Today’s blog post is for all my expecting mommas! I wanted to share with you some of my favorite pregnancy safe workouts because I really think that while movement can be hard through pregnancy, it really does help. My first pregnancy, I didn’t really feel like moving much at all and if that is you, I get it. Each and every pregnancy is so different (even for the same person), so it can be really discouraging when movement is the last thing you want to do, let alone make time for. Just know that I have been there and please do not compare yourself to anyone else during your pregnancy. With that being said, I know that movement will help make you feel a little better, so I am going to go from basic to more complex and you pick what works best for your needs, how far along you are, and what makes sense for your life right now.
First up, is stretching. I know, this isn’t really a workout per se, but if you literally feel like movement is the last thing you can do, then all I ask is you stretch. All you need is five minutes a day (thank you Dr. Huberman) which I feel like is pretty simple and manageable. I just set a timer and go through 4-6 different stretches each evening before bed. This is movement and even though it may seem small, it is better than nothing. Stretching is SO important during pregnancy and so for me, I have been focusing on a lot of low back stretches and movements to help with opening my hips.
Next up, is walking. Maybe all you can manage right now is stretching and that is a-okay. Dedicate that five minutes a day, 35 minutes a week and keep at it. If you feel like you can add in something a little more, walking is a simple and effective way to get movement without exhausting yourself. I set a new year intention to increase my movement, so you know it that I actually count a walk as a workout. I aim to walk for 20-40 minutes when I do set out. This is a great option if you have a lot of pain or swelling during your pregnancy, or if you are farther in. Now that I am 30 weeks, I think I will be doing a lot more walking haha.
Thirdly, is weight lifting. I have this as number three because weight lifting doesn’t need to be as intense as you think. I like to do a full body weight lifting workout where I try to hit all the major muscles and I keep my weights at a comfortable level. I don’t typically get my heart rate up TOO much, but I do tend to sweat. Weight lifting is becoming more and more popular these days and I am most definitely here for it. The only thing with lifting is being extra cautious of form. If you have never weight lifted before, I would recommend doing this with a trained professional in order to prevent injury.
Fourth is pilates. I have this as fourth because it does exert a bit more effort and many classes include some aspect of weights. This is one I have personally been loving for pregnancy because a lot of the focus is on those deep core muscles us women need so desperately for labor and supporting our bodies during pregnancy. My two personal favorites are Bar Method, because of their focus on these muscles and Sculpt Society. Bar Method has been a favorite of mine for a while and I love the instructors, the class style, and so much more. However, if I can’t get to an in-person class, Sculpt Society is a great alternative and has a BEAUTIFUL prenatal program. The app is $20 a month and has a break down of workouts depending upon where you are at in your pregnancy.
Lastly, is the Peloton. When I was pregnant with my first, this was one of the only approved workouts I could do for my back and of course, I gravitated towards it immediately when pregnant with my second. This one definitely gets my heart rate up and my sweat on, but when I am feeling fat (because let’s face it you just feel that way pregnant sometimes), this is my go-to because I feel like I get a really good workout. If you don’t have a Peloton you can actually purchase access to the app, and do any of the workouts on there based off of what you have access to. I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but if it is one for you, they do have pregnancy workouts specifically for expecting mommas you can do, but really, most workouts are pregnancy safe as long as you make the modifications necessary for you personally.
Obviously, there are many other workouts you can do while pregnant. Prior to my third trimester, I was still incorporating HIIT and running, so I truly believe it is most important to just listen to your body, your fitness level prior to pregnancy, and what your doctor recommends for you. For me, these are just workouts that I feel like I can do throughout the entirety of my pregnancy, that make me feel good, and I know are benefiting me in the best ways possible. I set a goal of moving at least 5-6 days a week and that could be incorporating any and all of these workouts. There are definitely times when I truly don’t feel up to it, so just listen to your body and your needs.