Women's health magazines give us plenty of tips and workout ideas for getting in shape fast and "blasting" away the fat, but most of these exercises are too intensive for women who are pregnant. Keeping up with your fitness regimen during pregnancy is possible with the right types of exercises and a less-vigorous routine; in fact, many health experts encourage women to maintain a steady workout routine to keep themselves in good shape throughout the days of pregnancy.
Best Workouts for Pregnancy
Light cardio workouts, resistance exercises and stretching routines are some of the best fitness options for women who are pregnant, and there are several workout routines that you can add to your weekly schedule. Some of the best workouts for pregnant women include:
Walking -- A great way to increase your heart rate and maintain cardiovascular fitness, walking is a simple strategy for staying in shape during pregnancy. Wearing a supportive pair of shoes and walking at a steady pace can keep your knees and ankles in good health and offer you the benefits of a cardio workout after just 15-20 minutes.
Step aerobics -- Pick up a DVD or workout video and start moving to the music of a step aerobics routine! Step aerobics is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise that can challenge both large and small muscle groups in your lower body, elevate the heart rate and keep your metabolism running at an optimal level. Just make sure you stretch out before and after your routine to protect your muscles and joints.
Yoga -- Try a prenatal yoga routine early in the morning to get your day off to a great start. Yoga helps increase circulation to key muscle groups and will help you control your breathing. This process naturally helps reduce stress and tension and is another great low-impact exercise. Just be sure that the poses you attempt don't upset your already-challenged sense of balance.
Light weight training -- Doing some simple exercises with dumbbells and a light barbell can help strengthen your upper and lower body for better overall fitness. You can build up strength in your upper body with bicep curls and overhead presses and increase strength and improve muscle tone in your lower body with lunges and squats. Just make sure you're not pushing yourself too hard and using light weights with more repetitions to ensure a safe and effective workout.
Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
Maintaining a steady fitness routine during pregnancy can help reduce stress and keep the heart and muscles in great shape. Some of the key benefits of working out while pregnant include:
- Better sleep
- Improved mood
- Lower stress
- Healthy-looking skin
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Improved flexibility
- Improved strength
- Better muscle tone
- Improved feelings of well-being
Don't let the hype of women's health and fitness magazines prevent you from adopting a modified fitness routine during pregnancy. You can enjoy the benefits of exercise by lowering the intensity level of popular workouts and focusing on strength training and resistance exercises to keep your body in great shape.