My youngest son is now 10 months old. During this pregnancy I was dead scared of working out! I was making assumptions about what one could and couldn’t do, and had totally forgotten about the good old cave women, hunting all the way until giving birth. My fear was irrational and I was uninformed. Our bodies are designed to do this, to carry a child and function as we would normally. Of course, one doesn’t necessarily have to run a marathon for the first time ever in the 8th month of pregnancy, but with the right guidance from a professional it is safe to work out during pregnancy.
So, what kind of exercise can you do when you are pregnant?
Well, perhaps you should rather be asking what you can NOT do when you are pregnant (provided you are healthy and have a normal pregnancy), since there are an array of possible exercises available to you.
Walking: Obviously the most natural and safe form of movement
Swimming: Is often recommended to pregnant women for multiple reasons; it works large muscle groups, it is a cardiovascular exercise which helps relief some of the common pregnancy symptoms like swelling, heaviness, strain on joints and ligaments. And, it feels a bit like a treat for the mum to be, since it’s tranquil and gives you some well-deserved me-time.
Aerobics: Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and helps tone your body. You can go to classes that are modified to suite pregnant women, or you can join a regular aerobics class, but make sure to inform the class teacher of your pregnancy so he/she can guide you through the workout safely.
Dancing: My absolute favorite, and personally one I have done with each of my children when I felt it was time for them to enter the world (I literally danced them out to Stevie Wonder). Needless to say, your chance of being casted as a background dancer on the next J-Lo video is pretty slim, but you will have a good time! I kept laughing at myself in the mirror, I totally looked like a hippo
Jogging: Jogging is great for you during pregnancy, just make sure you choose a tempo that your body is used to, no crazy HIIT training with a big belly, please
Yoga: Yoga can keep you toned and also provide a sanctuary for your spirit. Doing yoga during pregnancy can prepare your body and mind for the beautiful challenge it is to put a baby into this world.
Weight training: As long as you take the necessary precautions and have good form (perform the movements in a correct and controlled manner, here, you may want to get some expert advice in the gym to ensure safety) weight training has great benefits. You can reduce loss of muscle mass, and increase or maintain your strength throughout the pregnancy.
Bear in mind Mumz, pregnancy is not a time during which you should aim to lose body fat, burn excessive number of calories or lose belly fat. It is a time to exercise for wellness and for strength so that you can better handle the mental and physical strain of pregnancy as well as the crazy and overwhelming experience it is to give birth!