Pregnant women can reap many health benefits when they exercise, including improved mood, cardiovascular fitness and weight management. But even though most pregnant women can do exercises like jogging, you still need to take precautions and consult your doctor before engaging in any vigorous physical activity.
Joints are loose and balance can be a bit of a challenge during pregnancy. Safety is paramount, so you should always discuss your plans with your healthcare provider before you try a new fitness program. Generally speaking, you should avoid the following especially in the 3rd trimester:
Here are the various exercises you can do during this phase in your pregnancy:
1. Walking and Jogging
Walking is a wonderful exercise for pregnant women. You can do brisk walking to get your heart rate up and sweat out a bit. A slow jog is OK too but running is not really recommended unless you have been running for a long time now. What you need to remember is that during the 3rd trimester you should reduce training intensity and duration. Even seasoned athletes cut down their training in half or more.
2. Swimming and Water Aerobics
Many fitness centers like the New York Sports Club have pools so if you have access to one, you can try swimming. Lap swimming is a gentle total-body workout and it can also be therapeutic. Water removes the pressure off tired backs and legs. If you swim for long periods, be sure to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Other water activities you can do are: aqua jogging and aqua Zumba.
3. Yoga, Pilates or Barre
These low-impact exercises are great for pregnant women and can help you become fit and strong. There are classes specially designed for pregnant women and the poses are modified so they’re comfortable and safe even in the final weeks.
Research shows that yoga can ease the depression and depression. Pregnant women who take yoga classes report mood improvements, lower incidence of preterm labor and decreases in pain.
4. Bodyweight Movements
Heavy weights should be avoided in the third trimester, but you can still do some modified bodyweight trainings. You can do squats and wall push-ups, and perhaps a modified version of a plank. Avoid ab work and crunches that have you flat on your back. You can use light weights for arm work as well.
Exercises to Avoid
1. Hot yoga. High heat is not a good thing for pregnant women as you’re prone to overheating.
2. Lying down. Any activity that lets you lie flat on your back can push your uterus up to a major vein.
3. Standing still. Prolonged standing can cause blood to pool in your feet and legs which could cause blood pressure to drop.
4. Contact sports. Avoid volleyball, soccer or any activity where you or your baby could get hit.
Benefits of Exercise
Staying physically active while pregnant can help you and your baby in a lot of ways, including:
- Lower back pain
- Ease constipation
- Boost energy
- Lessen swelling
- Lower the risk of pregnancy-related complications like preeclampsia, diabetes, and C-section
- Better heart health
- Stronger joints and muscles
- Improved circulation
The third trimester of pregnancy can be an emotional roller-coaster. With exercise, you can alleviate many symptoms, cope better with changes in your body, and have a healthier pregnancy.
Here’s a video showing exercises you can do on your third trimester: