We all know it’s important to be active, but it’s even more so when you are pregnant. Among other things, it helps strengthen the heart and blood vessels needed for labor and delivery, reduces risk of complications such as gestational diabetes, boosts energy and mood while reducing anxiety, improves sleep, relieves constipation, and eases lower back pains. Not all exercises are helpful or even safe during pregnancy though. We’ve put together a series of helpful suggestions and targeted exercises to help!
Before you get started, here are three things to consider when exercising during pregnancy:
- Avoid lying flat on your back or your belly (especially at 20 weeks and further)
- Avoid stress/strain with exercises that involve over contracting your abdominals as they are already on stretch/tension
- Pay attention to warning signs!
- Feeling over-heated
- Shortness of breath
- Light headedness
- Muscle cramps
Remember you are pumping blood for your body AND your baby’s body!
Directions & Disclaimer
The general recommendation is to perform three sets of each exercise. Depending on your ability, stage of pregnancy, and other factors, each set may vary, but the standard is 10-15 sets or to fatigue for repetitive activities and at least 60 seconds for any flexibility/recovery moves. Please note that every individual and every pregnancy is unique. For specific recommendations, please consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist.
Part 1: Safe Strengthening Exercises
Part 2: Safe Flexibility & Recovery Exercises
“Pelvic Floor PT is a must! Through out my pregnancy and even before from my first, I have learned so much just from training with Stephanie Daniels. I was very hesitant to come in because I hadn’t heard much about it. But I have learned many techniques from strengthening and relaxing pelvic floor muscles that can be changed throughout a pregnancy to techniques that will help throughout pregnancy until delivery. I would highly recommend this for anyone who is on the fence about it.”