Contrary to certain presumptions, exercising is actually a very good idea for most pregnant women, providing that you have the go signal from your doctor and aren’t at risk for certain complications. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t stay active, whether you’re a few months pregnant or waiting out the late stages of your pregnancy.
As a matter of fact, most doctors endorse it. The latest guidelines from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that healthy pregnant women who do not have any pre-existing conditions should ideally engage in 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activities per week. Broken down, that’s about a half-hour per day on weekdays.
Having said that, though, you can’t just continue the same workouts you’ve always done. There will be a need to modify every aspect of your routine to keep you and your baby safe as your body changes from trimester to trimester. Here are a few tips:
Gear up properly
Workout safety begins with what you wear. Having improper gear to exercise in can negatively affect your performance; doing so while pregnant could potentially endanger you and your baby. That’s why it’s important to treat even something as simple as choosing your workout outfit with the utmost care during this time.
Whether you’re working out at home or heading out to the gym, do not wear a regular bra. Daily bras do not provide the adequate support your breasts need while exercising, especially as you go from one trimester to the next.
Instead, wear adjustable sports bras such as the ones that we offer here at Anita Active. We have a wide selection of sports bras to choose from, providing anything between firm to maximum support. This will help keep your breasts from bouncing while working out. Our cup sizes range from AA to K, offering you the perfect fit. The shoulder straps of our adjustable sports bras can be modified easily, and the hook and eye back closure can accommodate the way your body changes.
We especially recommend the adjustable sports bras from our Extreme Control collection for pregnant women. These are equipped with wide straps which help distribute the weight of your breasts. Being adjustable in length, they’ll never dig into your shoulders either. Both offer maximum support for unparalleled control. The Extreme Control is available in sizes 30-46 for cups B-H, while our Extreme Control Plus adjustable sports bras come in sizes 30-48 for cups F-K.
You’ll also want bottoms to accommodate your growing belly. You can find pairs especially designed for pregnant women. Our Miss Fantastic Maternity Leggings offers additional support for your baby bump and may make workouts easier on your waist, back, and hips. They shouldn’t be so tight as to be constricting as that can hinder your circulation.
The shoes you wear will be determined by the exercises you’ve chosen to do. Running shoes are an excellent all-rounder choice that you can use not just for running, but for walking and other light activities as well. Their increased cushioning helps minimize impact and relieves pressure from your joints. The wider toe box accommodates swelling feet well, as does the stretchy material in most pairs.
Stick to low-impact workouts
Risk of injury should be your number-one consideration when choosing which exercises to do. The last thing you want is to fall or injure your belly while you’re pregnant.
Low impact activities are your best choice as these are good for the entire body and generally safe to do until your delivery date. Here are a few ideas:
- Walking is one of the easiest exercises you can do while pregnant. It’s an excellent cardiovascular workout that doesn’t heavily impact your ankles and knees. A stroll around the block doesn’t even really feel like working out at all, it’s free, and you can do it anytime. If you have led a sedentary lifestyle prior to your pregnancy and would like to start working out now, brisk walking is a great option.
- Water exercises such as aqua fitness, swimming, or water aerobics let you move around without the joint pressure usually associated with workouts performed on dry land. Being naturally buoyant in water, you should also be able to continue these exercises even as you gain weight throughout your pregnancy.
- Pre-natal Yoga and Pilates both offer strength and flexibility training that you’ll find invaluable throughout your pregnancy. Just make sure to find a qualified instructor who can also keep an eye on you as you work out and make sure that you won’t injure
Include exercises that improve strength and balance
Accidental falls during pregnancy are, unfortunately, rather common. Your center of gravity inevitably shifts as your belly grows larger, which then leads you to feel more imbalanced in general. You may find yourself off balance more, even when you were quite sure-footed before.
Strengthening exercises are key to minimizing your risk of falling. You’ll want to keep your core strong and start training your thighs and hips more. Hip extensions, pelvic tilts, and squats can help. Going for a spin on the elliptical wouldn’t hurt, either.
There are also simple exercises you can do to improve your balance. Marching in place, with support, helps you practice shifting your weight from one foot to the other. Stepping from side to side will be good for your lateral balance. Even just standing on one leg is a balancing exercise: Hold on to a chair for support and hold the pose for 30 seconds, then do the same for the other leg.
Exercising while pregnant is totally doable, with precautions in place. If you feel uncertain, go ahead and check with your medical provider first. For more adjustable sports bras, maternity wear, and other comfortable gear for your pregnancy, visit anita.com now.