Naomi Shaw Shares Pregnancy Workouts for Every Trimester!
LA-Story.com welcomes the return of Naomi Shaw, a fabulous writer and a great contributor to this blog. Naomi is a mom and she knows all about workouts during pregnancy. It sounds easy but it’s a very tricky subject because as the pregnancy progresses, it causes a woman’s body to shift in ways that can compromise exercising safely. Naomi shares some great tips here!
Pregnancy Workouts for Every Trimester!
By Naomi Shaw
Congratulations, you are about to be a mom! A lot of things are about to change, including things about your body. While being pregnant is a blessing that welcomes new life, it can also come with challenges that can make it harder to recover post-partum, or even create complications with your health. You certainly want to take it easy during the time you are pregnant, but not so easy that you become out of shape! Exercise is not only permitted but recommended during pregnancy.
Every expectant mother should consult her physician about the specifics, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women whose pregnancies have no complications do light exercise for 20-30 minutes a day. This sounds easy, but grows more complicated right along with your belly! Not only is your body changing on the outside, but hormones are being released in your body that are creating changes that aren’t quite as obvious, such as back pain from carrying the baby and joint pain from softening ligaments. As your baby grows, the type of exercise that can help or harm will change too.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts for every trimester!
Unless your physician tells you otherwise, swimming is actually great for your body during pregnancy! Not only does it give you a great cardio workout combined with strength training, it also makes it a lot easier for your joints to bear, especially when your belly gets big. This can take a lot of strain off your back! Recommended for all three trimesters, swimming can give you and your baby time to relax, as well as provide a great workout!
Walking & Running
Walking is a great idea, but running has some caveats. It is okay to run or jog during the first trimester, but only if you watch your breathing to make sure you don’t get short of breath. It is also recommended to keep a slower pace, especially if you are a new runner. As your belly gets bigger, you won’t have the view of the ground you are used to, which amplifies the risk of falling. Pregnancy hormones loosen ligaments in our joints, which increases the chance of injury to ankles, knees, and even hips. However, both walking and running can also keep you and your baby in shape by keeping your heart beating and your blood flowing! Walking can be done in all three trimesters, but running in the third trimester can be complicated if you are a beginner, so talk to your physician.
Pilates, Yoga, & Stretching
Flexibility will help a lot when the big day comes, so some light yoga or Pilates is definitely beneficial. However, yoga is also about balance, and yours may be off starting around the second trimester, when your baby begins to grow. If you attend a yoga class or studio, be sure to tell your instructor that you are pregnant. Instructors in both yoga and Pilates have created workouts especially for pregnant women in various stages of pregnancy; your instructor can point you in the direction of studio classes or at-home videos. Hot yoga is off-limits, though – you definitely do not want to overheat!
You can even keep training your muscles throughout your pregnancy. If you use weights in your usual routine, the main thing to remember is to use lighter weights, but do more reps. Do not do any squats or anything that may produce jerky movements. Training your muscles, especially your core, might help in the birthing suite because you might need those muscles when the time comes. Be sure, however, to address the muscles evenly; concentrating too hard on one area can lead to injuries in others. A very important group of muscles to exercise before the big day is your pelvic floor. This is done by doing Kegel exercises, (which are basically clenches). Doing 5-10 reps a few times a day will strengthen that area for during the birth and for postpartum healing.
Staying fit through all three trimesters is a matter of knowing what you can take and not over-doing it. Relaxing is definitely important, but keeping fit during pregnancy can ensure you spend less of your postpartum time recovering and more of it spending time with your new baby. Working toward postpartum fitness and a faster recovery involves knowing your limits and not pushing them, but that doesn’t mean sitting around, either. Finding the right balance of exercise is simply a matter of self-observation and research. So consult your doctor, and don’t be afraid to stay in shape!
Have a great week!
Bio of Naomi Shaw:
Naomi Shaw is a full-time freelance writer who balances motherhood and entrepreneurship. Living in Southern California with her husband and three children, Naomi writes on all topics with a family and health. She transitioned from stay-at-home mom to freelance journalist to share her lifestyle passion with the world.
Follow Naomi Shaw on these social platforms:
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102994549913620000747/posts
This post is exceptionally insightful on how to keep up your workouts while pregnant. If you are – or someone you know is – pregnant, talk to your OB. Thanks to Naomi Shaw for these valuable tips!! Share this post with friends.
Thank you to Naomi Shaw for this helpful and useful piece. It something to share with anyone you know who is pregnant!
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