Top 10 Exercises to Do During Pregnancy


Pregnancy is a wonderful thing, but while the baby is developing, it can be hard for an expectant mother to take care of her body too. For the full 9 months, it is important for the mothers to exercise to stay healthy. Regular exercise during pregnancy has many health benefits such as reducing the risk of back pain, excess weight gain, and also helps for smooth delivery. Here at HFR we’ve listed 10 exercises total: 5 that reduce excess strain on your joints and 5 that prepare you for labor.

Exercises for reducing joint strain

  • Brisk walking

It’s like walking but a little more pep in your step! Brisk walking is slightly faster than the average pace and it burns more calories too. This exercise stimulates the cardiovascular system while reducing excess strain on joints and lower extremities. 

  • Stationary cycling

As pregnancy progresses it is easy to lose balance and coordination, which is why stationary cycling is safer than actually riding a bike. Stationary cycling strengthens the leg muscles and engages your body with minimal strain to the joints. 

  • Ellipticals

Elliptical workouts are a great low impact option for burning calories and engaging the heart. The elliptical machine tones both the upper and lower body with low risks for injury, talk about killing 2 birds with one stone!

  • Swimming 

Swimming is one of the lowest impact exercises for pregnant women due to the buoyant property of water, while submerged you feel lighter than if you were on land. Submerging yourself in water can even lower blood pressure, and depending on the workout it is possible to lose anywhere from 300-500 calories per hour! We also have an article on the Reasons to Swim During Pregnancy check it out!

  • Low-impact aerobics

Aerobic exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system which is comprised of the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Low impact exercises are particularly important for pregnant women because they minimize the stress on your joints. Without any jumping, kicking, or leaping in this exercise reduces the risk of injury and back pain. 

Preparing for labor

  • Squats 

Squats are an anaerobic exercise that strengthen the lower leg muscles. Incorporating squats into your daily workout schedule can be beneficial for you, your baby, and the delivery process. Squatting during labor and delivery can open the pelvis, which can help with the baby’s birth. 

  • Pilates 

Pilates is a safe low-impact exercise for pregnant women. During pregnancy and as the baby grows the mother’s balance is displaced, luckily the objective of pilates is to create balance and an effective mind-body connection.

  • Pelvic tilts

Pelvic tilts are an essential exercise during pregnancy, the goal of pelvic tilts is to increase and keep mobility in the lower back, hip, and pelvis. This exercise also helps stretch the mid-lower back area which in return can alleviate pain and stress associated with the third trimester. 

  • Yoga

Yoga is a low impact exercise that increases flexibility, balance, and strengthens the lower extremities. A specific type of yoga called Prenatal Yoga is solely dedicated to pregnant women, with the goal of strengthening and increasing flexibility. It can also help them develop effective breathing and relaxation techniques for labor and delivery. 

  • Tai Chi

The objective of Tai Chi is to increase Qi, or life energy, in the body and to promote total harmony with the inner and outer body. Tai Chi is a low impact exercise that has the ability to strengthen the body and mind. This great exercise also promotes healthy habits and improves breathing which is all essential during labor and delivery. It also reduces prenatal depression anxiety and sleep disturbances!

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