Every woman should know about Pregnancy Workout at Home because exercise at home is very essential for a pregnant woman. Doing exercises is always an essential habit to keep yourself fit and healthy. However, most of the women are confused about whether exercising is good during pregnancy or not.
According to the doctors, it is completely fine and one must develop the habit of exercising during their pregnancy. However, there may arise some medical conditions when one must avoid workouts. Before planning your exercise program, you must consult with your doctor. Go through this article to know in detail about pregnancy workout at home.
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Pregnancy Workouts at Gym
Having a baby does not mean that you will have to give up your workout schedules. What you need to give up are certain exercises that are not safe for you and your baby but do not worry there are alternatives too. There are some pregnancy workouts at the gym that are completely harmless. A pregnant woman can continue doing cardio and weight training as they used to do before.
Cardio Training is very much helpful in improving your heart’s health and also helps to increase the lung’s capacity. For such training, women can use treadmills, elliptical trainers, and bicycles.
In the case of weight training, a pregnant woman can easily join the gym and do exercises that help them to tone their muscles and improve their muscle strengths. Just keep in mind that during pregnancy, hormones such as relaxin get released that weakens the body’s joints, ligaments, and muscles so exercising with weights more than 15 pounds is not at all suggested.
Pregnancy workouts for legs
Will it do any damage to your baby if you do leg workouts while you are pregnant? Many of the pregnant women need an answer to this common question. Yes, it is okay if you do regular exercises during your pregnancy and many doctors also advise you to exercise regularly during this stage.
You must avoid some exercises during this time because it may cause damage to your baby’s health. Do not do those exercises where you have to jump or balance your body, as there may be a chance of falling. Also, avoid those exercises where you have to lay on your back.
Now, women have more fat cells in their hips and thighs than men do and it is these parts that start gaining weight during pregnancy. Mentioned below are some of the best pregnancy workout at home for your legs.
- Squat: This is the best workout for your leg. It is completely safe to do squats during pregnancy. Squats help you to lose fat from your legs, hips, and thighs. You can use a chair in case you need any support.
- Step-ups: This is another simple workout for your legs, thighs, and hips. Use a lower platform for better body balance and reduced risks of falling. You can also use a chair in case you need any support.
- Side-lying leg raise: This is also a very easy exercise, where you have to lay down on your side and have to raise your leg slowly one at a time. This workout is especially for your abductor muscles that are the inner thighs and your hips.
- Sumo squat: Sumo squat is a modified version of the squat that burns the fats present in your hips and inner thighs. Keep your feet as distant as possible but do not try to stretch the legs forcefully. The toes must be facing outwards. Now, taking support from a chair, squat down slowly and rise slowly.
- Donkey kickbacks: This beginner-friendly and safe exercise area for your hamstrings and hips. Get down on your knees by taking the support of all your four limbs. Keep your spine straight and then kick back one of your legs upwards. In case you are uncomfortable with kicking upwards, you can also kick back straight.
Pregnancy Workouts During First Trimester
Doing exercises during your pregnancy can be a great way to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. Though you have to avoid several exercises during this period, there are many simple and low-impact exercises, which are completely fine to do during your pregnancy.
Exercising during pregnancy helps you to have better sleep, a better mood with lesser stress and anxiety, easier childbirth, reduces the chances of pregnancy-induced hypertension as well as gestational diabetes, etc. You must make a daily schedule for your workouts by consulting your doctor.
Mentioned below are some of the best pregnancy workout at home that you can do during your first trimester:
- Jogging and walking
Walking is one of the ideal exercises for a pregnant woman. You must walk on a plain and uniform surface for 30 minutes, three to five times per week. If you are not accustomed to walking, you can start by walking for a duration of 10 minutes per week. The only thing you need is a good supportive running shoe.
If you want, you can also go jogging. These are cardiovascular exercises that will keep your heart in good condition. Swinging your arms while jogging or walking will result in a moderate increase in heart rate, which is good for your heart.
Yoga and other stretching exercises are extremely good to improve your strength. Along with yoga, meditation, as well as controlled breathing, is also highly beneficial to reduce stress and anxiety. However, you must avoid Bikram and hot yoga, backbends, yoga in which you have to lay on the floor, yoga involving abdominal twists, and yoga where you have to balance your body.
- Lightweight training
Low-intensity weightlifting during your first trimester of pregnancy is safe. You must consult with your doctor before starting a weight-training program. Weight training will help you to keep your weight under control and will develop your strength. However, do not lay on your back or do not lift weights over your belly. Also, avoid straining and fast movements and lifting heavyweights.
Swimming is another low-intensity exercise that will help you to maintain your blood flow and level of oxygen at a normal rate. It also strengthens your muscles and keeps you fit. Swimming for 30 minutes two to three days a week is enough for pregnant women.
Do’s and Don’ts of First Trimester
- Drink enough water.
- Wear comfortable clothes while exercising.
- Wear a supportive shoe that fits well and has a proper grip.
- Always listen to your body. If you are not feeling comfortable, then avoid that exercise.
- Set small goals daily, which are achievable.
- Always use something for support while exercising.
- Avoid high-intensity exercises.
- Avoid sprinting.
- Avoid fast and sudden movements.
- Avoid laying on the floor and on your back.
- Avoid exercises that need body balancing.
- Do not stand for too long.
- Do not twist your upper part of the body.
Food Plan For First Trimester
During pregnancy, the mother’s body needs extra nutrients for the welfare of the child as well as the mother. Some of the essential nutrients required during this period are folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, iron, protein, and fiber.
During the pregnancy, you must eat a large amount of green leafy vegetables, fruits, legumes, avocados, sweet potato, eggs, fish, chicken, paneer, dry fruits, and dairy products.
You must also drink an adequate amount of water to keep yourself hydrated. Avoid eating raw or uncooked food, intake of caffeine, and alcohol.
Pregnancy Workouts During Second Trimester
During the second trimester, a little bit of restriction comes into the workout routine. During this phase, the body will go through some major physical changes. Workouts at this trimester will be a bit more slow and steady as compared to the first trimester. Below-mentioned is some of the safest exercises that one can try during their second trimester.
This is one of the safest and one of the simplest pregnancy workouts that one can try. You do not have to have a strenuous routine for that, it can be a good 30-40 minutes walk around a park or in your terrace whichever you are comfortable with. Make sure that you wear a flat shoe that has a good grip.
Try to keep its speed accurate. An everyday walk of 30-40 minutes is good for your heart and also for your baby’s health.
This is also a good pregnancy workout but it is recommended that those who have a healthy pregnancy can only try this or after consulting a doctor, one can try jogging.
There are some rules that one should follow like you must jog only on flat surfaces and maintain a low pace to keep yourself and your baby away from any kind of danger. One can also use a treadmill for the same but should maintain a slow and steady speed.
During your second trimester, a lot of hormonal imbalances will take place because of which you might feel stressed. Yoga is one such pregnancy workout from home that will give flexibility to your body and help improve your mental wellbeing.
Yoga is very much helpful in releasing stiffness that one might feel during this period. But you should keep in mind that you have to practice yoga positions that are safe for your baby and also good for your health. If you are starting out new then it is advised that you take experts’ recommendations.
Swimming is a very relaxing pregnancy workout that one can try doing 3-4 times a week. Swimming helps to relax the muscles and helps to strengthen your core. It’s the best exercise for would-be moms who like to spend some alone time amidst such stress.
But there are a few restrictions that one should keep in mind, that is, you should focus on swimming techniques that do not want you to twist your abdomen. If you’re new to this form then consult a swimming instructor first.
Do’s and Don’ts of Second Trimester
- Be in touch with your doctor and maintain a regular checkup
- Get a flu vaccine to avoid illness
- Try to take a balanced diet which includes milk and it’s by-products. It is very important to take diets that are rich in protein so as to avoid any kind of extra weight gain
- Exercise on a regular basis. Not the strenuous ones. You can try doing yoga or walking
- Keep your body hydrated. Take in fluids as much as possible
- Keep your skin healthy by applying good moisturizers
- Stay in close contact with people who can come quickly during an emergency
- Having sex is allowed up till the second trimester if you do not have any otherwise complications
- Avoid consuming liquor or any kind of hard drinks
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid eating undercooked meat
- Do not go in front of litter boxes. One may have infections
- Do not take a lot of caffeine
- Avoid going to saunas during this phase
Food Plan For Second Trimester
Maintaining a balanced diet during pregnancy is very important to keep yourself and your baby healthy. Whatever you eat is going to affect the baby so be very conscious while choosing your diet plan. It is the only source of nutrients that the baby is going to get.
In the second trimester foods rich in minerals, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins should be taken. Foods that have all these categories in them are beans, cabbage, broccoli, avocado, greek yogurt, cheese, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruits.
Add as many fruits and vegetables as you can. One may also take food that contains omega-3 oil, which is very helpful in the development of the baby’s brain. Also avoid taking seafood, undercooked meat, alcohol, caffeine.
Pregnancy Workouts During Third Trimester
The third trimester is the final phase of the pregnancy cycle. It stretches from 28 to 40 weeks and you will go through a lot of strain during this period. In this phase, your body will be stretched and pushed to the maximum extent accompanied by frequent discomforts.
The common symptoms you will experience are swelling, frequent urination, back pain, round ligament pain, shortness of breath, heartburn, and Braxton hicks. To soothe away some amount of pain and discomfort, you can do some doctor prescribed pregnancy workouts.
This is the most basic exercise you can perform during your pregnancy period and is also a common exercise for all the trimesters. You do not need to have an intense routine, just a walk of 30 to 40 minutes is good enough to keep you and your baby healthy.
To be extra careful, you can go to a renowned shoe store to know which type of shoe you should wear and get a consultation on how to walk. You should restrict your movement to only flat terrains. If your pelvic hurts by walking then you can try wearing a pelvis brace for additional support.
If you are pregnant or not, a quick swim in a pool always feels relaxing. For you, it will also be beneficial, because water takes away the weight and stress from your joints and muscles and helps you to move freely with little or no discomfort.
Swimming along with water aerobics for pregnant women is a healthy way to raise their heart rate and loosen their joints. Among other things, you should also keep in mind to restrict your techniques to only those that do not include twisting your abdomen.
3.Prenatal yoga or Pilates
Among other low-impact pregnancy exercises, Yoga is the best exercise to practice during your third-trimester pregnancy. Not only does it help to build core strength and add resistance to your pelvic floor but also helps in relaxing your stress from all those hormonal changes.
The only important thing to keep in mind is to consult an instructor who specializes in training women during pregnancy to know appropriate postures and what not to do.
- Pelvic Floor Exercises.
The pelvic floor is the most crucial part of your body during pregnancy. It supports internal organs such as the uterus, controls the urinary bladder and vagina. If you have limited time and want to train only one part of your body, it should be the pelvic floor. It is important to strengthen the pelvic floor for birth and labor.
Do’s and Don’ts of Third Trimester
- The foremost duty will be to eat healthily and maintain a strict balanced diet for providing all the required nutrients for your baby’s development.
- Monitor the baby’s movement in your womb and if you notice any abnormalities, consult a doctor.
- Take childbirth care classes to know about all the hooks and nooks of breastfeeding, infant CPR, etc.
- Start to assemble baby gears such as baby car seats, crib, baby monitoring devices, etc. for your upcoming member.
- In this stage, the baby develops the ability to hear. So, you can talk to your baby or play some harmonious music.
- Learn to cope up with your labor pain.
- Do some basic exercises daily, but don’t exhaust yourself too much.
- Do routine physical exams and prenatal tests to ensure that you and your baby are in perfect physical condition.
- Avoid going to saunas, spas, and steam baths.
- Avoid smoking or consuming alcohol.
- Avoid sitting or traveling for an extended period.
- Avoid consuming too much food and heavy meals.
- Avoid strenuous exercises and stick to basic ones like walking, swimming, etc.
- Avoid doing heavy household chores.
- Avoid getting heavy objects lifted.
- Avoid cleaning pet litters or raw meats as it may contain parasites that are pretty dangerous for the unborn baby.
- Avoid lovemaking as it can be too exhausting, especially for mothers who are at the risk of going preterm labor
Food Plan For Third Trimester
Gone are the days when pregnant women were told to eat for two. Now, the primary focus is on the quality of food you consume rather than the quantity. Eating healthy and strictly maintaining a well-balanced diet is enough to meet the nutrients requirement of your baby and to keep you healthy.
Your diet should consist of magnesium-rich food likes nuts, avocados, green leafy vegetables, whole-grains; Iron-rich food like apricots, bread, pasta, prunes, red meat, strawberries, raspberries; protein-rich food like yogurt eggs, milk, tofu; calcium-rich food like cheese, dried peas, beans, broccoli;
Frolic- rich food like lentil, beans, oranges, Brussels sprouts. Avoid fried foods, foods that contain high salt and sugar level, unpasteurized milk,
snappers, mackerels, etc. Intake lots of fluid to keep yourself hydrated and avoid constipation.
The doctors highly recommend that one must keep herself physically active during pregnancy by doing exercises as it helps a lot physically and mentally.
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 30 minutes of workout three or four days a week is a healthy practice. However, you have any prior disease or any pregnancy-related problems, then you must avoid workouts. Some of the conditions are:
- Heart disorder
- Weak cervix
- Chances of miscarriage
- Low placenta, etc.
According to the doctors, the safest exercises during pregnancy are swimming, walking, jogging, low-intensity aerobics, etc. You have to choose those low-impact exercises where you do not have to balance your body. Some of the other suggestions given by the doctors are:
- Wear comfortable and loose clothes.
- Choose proper shoes.
- Always choose a plain and even surface for exercising.
- You must follow a proper diet plan with the intake of sufficient calories.
- Complete your meals one hour before doing the workouts.
- Drink sufficient water before, during, and after completing your exercises.
- You do not have to force yourself to do the exercises. Exercise as per your body’s capability.
The primary objective is to keep yourself motivated between all these hormonal and physical changes your body is going through. To stay motivated, pick what you really appreciate doing, and consider switching up exercises to keep things intriguing.
Though, your primary concern should be what pregnancy exercises not to do rather than what to do to prioritize your and your baby’s safety. If you are unsure about a certain prenatal exercise always feel free to consult your practitioner.
Whatever you do, make an effort not to be excessively hard on yourself with regards to exercise, and remember to have a good time!
- What are the foods that I should avoid during pregnancy?
It is recommended that you avoid eating unpasteurized dairy products. Also, avoid having undercooked meats and seafood
- Is it natural to bleed while pregnant?
No, it is not normal. Though it is a very common thing during pregnancy, still consult your doctor as soon as such things happen.
- Is it safe to workout during pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to workout during pregnancy. You can do yoga or swimming at such times. Although avoid doing exercises that are dangerous to you and your baby
- Is it ok to have sex during pregnancy?
Having sex is allowed up till the second trimester if you do not have any otherwise complications
- What kind of foods should be taken?
One should take foods that are rich in minerals, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins.
Pregnancy Workout at Home Video Tutorial:
YouTube Channel: Pregnancy and Postpartum TV