You’ll soon have a new three-kilogram weight – in the form of your baby – to lift and carry around everywhere you go. In the meantime, try one of these fun and easy exercises to strengthen your bod from the time of pregnancy to labour, and beyond.
Exercise helps boost your mood, improve your sleep, and reduce aches and pains1. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a US government-funded national resource for molecular biology information under the United States’ National Library of Medicine (NLM), research has also shown that pre-natal exercise can also lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes2.
Probably the most popular pre-natal exercise, yoga helps expectant mums be relaxed, mentally centred and focused3. Because of this, yoga may help improve sleep and reduce anxiety. Mums go through breathing exercises, gentle stretching and get into poses, all of which help develop strength, flexibility and balance. These could lead to a decrease in lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms and shortness of breath. Added bonus: increasing your endurance4 could be useful during delivery!
If you’ve been running pre-pregnancy, then lacing up and logging more miles shouldn’t be that much of a problem. But if you haven’t pounded the tarmac in a while, then walking is a much safer activity. Walking helps to keep your heart healthy5 and the blood flowing in your body, while toning your muscles and boosting your overall mood. Just be aware of your pace and altered sense of balance: having a big belly changes your centre of gravity, so it may take some time to get used to walking long distances with that extra weight in your middle.
There are lots of benefits to reap from strength training6. It builds stamina, which you need for labour and delivery. The muscle you gain also burns fat to help keep your weight down. Plus strengthening your abdominal and back muscles prevents lower back pain7. Aim for moderate intensity when picking out a strength-training workout, and don’t lift weights while lying on your back8, as this could affect blood flow. Use a proper breathing technique (exhale when you exert effort and inhale when going back to the starting position) and always rest 48 hours in between workouts9.
Doing exercises in the water10 helps engage your abdominal muscles, lengthening them as you try to keep your balance. The water’s buoyancy makes it so much easier to hold your poses, and the cool environment provides for a more comfortable workout11. The water also supports your pregnant body, so it’s much easier (and safer!) to do more reps. What’s more, the pressure of the water could help relieve swelling in your body.
Of course, you should consult your doctor before trying new exercises or resuming your favourite ones. But after getting the thumbs up to do so, the ideal workout will keep you active, get your heart pumping and prepare your muscles for labour and delivery.
With Frisomum, you can enjoy your pregnancy the way you want to with your usual physical activities. To get yourself ready for the arrival of your little one, join our pre-natal session and discover how you can live your journey towards motherhood your way.