaps with a few modifications. P.S. Throw back to being pregnant at Disney
However, if you’re relatively new to the fitness scene, you don’t want to overdo it. You want a fun workout regimen that fits into your daily schedule — which could be getting more hectic with all that nursery decorating. What should you do? Here are eight smart ways for pregnant moms to stay fit.
If you have other children already, chances are they love the playground. Smart moms know to stay fit by killing two birds with one stone, squeezing in fitness while accompanying their kids to the park.
For example, you can use a bench to perform incline pushups and triceps dips to tone your upper arms. Rock walls and cargo nets make for all-over toning. Some facilities even feature splash pads — do your squats under the sprinklers to avoid sweating in the summer heat.
Many playgrounds also feature miles of walking trails where you can get your cardio groove on. If you have another child still in a stroller, holding onto the handle may help as your center of gravity shifts, although many pregnant women have little trouble keeping their balance.
However, it’s wise to invest in a new set of walking shoes — even if your old ones aren’t yet worn to the nubbin. Pregnancy stretches the ligaments between the bones in your feet, making them wider than they were previously. The same pair that once felt heavenly could chafe. For best results, go shoe shopping at the day’s end when your feet are at their most swollen.
You might not want to take on a gig as an urban bike messenger while expecting. You can still enjoy a fantastic workout by riding your bike at the park or around serene neighborhood streets.
Are you pressed for time? Why not consider combining your workout with your commute by investing in an electric bike? It might sound a bit off to bike to work if you have to look presentable, but the pedal assist function keeps you from breaking a sweat. Even so, you’ll burn calories — a 180-pound-person burns over 200 an hour. Plus, you’ll do your part to reduce emissions and go green.
When was the last time you let the music move you? You don’t need to join a gym to enjoy a quality dance workout. All you have to do is dock your iPhone and get your groove on right in your living room.
However, you’ll find no shortage of dance-inspired workouts if you prefer the invigoration of group fitness. More energetic mamas might adore the international grooves of a Zumba class. Are you looking to get fit with your partner? Why not take up ballroom dancing? You’ll have fun joking about your big belly getting in between you quickly enough.
If you want to work your quads and hamstrings, try hiking up steep slopes. You’ll get your heart pounding like you’re sprinting, only there’s no impact, making it easier on pregnant mamas with sore lower backs and knees.
Hiking may also benefit your immune system — and you want to stay healthy for your baby. Research on forest bathers shows that inhaling the phytoncides trees emit for defense kicks human immunity into high gear. Your body will also generate plenty of natural vitamin D from sun exposure.
If you’re the competitive sort, bowling offers a way to stay in the game without risking the impact possible in sports like softball or volleyball. Of course, you can merely enjoy a good time with the whole family if you want to burn calories and gently elevate your heart rate without worrying about how many gutter balls you throw.
If you find you love the sport, why not join a league? It’s a fantastic way to meet a great group of friends. Many facilities also have teams for the youngest set — perhaps your kids want to get involved, too?
Multiple forms of yoga exist, many of which are perfect for expectant moms. This ancient exercise form has benefits that extend beyond calorie burn and muscle-toning. It also helps you cultivate a sense of inner peace, which is vital when navigating pregnancy’s hormonal changes.
Talk to your guide when you arrive at class, informing them of your condition. They can advise you which poses are safe and to avoid. In general, you need to be extra careful with balance poses and avoid laying on your back. Doing so puts pressure on your vena cava, which carries blood to your baby.
Finally, the simplest way for pregnant moms to stay fit may be to join a gym and master the equipment. Many facilities provide one or two sessions with a personal trainer with membership. Use that time to get your questions answered and learn how to operate the various machines.
You have plenty of safe options, from walking on a treadmill or using a bike or elliptical for cardio. Weight machines keep your body in perfect alignment, preventing injury. However, you may need to adjust your form on some as your belly grows.
Smart Ways for Pregnant Moms to Stay Fit
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you should exercise during pregnancy. Doing so benefits your health and may make delivery easier.
If you’re unsure where to start, consider one of these eight smart ways for pregnant moms to stay fit. You can get in a workout while keeping your coming baby safe.