Everyone knows how important exercise is–and it is just as important, if not more so, to be active during pregnancy. Carrying around an extra human can be exhausting, so the thought of further exerting yourself may not be particularly appealing, but it’s important to keep in mind that it boosts your mental and physical well-being. Staying active during pregnancy can help to reduce your odds of developing certain complications, such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia, can make labor and delivery easier and faster, and it can even help you to recover more quickly after giving birth.
However, staying active doesn’t mean you have to head to the gym; there are other great ways you can get your much-needed exercise. Here are four great ways to stay active during pregnancy:
Walking Is One of the Best Activities
In terms of the best way to stay active during pregnancy, walking is right there at the top of the list. This activity can be enjoyed indoors and outdoors and in any season. Just be sure to dress for the weather conditions and wear shoes with comfortable support and good grip. If you start getting bored of the same walking routes, you can also look for hiking trails around you. Consider ones that are rated ‘easy’, so you don’t have to contend with various elevations, slopes and types of terrain.
Golfing and Pregnancy Are Very Compatible
If you live in an area of the country that enjoys year-round golfing opportunities, then this is the perfect way to enjoy some activity. Golfing won’t feel like a traditional workout since you can go about it at your speed and there is no need to rush. You can make it a social outing and golf with a buddy or a couple of friends and get a healthy dose of sunshine.
Golfing is a sport that appeals to men and women of all ages and skill levels, so it can be worth it to invest in the equipment needed. You can start with picking up a set of clubs meant for your golf style, skill level and your height. Another tip is to look into purchasing a golf cart so you don’t have to walk the course – something that can be difficult the further along in your pregnancy you get. You can even look at gently used carts since you can update various features. For example, it’s easy to replace your seat covers and give them a fresh new look.
Should the 18 holes become too much, you can switch to a game of just nine holes.
Swimming Is a Low-Impact Way to Stay Active
Sometimes, exercise can be too high impact for your liking. It may cause discomfort and just be difficult to do with your ever-growing body. This is why swimming is such an excellent option. You get a full-body workout, yet it’s low impact in that you won’t be putting stress on your joints. In fact, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, swimming is one of the safest forms of exercise during pregnancy. (Water skiing, diving, and scuba diving, on the other hand, do not get a thumbs-up as they place pregnant women at an increased risk of injury.)
Yoga for Pregnancy – Mentally and Physically Advantageous
Finally, there is yoga, which has become very popular with those who are pregnant. Although many poses and routines are pregnancy-friendly, be sure to avoid intense backbends, twists, and forward bends, as well as hot yoga. When in doubt, work with a certified instructor who is trained in prenatal yoga.
Yoga isn’t just a physical workout though; it’s also a wonderful way to find peace, relax and be in the moment.
To best enjoy pregnancy and make it as comfortable as possible, staying active daily is sure to help. You don’t need to push yourself and do high-intensity workouts; it’s about getting your body moving, staying fit and choosing activities that are safe and fun. And don’t forget, you can enlist a workout buddy to make it even more enjoyable. With all forms of exercise, be sure to listen to your body. If you have discomfort or pain, modify or avoid the exercise altogether. Talk with your doctor about any exercise you plan to do while pregnant.