If you’re looking for some easy ways to exercise during pregnancy, the answer may be as close as your laptop. From pre-natal yoga to baby-safe cardiovascular workouts, mom-to-be exercise programs are popping up everywhere. If you’d rather set your own program than work out with a crowd, free pregnancy fitness workout videos are available across the internet, and many feature health and nutrition tips between each pregnancy exercise. Don’t know where to start? Check out these three popular workout ideas and get started on a pregnancy fitness routine.
Yoga is one of the most popular exercises for pregnant moms-to-be because it reduces stress, calms your body and helps you get fit while gaining energy. Many pregnancy advice websites give step-by-step drawings of pregnancy yoga exercises, or you can buy mom-to-be yoga videos that are specialized for your current yoga level, such as beginner, intermediate or advanced. If money is an issue, check out the streaming video option by searching the words “pregnancy yoga” in Google’s “videos” search engine. Choosing to streaming videos instead of buying them will help clear up space on your DVD rack, which you may need later for the baby’s favorites.
Make a Big Splash
The safest sport for pregnant moms is swimming or water aerobics, and no wonder: swimming is the only exercise that works out every muscle in the body without physical impact or strain. Check your local community pages (or search online) for a listing of mommy-to-be water aerobics classes or open swim times in your area. If you like swimming outdoors and live in a warm climate, try swimming laps or taking a class outdoors. The extra sun will give you even more of a glow and the vitamin D will help with pregnancy-related stress and depression. Even more helpful, a fun water aerobics class will help you meet other pregnant moms in your area, which you can add to the ranks of your support system.
Any sport with low impact is recommended for pregnant moms-to-be. Traditional low-impact sports include brisk walking or hiking, stationary bicycling or light aerobics (if taught by a certified instructor). Sports such as jogging, tennis and racquetball are also safe in moderation, but it’s a good idea to talk to you OB/GYN before stocking up on sports equipment. As long as you are avoiding some of the more strenuous sports, a good team sport will help you alleviate stress, make new friends and feel stronger than ever. A few things to avoid: any activity that makes you hold your breath; sports that involve falling, such as horseback riding or skiing; exercising in a hot or humid climate; waist twists while standing; and above all, any sport that involves heavy physical contact, like softball, basketball or volleyball.
Whether you choose to join a class or try it alone, exercise during pregnancy will not only help your own stress levels, but your baby’s development. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your exercise routine, and always remember to keep the impact to a minimum.