Hey ladies. It’s not easy catering for two people at the same time and when you’re expecting a child it can definitely come with a lot of overwhelming feelings. As a fitness trainer I’m here to tell you that while you’re pregnant it’s very important to be active! This doesn’t mean going to the gym and lifting heavy weights but you should always strive to be healthy and fit most especially when you’re expecting.
Here are my findings of the benefits of exercising while pregnant:
- Pregnant women who exercise have less back pain, more energy and a better body image.
- A faster return to your pre-pregnancy shape.
Here in Nigeria 98% of the women don’t feel the need to exercise while they’re pregnant and in fact they believe that this is the worst time to even think about lifting a finger because of so many negative misconceptions or stories they’ve heard like exercising may affect the baby. In as much as this is not completely false there are doctor-recommended exercises that you can do at home with little or no weights involved.
In this article I’m going to give you five at-home exercises that you can do and feel great before your little one arrives!
Remember – Being fit doesn’t have to mean a big time commitment or fancy equipment. These are low impact safe pregnancy exercises. Simple, can be done at home, and is safe to do in each trimester but always check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise program
- Plié Squats
Keep your feet parallel and hip-distance apart.
With your toes and knees turned out to 45 degrees, pull your belly button up and in. Bending your knees, lowering your torso as low as possible while keeping your back straight [shown]. Straighten your legs to return to starting position.
Repeat for reps
- Plank Hold
Get down on your hands and knees, wrists directly under your shoulders. Lift your knees and straighten your legs behind you until your body forms a straight line. Don’t arch your back or let your belly sag [shown].
Hold for 1 to 2 breaths, working up to 5 breaths.
Strengthens: Core, arms and back
- Side leg lifts
Lie on your right side, head supported by your forearm, right leg bent at a 45-degree angle and left leg straight. Place your opposite arm on the floor for stability. Lift left leg to about hip height and repeat for reps. you can use a resistance band for added effects.
Then, bend your left knee and rest it on top of pillows for support. Straighten your right leg and lift it as high as possible for reps. Switch sides and repeat for reps. Do this exercise ten times for both sides.
Strengthens: Core and inner thighs
- Donkey kicks
Get on all fours on mat (hands under shoulders, knees under hips).
Keeping right knee bent 90 degrees, flex right foot and lift knee to hip level.
Lower knee without touching floor; lift again. Do 15 reps.
Switch legs; repeat.
Strengthens: Your glutes
- Glute Bridge
Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.
Strengthens: your quads and hamstrings and improves glute strength
Remember ladies if you’re healthy, the risks of moderate-intensity activity during pregnancy are very low, and will not increase the risk of low birth weight, pre-term delivery, or early pregnancy loss. But before you continue your old exercise routine or begin a new one, you should talk to your doctor about exercising while you’re pregnant.
This article was written by Sandra Okeke; connect with her on IG here