Adequate exercise during pregnancy is beneficial to you and your baby. Proper pregnancy exercises can reduce your risk of preterm birth, gaining excess weight, developing high blood pressure, diabetes, back pain, and many more. Several exercises are simple and suitable for every trimester. Some of these exercises are aimed at helping you have a smooth transition from one trimester to another, guide your body through the changes, and help you return to your original shape quickly after giving birth. You can check out this free pregnancy workout plan pdf to learn more about each one.
Meanwhile, here are five simple pregnancy exercises you can engage in :
Squats is an exercise that is safe and ideal for the first trimester and can be done throughout your pregnancy. It strengthens the muscles on your glutes (hips and butts), quadriceps (front thighs), and hamstrings (posterior thigh).
To begin this exercise, stand upright, backing a chair to serve as support. Then spread your feet more comprehensively than the width of your shoulders or hip. Slowly squat down using the sofa behind you as a guide. Let your squatting seem as if you want to sit on the chair. As you squat, ensure that you keep your back straight. Each squat should be for about 5 seconds and slowly raise for about 3 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10-20 times.
You can practice squatting when you need to lift objects off the ground, preventing you from having back pain. Squatting can also be done when you’re in the labor room; it allows your pelvic outlets to expand and give space for the baby’s passage during labor.
- Bicep curls
Bicep curls are safe and straightforward exercises ideal for the first trimester. To do this, you need to take a standing position and carry a dumbbell or 6 to 8-pound objects on both hands. Your arm and elbow should form angle 90.
Lift the object towards your shoulder and take about 5 seconds and then gradually lower the object for about 3 seconds. Repeat 12 to 15 times to help strengthen your shoulders and biceps. Bicep curls help build up the strength of your arms in preparation for carrying your baby for long hours.
Exercise Suitable for Second Trimester
The phase of pregnancy is popularly referred to as the golden period. The first trimester’s symptoms should have been reduced, and you’re likely to experience more strength, energy, and calmness in this period. You can channel your energy into more exercise. However, you have to be careful with your exercise choice because your uterus is bigger. It’s best to avoid jumping and exercise that makes you lie on your back. Some of the exercises that can be added to your first-trimester exercise include;
- Side-Lying Outer and Inner Thigh
The side-lying exercise aims to build up the strength of your thigh and core. To begin this exercise, you should lie on your right side and support your head with your forearm. Bend your right leg at about 45° and let your legs be straight. Let your other armrest be on the floor for proper support, and put a pillow between your legs. Raise your left leg to about your shoulder height and then bend your left knee and allow it to rest on the pillow. Change sides and repeat the exercise for your right leg.
- Incline pushups
Incline pushups aim to improve the strength of your shoulders, chest, and triceps. To begin this exercise, stand facing a railing or a table. Put your hands on the railings wide apart and step back into a plank upright standing position. Lower your chest towards the table or railing, and push yourself back up into your standing position. Repeat these pushups 10-15 times.
- Mermaid stretch
Towards the middle or end of the second trimester, you may start to experience pain in your ribs as the baby grows. The mermaid stretch will help ease the pain.
To do this, you need to take a sitting position on the ground and fold your knees and feet towards the right. Lift your left arm towards the sky, then bend your torso to the right. If you’re feeling pain on your left side, do the exercise on your left and vice versa. Repeat the stretch slowly 3-5 times.
You can add walking, swimming, and yoga to the exercise for your last trimester. Endeavor to ask for your doctor’s permission before starting your pregnancy fitness journey. Also, drink water before and after your exercise.