Pregnancy can be scary, especially for first time moms. You are now responsible for two (or more!) humans, and you want to do what is best for your kid(s). This may be hard to think about through the mood swings, cravings, nausea, swelling, and tender breasts, but exercise can be a positive outlet for expecting mothers! Always talk to a doctor or medical professional before you begin an exercise program.
While exercising during pregnancy is important, some exercises are better than others. Strenuous exercises such as boot camps or high intensity aerobic classes can put strain on the child, especially if you did not regularly participate in these activities before pregnancy. Classes that add heat such as hot yoga should also be avoided because the increased temperature can be harmful to the baby. But I don’t want you to think you can’t break a sweat when you exercise! There are many exercise choices for pregnant women that will keep them moving through all three trimesters.
Swimming, spinning, yoga, pilates, and barre are all safe exercises for expecting mothers. Swimming in a salt water pool versus a chlorine or bromine pool is better for the baby (and for you). Salt water pools have all the benefits for exercise without the chemicals. Water aerobics would also be good for pregnant women because like swimming, it combines resistance and cardio exercises.
Spinning is another great way to work up a sweat during pregnancy. Spin classes get your heart rate up without bearing down on the baby. Throughout the pregnancy, as the baby grows, spinning might get harder. You may consider doing prenatal yoga, Pilates, or barre at this point.
Pilates, yoga, and barre make you MOVE without the baby bump getting in the way. As you get further into your second and third trimesters, you may also notice your coordination is not what it used to be. Pilates, yoga, and barre match breathing with movement, which will improve your coordination as well. Choosing a good instructor that has intimate knowledge of the body and pregnancy is a must! Choose a studio that can focus on you as a person (or as two people technically). That way you can get the individual attention you need to get the most out of your workout.