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10 Best Pregnancy Workouts: Safe, Easy & Effective

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Pregnancy causes several mental and physical changes in women. You may suffer from lack of sleep, backache, headache, constipation, bloating, and whatnot.

Due to many problems, you might be willing to do anything that could help reduce the impact of such issues. The good news is that there is a solution to minimize the effect of these problems.

This solution is exercise. Exercise might be one of the best cures for the different pains related to pregnancy.

Exercising regularly is one of the most essential healthy pregnancy tips for a safe pregnancy.

Working out during pregnancy could offer you and your baby many benefits and advantages.

Besides facing a decrease in your pregnancy symptoms, you may see how your mood enhances while exercising.

Working out regularly during pregnancy may even improve the health of your baby. Eating healthy food along with proper exercise could bolster the brain health of your baby and support their development.

Being active or exercising during pregnancy is safe if you get the necessary approval from your doctor. You may work out after getting the pregnancy-specific modifications from your health provider.

However, you might not opt for sports like water skiing or participate in a horse jumping competition.

Similarly, pregnant women may not indulge in exercises like mountain biking or practicing downhill skiing.

But you could enjoy the basic fitness activities that your doctor may recommend.

So, have you ever considered how much exercise you should be doing during your pregnancy?

According to research conducted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, a pregnant woman may work out for at least 30 minutes or even more in a single day. Therefore, you could practice your workout or exercise schedule five days a week.

However, these 30 minutes can include any exercise or method that might help you stay active.

For example, you could opt for three 10-minute walks to make up for your training. Or you could even perform household courses like vacuuming or light yard work for 30 minutes.

These activities are just as beneficial as spending 30 minutes at the gym. So let us look at the different exercises that you may practice during pregnancy. 

But you should make sure that your body temperature does not rise to an unbearable limit that may be harmful to the baby during working out.

Best Pregnancy Workouts For Moms To Be

  1. Swimming

    One of the most beneficial exercises during pregnancy could be swimming.  But before swimming, you may have a word with your healthcare provider about this exercise.

    The right moves of swimming may help to ease the discomfort and pain related to pregnancy. It could even help you in easing your sleeping schedule and back pain.

    The exercise is quite gentle for the joints and hence might relieve the swollen ankles of pregnant women.

    The best aspect of swimming is that you may not feel heavy while swimming no matter how big your baby bump is.

    However, you may be careful while walking on the slippery poolsides or entering the water. Pregnant women should not dive or jump into the water, rather they could slide into it carefully.

    More on it here[1].

  2. Aerobics Or Group Dance Classes

    Dance workout classes or low-impact aerobics like Zumba may be one of the best ways of exercising during pregnancy. These exercises may help to bolster your heart rate and increase the endorphins flowing through your body.

    However, if you are a newbie exerciser, then you may always choose the water version of aerobics.

    Pregnant women should also avoid any high-impact movements or jumping that could lead them to the point of exhaustion.

    Here[2] is what the Australian health department has to say about this topic.

  3. Plank

    Pregnant women might perform plank as an exercise during pregnancy. You may lie down on your hands and knees.

    Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders. You may also straighten your leg. Then you should let your body make a  straight line.

    You do not need to lose your back or let your belly touch the floor. You could do one plank for 1-2 breaths.

    Then, you may repeat this process for up to five breaths. This will help to strengthen your arms and back. Here[3] is an article for more information.

  4. Walking

    Walking is one of the most convenient exercises for a pregnant women. You could easily do this exercise even in your busy schedules. The best aspect of walking is that you could even continue this exercise up to your delivery date.

    This is what[4], the research has to say about walking.

  5. Climbing Stairs

    Climbing stairs or ellipticals is another great exercise for pregnant women. While doing these types of exercises, you may adjust the speed and incline according to your comfort.

    However, you should make sure not to stumble while climbing the stairs. You need to pay greater attention to resistance while climbing the elliptical as your pregnancy progresses.

  6. Indoor Cycling

    Indoor cycling is a safe method of cycling even for newbie exercisers. All you need to do is to cycle on a stationary bike.

    Cycling proffers a plethora of benefits to pregnant women. It is a good method that may help to bolster your heart rate without putting any pressure on your joints.

    The best aspect of indoor cycling is that it might help you to pedal at your speed. Hence there may not be any pressure or risk of falling.

    But make sure to take a rest when you feel exhausted or overheated. The pregnant women might even adjust the handlebars according to their comfort so that they could sit upright. Adjusting the handlebars may help you to avoid pressure on your lower back.

  7. Weight Training

    Lightweight training may help pregnant ladies to remain toned before or even after delivery.

    Women who used to practice weight training before their pregnancy might not face difficulty in weight training even after their pregnancy.

    But if you are a newbie in this field, then you may avoid heavyweights. You should make sure that your weight training does not require you to lie flat on your back.

    Here[5] are additional points.

  8. High-Intensity Sports

    If you were practicing different high-intensity sports before conceiving and you have no complications related to your pregnancy, then you may continue practicing such sports.

    You might choose to run or play tennis as your high-intensity sport. It is also the right time to run on flat surfaces.

    The main purpose of the high-intensity workout or moves may be to bolster your heart rate.

    But you must make sure to consult your practitioner before beginning any high-intensity sport.

    You should avoid jumping or quickly changing the directions and also focus on using lower weights.

    Pregnant women should stop the exercises once they feel out of breath. Drinking plenty of water may help them while performing such exercises.

  9. Yoga

    Yoga has several benefits for pregnant women. You may practice yoga to strengthen your muscles relax your body.

    According to research, Yoga helps to ease back pain and might even facilitate labor pains. You could get yourself enrolled in a prenatal yoga class that might help you to relax and prepare you for labor.

    However, you should make sure not to lie on your back while doing yoga.

    Pregnant women should also avoid hot yoga. So before beginning with yoga, you could have a word with your practitioner or doctor.

  10. Abdominals

    Abdominals include several exercises for your abs.  These exercises might ease your backache or help you not to sway back Because your uterus gets heavier.

    You may practice two different types of abdominals. The first type includes the kneeling pelvic tilt.  

    In this abdominal exercise, you may lay on your hands and knees with a flat back. You might also tighten your abs and slowly arc your back towards the ceiling.

    The next type of abdominal exercise is standing pelvic tilt. You need to back up on a wall and spread your feet 3 inches out. You may tighten your stomach and touch your low back to the wall.

Let Us Finish It Up!

We hope this article may help you to exercise during pregnancy. However, pregnancy and exercise both require energy.

On some days you may have lots of energy for exercise, while on other days, you may feel hectic and avoid exercising.

However, it would be best if you could find motivation and support for being active during your pregnancy.

Taking a prenatal exercise class could help you to find the motivation for staying active and working out.

The prenatal exercise class might also help you to make some friends and share your workout goals and advice with them.

If you are active during your pregnancy, then you might get more stamina and energy.

This would help to boost your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. Research has even shown how regular exercising during pregnancy may assist in reducing anxiety[6] and stress.

However, it is very essential to know when you should stop exercising. If you experience symptoms like chest pain, vagina bleeding, calf swelling, decreased baby movements, muscle weakness, headache, or dizziness, then you should stop exercising.

Pregnant women should always make sure to stay well hydrated during exercise.

References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, and academic and medical institution studies. 

  1. Mette Juhl, Manolis Kogevinas, Per Kragh Andersen, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Jørn Olsen. Is swimming during pregnancy a safe exercise? Epidemiology. 2010 Mar;21(2):253-8. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181cb6267. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20110815/.
  2. For pregnancy. Last updated: 20 May 2021. Available from: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/pregnancy.
  3. Kirsti Krohn Garnæs, Siri Ann Nyrnes, Kjell Åsmund Salvesen, Øyvind Salvesen, Siv Mørkved, Trine Moholdt. Effect of supervised exercise training during pregnancy on neonatal and maternal outcomes among overweight and obese women. Secondary analyses of the ETIP trial: A randomised controlled trial. PLoS One. 2017; 12(3): e0173937. Published online 2017 Mar 21. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173937.
  4. Christopher P. Connolly,⁎ Scott A. Conger, Alexander H.K. Montoye, et al. Walking for health during pregnancy: A literature review and considerations for future research. J Sport Health Sci. 2019 Sep; 8(5): 401–411. Published online 2018 Nov 17. doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2018.11.004.
  5. Patrick J. O’Connor, Melanie S. Poudevigne, M. Elaine Cress, Robert W. Motl, and James F. Clapp, III. Safety and Efficacy of Supervised Strength Training Adopted in Pregnancy. J Phys Act Health. 2011 Mar; 8(3): 309–320. doi: 10.1123/jpah.8.3.309.
  6. Miguel Sánchez-Polán, Cristina Silva-Jose, Evelia Franco, et. al. Prenatal Anxiety and Exercise. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Med. 2021 Dec; 10(23): 5501. Published online 2021 Nov 24. doi: 10.3390/jcm10235501.

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