10 Best Pregnancy Workouts: Safe, Easy & Effective

Date
June
3
2022
Compiled By Louise Rodriguez
Medically Reviewed By Dr. P Stein, MD FACT CHECKED

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 all such issues. The good news is that there is a solution to minimize the effect of all such problems. This solution is exercise. Exercise might be one of the best cures for the different pains related to pregnancy.

Exercising regularly could also prove to be 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 a proper exercise could bolster the brain health of your baby and lower their BMI.

Being active or exercising during pregnancy is safe if you get the necessary recommendations 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 for five weeks a day.

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 to continue 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 in the joints and hence might relieve the swollen ankles of the pregnant lady. 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 into the water. Pregnant ladies 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 ladies should also avoid any high impact movements or jumping that could lead them to the point of exhaustion.

    Here[2] is what the Australian government has to say.

  3. Plank

    The pregnant woman might do 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 a governmental article for more information.

  4. Walking

    Walking is one of the most convenient exercises for a pregnant lady. 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.

  5. Climbing Stairs

    Climbing stairs or ellipticals are other exercises 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 as your pregnancy progresses with resistance while climbing the stairs.

  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 mothers. 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 ladies might even adjust the handlebars according to their comfort so that you could sit upright. Adjusting the handlebars may even help you to avoid any pressure on your lower back.

  7. Weight Training

    Lightweight training may help pregnant ladies to remain toned before or even after delivery. The women who used to practise weight training even 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 even 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 practising different high-intensity sports before your pregnancy, then you may continue practising 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 up your heart rate. But you must make sure to consult your practitioner before beginning up with any high-intensity sport. You should avoid jumping or quickly changing the directions and also focus on using lower weights. Pregnant ladies may stop the exercises once they feel out of breath. Drinking plenty of water may also help you while performing such exercises.

  9. Yoga

    Yoga has several benefits for pregnant ladies. You may practise yoga to strengthen your muscles or even relax your body. According to research, Yoga helps to ease back pain and labour for you. You could even get yourself enrolled in a prenatal yoga class that might help you to relax and prepare you for labour.

    However, you should make sure not to lie on your back while doing yoga. The pregnant ladies might even avoid hot yoga. So before beginning yoga, you could have a word with your practitioner or doctor.

  10. Abdominals

    Abdominals includes 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 practise 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. Under this exercise, you need to back up on a wall and spread your feet 3 inches out. You may even tighten your stomach and touch your low back to the wall.

Let Us Finish It Up!

So this article may help you to exercise during pregnancy. However, pregnancy and exercise both require energy. On some days you may have energy for exercise. However, on the other days, you may feel hectic and avoid exercising. However, it could be better if you find motivation and support for being active during your pregnancy. Taking a prenatal exercise class could help you to find the motivation for being active and working out. The prenatal exercise class might even 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 even help to boost your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. Research has even shown how regular exercising during pregnancy may assist in reducing ety and stress.

However, it is very essential to know when you should stop exercising. If you find different symptoms like chest pain, vagina bleeding, calf swelling, less movement by the baby, muscle weakness, headache, or dizziness then you may stop exercising. Pregnant ladies should even make sure to stay hydrated during exercising. You may drink before, during, and even after your workout sessions.

+5 References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed researches, 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.

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