What are the Best Exercises for Pregnant and Postpartum Women?

Staying active while pregnant is great for both you and your baby’s health. Whether you’re taking a quick 10 minute walk around the block or a challenging yoga class, It’s important to get some form of exercise while pregnant. There are countless ways to stay active throughout pregnancy, and we have a few suggested from Jaime McFaden, a mom and trainer with audio fitness app Aaptiv, who gave us her tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying in shape throughout your pregnancy.

The benefits of consistent exercise during pregnancy include improving your overall health, reducing your risk of weight gain, and even helping you have a smoother delivery process. However, the most important tip we can give you is to listen to your body. Each pregnancy is different, and there’s no one specific rule in terms of what you should or shouldn’t be doing at each stage of your pregnancy.

Workouts By Trimester

Be sure to get clearance from your doctor and adjust your workout routine based on the trimester you are in. Each trimester is different and comes with its own unique challenges, so it only makes sense to adapt your workout routine based on how your body is changing and growing.

First Trimester

During your first trimester, most women are either completely fine or feeling like total crap! Be sure to listen to your body when deciding the level of intensity and type of workout you want to do. Jaime recommends sticking with cardio and regular strength exercises, particularly if you didn’t work out regularly before pregnancy. It’s essential to gradually ease yourself into exercise so you can base it on how you–and the baby–are feeling. Even if you were a gym rat before pregnancy, Jaime still recommends speaking with your doctor to create a lower impact workout regimen that works for you, such as light strength training.

Second Trimester

Be sure not to push your body too hard during your second trimester. Jaime recommends keeping the intensity of your workouts at 60-70%, and suggests full-body workouts as opposed to targeting specific muscle groups. If you’re working out during your second trimester, you’re going to want to create a routine that is sustainable and adaptable for you as your body begins to change more.

Third Trimester

During your third trimester, it feels like you’re constantly being stretched and pushed! As your body continues to change, low-intensity workouts are great options to still get your heart pumping. Walking and swimming are both Jaime-approved ways to maintain exercise during the third trimester.

Postpartum Exercises

After giving birth, be sure to wait 6-8 weeks to begin exercising. During this time, bonding with your new baby and letting your body recover is the priority. Once you feel comfortable exercising again, we suggest incorporating kegel exercises and lower-impact cardio like walking, swimming, or water aerobics.

Be sure to check out the best exercises for pregnant and postpartum women from Haven Life for an in-depth look at the best ways to stay in shape during pregnancy and postpartum. Make sure to check out their awesome pregnancy and postpartum exercise trackers available for download as well! To give you an idea of how you may want to use trackers, a sample daily pregnancy exercise tracker is shown below. You may download the trackers here.

pregnancy exercise tracker - What are the Best Exercises for Pregnant and Postpartum Women?
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