When you find out you are pregnant, it is one of the most exciting times of your life. If it is your first time, you might want to know what exercises you can safely do and which ones you should avoid.

You can definitely exercise during pregnancy, and there are plenty of safe ways to stay active. In fact, you can still focus on cardio, stretching, core exercises, and strength training, as long as you know which exercises to do. Continue reading to learn all about what exercise is good for a pregnant woman and three exercises you can add to your routine. 

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What Exercises Are Good for Pregnant Women? Three Exercises to Do While You Are Pregnant

The Benefits of Exercising While You Are Pregnant

Not only is it okay to do, but the benefits of exercise for pregnant women are many. In fact, a study by ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) shows that women who exercise while they are pregnant had reduced occurrences of the following:

  • C-section births
  • Low birth weight
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Excessive weight gain
  • Preterm birth

If you exercise while you are pregnant, you will stay fit and reduce your back pain. You can also reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and you will usually have an easier recovery once your baby is born. The key is to stay active so that you support your body as it goes through the changes that come with pregnancy.

How to Stay Safe While You Are Exercising During Pregnancy

There are a few important tips to remember so that you stay safe while you are pregnant. You can perform most exercises throughout your pregnancy as long as you modify them as your body goes through changes. 

Make sure that you stay hydrated by drinking water when you are exercising, and avoid becoming overheated. You shouldn’t do exercises that cause you to stay on your back for long periods of time, and you should definitely stay away from contact sports. If you are considering a new exercise that you didn’t do before your pregnancy, be sure to ask your doctor before you try it out. 

You can do cardio exercises during all three trimesters, which include swimming, walking, jogging, and using a stationary cycle. Check with your doctor, but you can usually maintain your pre-pregnancy cardio routine throughout your pregnancy. 

Three Exercises to Do While You Are Pregnant

It is important to pay attention to your body throughout your pregnancy, and listen if it is telling you to slow down. That said, if you want to take care of your body, you should aim for 150 minutes of cardio each week, as well as two or three days of strength training to support your changing body. Take a look at three exercises to do while you are pregnant. 

1. Squats

Squats are a great exercise to strengthen all of your lower body muscles, including your hamstrings, your glutes, and your quads. Keeping these muscles strong helps you stay stable throughout your pregnancy, and it will offer some protection to your back. By strengthening your legs, you will be able to lift heavier objects because you can use your leg strength and not your back. You can continue doing squats throughout all three trimesters of your pregnancy. 

Follow these steps to do your squats:

  1. Stand in front of a chair with your feet a little more than hip distance apart.
  2. Count to five as you squat down as if you will sit on the chair
  3. Stop just before you reach the chair
  4. Take one breath
  5. Lift back up to standing position as you count to three
  6. Do two sets of 10 reps
  7. Work your way up to 2 sets of 15 reps

2. Bicep Curls

The bicep curls will help you keep your upper body strong throughout your pregnancy. This is important because once your baby is born, you will be holding your baby as well as your baby gear. You may need to carry your carseat in and out of the car, and you will have a stroller, baby bag, and all kinds of baby gear. 

You can do this exercise with your body weight or use dumbbells that are anywhere from 2 lbs to 10 lbs. Make sure that you start with the weight that you are comfortable with, and work your way up to a heavier weight as you progress. 

Follow these steps to do this exercise:

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and hang your arms down by your sides
  2. Stand with your feet just wider than your hips and bend your knees a little bit
  3. Slowly lift your dumbbells up toward your shoulders by bending your elbows
  4. Count to three and exhale while you lift
  5. Count to five and inhale as you lower your dumbbells back down 
  6. Do 2 sets of 10 reps
  7. Increase your reps to 15 as you improve

3. Incline Push-ups

This is a great way to do pushups without having to get down on the floor. It works all of the muscles in your body, including the core. It also works on your stability so that you are strong enough to carry your baby without experiencing back pain. You will benefit greatly by strengthening your core with this exercise. 

Follow these steps for incline push-ups:

  1. Stand facing a railing or a ledge and place your hands on it a shoulder distance apart
  2. Step back with your feet so that you are in a plank position 
  3. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles
  4. Bend your arms to lower your chest to the railing
  5. Keep your body straight throughout
  6. Exhale as you lower your body to the railing
  7. Inhale as you straighten your arms to push your body back up away from the railing
  8. Do 2 sets of 10 reps
  9. You can increase it to 15 reps over the course of your pregnancy

Final Words

Your pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in your life, and you can exercise to stay fit and make your pregnancy easier for you. Try these exercises throughout your pregnancy and stay active and strong.

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