Trainer Tip of the Week – Exercising During Pregnancy, Part 2 of 2
Last week we covered the first three trimesters of pregnancy, and what you could possibly expect to happen. This week I would like to cover exercises and activities that could benefit you, and some you might want to steer clear of. Lets talk first about some exercises first that could benefit you. As always, be sure you consult with you doctor of physician before you begin or continue an exercise program.
Brisk Walking- Low impact on the joints, and it can elevate the heart rate as well. Only thing to be mindful of here is overheating or over exhaustion.
Swimming- Swimming is a fantastic choice for exercising during pregnancy, and it can also be done all the way into the third trimester. It’s also very low impact on the joints, and it allows you to get a total body workout. Another reason swimming is beneficial to do to during pregnancy, is since you are in the water you won’t have to worry about over heating.
Prenatal Yoga- Prenatal yoga has numerous benefits. Some of these include increased flexibility and strength, decreased lower back pain, and reduced stress.
Squats- Squats are a great exercise that engages not just the lower body, but the core as well. Squats are extremely important to do during pregnancy. Squats help strengthen the glutes (the butt) which can help with lower back pain, and they also strengthen the quadriceps (big legs muscles on the front the leg between the hip and knee) which can help prevent lordosis (inward curve of the spine). Squatting during pregnancy can also help open up your pelvic outlet which can help your baby descend. Try 2 sets of 10 reps ever other day if you are a beginner.
There are some things to be aware of however. For your safety and the child’s, it’s best to avoid anything where falling is more likely. Heavy lifting and anything with jumping and bouncing should be used with extreme caution or avoided, because during pregnancy your body produces a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin causes the ligaments to “relax” more than usual, and this can lead to an increased risk of injury. Try to avoid exercising in extreme heat, and watch for over exertion as well. At any point if you feel over worked, stop immediately.
Feel free to workout as much as up to 7 days a week. However, tremendous benefit can also be see from just 2-3 days per week.