For women who struggle to get pregnant, there’s nothing more terrifying than the thought of miscarriage. You work so hard to conceive and you don’t want to risk the health of your baby for anything. Unfortunately for some women, this can mean foregoing healthy lifestyle choices for themselves out of fear that it might harm the baby.
When it comes to exercising, your doctor can tell you which physical activities are safest for you and your pregnancy. Some women may be told not to be too active, and some might even be recommended bed rest, but for most pregnant women staying active is important. Most activities you enjoyed before pregnancy should be fine to continue, but the best exercises are low impact. Here are four you can try without worrying about harming your chances at a full-term, healthy pregnancy:
- Swimming: Swimming is an excellent way to workout without putting added pressure and strain on your belly or back. Placing your pregnant body under water relieves weight by reducing the gravitational pull on your belly. You can squat, lunge, and tread water with no worries about overdoing it. In fact, there are many swimming and water aerobics classes designed with pregnant women in mind. You can join a group and make new friends in the process of staying fit.
You can also choose to swim alone or with your partner; feel free to investigate new and exciting ways to workout in the water. Try lifting light weights from 2-5 lbs, so long as your doctor agrees with this. There are ankle and wrist weights available to help strength train in the water.
- Walking: It sounds a bit mundane, but walking is extremely beneficial during pregnancy and very low impact. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear to support your arches and in turn, your spinal health. It also helps to choose a path that is even, and avoid any risk of falling. Walking on a wooded trail with upturns roots and rocks, for example, is a bad idea if your belly is getting too big to see past.
Find a buddy to walk with and create a walking plan before you leave the house. Know where you’ll start, where you’ll end, and what the route looks like on the way there. Start with 10 minutes, then 20, and by the end of the week you’ll be up to a full half an hour without breaking a sweat.
- Yoga: Whether you choose to join a class or work through your yoga poses on a mat at home, yoga is a great low-impact exercise that is promoted for pregnant women. There are many styles and poses that work better for pregnant bodies, which is why it’s a good idea to try at least one class if you choose to work out at home alone. Watching a professional perform each move and recommend poses which will benefit your body, and will make your workout healthier for you.
- Spin Classes: Most doctors recommend that you stay away from a bicycle during pregnancy, but this isn’t because cycling is bad for you, it’s because your center of balance can be off when you’re pregnant and falling off a bike could injure you and your baby. Spin classes are a safe alternative to biking because they allow you to enjoy the motions of cycling without the fear of falling over, crashing, or hitting a heavy bump which could jolt you and cause early labor.
If you want to get active, but are unsure which exercises are best for you and your baby, speak to your doctor. He or she can recommend some great ways to stay in shape safely.