Pregnancy Tips for Exercising When Expecting

When you’re expecting, you have a lot on your mind, such as making sure your baby gets enough nutrition to grow, putting together the nursery, and keeping on top of your doctor appointments, to name a few. So it’s no surprise that working out may not make it onto your to-do list. But experts say regular physical activity is a smart move for moms-to-be, both for your health and for your new baby’s. Whether you were a regular exerciser before you became pregnant or you’ve never worked out in your life, these three tips will help you shape up safely.

Exercise during pregnancy tip number 1: Ease into it.
Thirty minutes a day of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling is what you should aim for, but if you’re new to exercise it’s best to ease into a workout routine. Start with something easy and stress-free, like walking, for as little as five minutes a day and slowly add on time (say, five more minutes each week) from there.

If you were already an avid exerciser, keep in mind that you may need to take down your workout intensity level. You should also not participate in contact sports, activities that require excessive bouncing or jumping, and sports where falling is likely, like skiing or horseback riding. 

Exercise during pregnancy tip number 2: Stay committed.
It’s best to exercise most days a week. Of course, there will be days when you are just too exhausted to fit in a workout, but keep in mind that some light exercise may actually make you feel better. Physical activity during pregnancy has been shown to boost energy levels, decrease back pain, and increase stamina and muscle strength, which can help prep your body for delivery. Plus, maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy will help make losing the baby weight easier and faster.

Exercise during pregnancy tip number 3: Do it for your health -- and your new baby’s.
It’s true that when your belly is growing every day, you’re not exercising to slim down. But regular physical activity when you’re expecting can help keep off the excess weight that can lead to health complications while reducing your risk of gestational diabetes. But it’s also a good move for your new baby. It can boost your fetus’s growth development, help increase the odds of a healthy birth weight, and improve your child’s heart health after birth.

If you’re feeling unmotivated to move, consider splurging on a good pair of exercise shoes and a workout outfit that fits your ever-expanding belly. The cute outfit will make working out more fun, and the benefits you get from regular exercise will be well worth the cost. And remember: A walk in the park is one of the best ways for a mom-to-be to stay stress-free and happy during her pregnancy!