Getting up and moving is one of the best things you can do while pregnant. It keeps your body and mind happy and healthy while also reducing pesky pregnancy problems, such as constipation and back aches. With exercise, your chances of having a complication-free birthing experience are high – as uncomplicated as giving birth can be, anyways. But it’s important that you remain safe and healthy when engaging in physical activity while pregnant.
That’s why Adoption Choices of Nevada compiled this list of approved exercises! We separated them into two different categories – low and high intensity. Please keep in mind that you should always go to your primary healthcare physician with any questions or concerns you have regarding safe exercises during your unplanned pregnancy. You and your doctor are a team, and he or she – like you – wants the best for you and your growing little one.
All of the workouts listed below can be executed quite easily. With every exercise, though, make sure you get the okay from your doctor. This resource is for informational purposes only and is not to be taken as medical advice or recommendation. Make sure you never over-exercise or push yourself past your limits. Never work out when it’s too hot or too cold, and always drink plenty of water before starting your exercise routine!
Swimming is a great way to exercise when you are expecting. Water helps relieve any joint or lower back pain. Why is that? Well, for one, you weigh less in water than you do on land. Since you are now not only supporting your weight, but also your baby’s, you have extra weight to carry around. By doing some light swimming or even water aerobics, you can counter this extra weight. Swimming gets your heart pumping and your blood circulating. Be careful getting into the pool and walking on slippery surfaces, though! As your belly grows, your balance is altered.
However, while swimming has been deemed a safe exercise, diving is not. In fact, diving is a huge no-no when it comes to pregnancy. Why? Diving into pools and scuba diving is not healthy for your baby. While your body is able to adjust naturally to bubbles and pressure changes, your baby’s cannot. In doing so, he or she may experience decompression sickness. That is, when gas bubbles form in your baby’s body.
Now’s a good time to get that stretching in! There’s a whole class for mothers-to-be called prenatal yoga – a yoga class designed for pregnant womens’ growing bodies. The stretching is modified and most of the positions don’t put stress on your joints or pelvis. You also don’t have to be a pro yoga goer to join one of these classes! Your yoga instructor should be more than willing to help out if you can’t quite get into position or don’t understand what to do.
Tai-Chi pairs well with yoga if you feel comfortable doing it. It’s the slow-moving art of stretching and meditation. There are several positions that involve balance, however, so it’s best to know your limits before you start. Overall, Tai-Chi is a good way to get activity in and better help you focus on your breathing. You can even do this low-impact exercise outside on a cool day.
Walking is probably one of the easiest activities. Well, unless your doctor’s given you strict bed rest instructions. Remember, your doctor knows what’s best, and you should keep that in mind before starting any sort of exercise. Going for a brisk walk – either outside, on a treadmill, or at your local recreation center’s indoor track – is a great way to raise your heart rate and get that blood pumping. If your body permits, you can walk all the way up to your delivery date. Just make sure you have good walking shoes. It’s important that you try your best to avoid discomfort or injury.
The following high-intensity exercises must be cleared by your doctor prior to doing them. There are far more risks involved with these, and not everyone should attempt them. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry – especially while pregnant. Even those experienced and familiar with these exercises should get doctor approval. It’s very possible that your doctor will tell you that these exercises are a no-go or to stop them altogether prior to your third trimester as to avoid injury to yourself or your baby.
Were you a dedicated runner before your unplanned pregnancy? Then this is a safety tip for you! Because running puts a greater pressure on your knees and ankles, it poses more intensity for you and your baby. To avoid discomfort or injury, be sure to stay on even ground. You don’t want to accidentally trip and chance landing on your stomach. In addition, wear well-equipped and supportive running shoes!
2) Group Dance
Are you an active dancer? How long have you been involved? Group dance is an exercise that should only be done with your doctor’s okay if you’ve been dancing at least a month prior to pregnancy. In other words, signing up for a group dance class once you’re aware of your unplanned pregnancy isn’t the best idea. Group dance, by itself, is a healthy way to get your heart rate up and your endorphins flowing. Once your pregnancy has been confirmed, talk to your instructor about any necessary modifications and if he or she can refer you to a certified instructor who’s familiar with teaching pregnant women. After all, pregnancy changes your center of gravity. You will most likely need to stop group dance later into your pregnancy journey, as to avoid falls and injury.
What about devoted cyclists? You may be wondering what safe exercises there are for you while pregnant. If you have been cycling for at least six months before becoming pregnant, you should be ok to continue cycling. But, once your pregnancy progresses, your doctor may recommend that you stop. The best and safest options with biking are to stay on level ground and research indoor cycling. Save the bumpy terrain or jumps for afterwards to decrease your risk of falling or dehydration in extreme heat. Always avoid overworking as that adds stress to your body. So, if you start feeling fatigued, make sure to stop and rest.
Safe Exercises during your Unplanned Pregnancy
Exercise is important during your unplanned pregnancy for a variety of reasons. It helps your body keep up its strength, lowers your stress levels, and provides the flexibility for a better and healthier delivery. Just remember, though, it’s important that you don’t overdo it! Overexerting yourself raises your chance of injury, which is counterproductive to your health and that of your baby’s. Take all the rest days you need and listen to your doctor’s advice regarding safe exercises during your unplanned pregnancy. If you do this, you’re setting yourself up for a healthier pregnancy journey.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Tia Kitchens is a college graduate with a B.S in Psychology from Capella University who has always had a passion for three things: animals, writing, and mac ‘n cheese. Two of these three are things she has based her work around. Animals are a big impact on her life due to her love for helping others through difficult situations. Through her studies, she has found the human-animal bond is strong enough to help others. This, paired with her writing, helps her record her findings and teach others through her words.
She is excited to join Adoption Choices as an Editorial Intern because she’s wanted to adopt since she was little, and is excited to learn about the industry and the adoption journey.
Her goal is to make a change in the world with her words and end up on someone’s inspiration Pinterest board! Being a key quote on someone’s Pinterest board it shows her words have a huge impact on people. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but if that picture is just words it surely means more that way! To learn more about her, follow her on Twitter and Instagram!
Editors, What to Expect. “The Best Exercises for Pregnant Women.” What to Expect, 28 Oct. 2019, www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/exercises-for-pregnant-women.
“Exercise during Pregnancy.” March of Dimes, www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/exercise-during-pregnancy.aspx.
Khan, Aliya. “Zumba during Pregnancy: Is It Safe, Benefits & Precautions.” FirstCry Parenting, 4 July 2018, parenting.firstcry.com/articles/zumba-during-pregnancy-benefits-and-precautions/.