Winter Prenatal Fitness | Five Indoor Exercise Routines for Moms-to-Be
When you’re pregnant, getting regular exercise is important, but just like everything else related to pregnancy, you have to have approval from your doctor first. If you love walking or jogging, winter time can present some challenges. In short, you can’t always do the same things you do outside when you have to stay in, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising altogether. Below are five exercises for moms-to-be that you can do indoors.
Riding a Stationary Bike
Stationary bikes are inexpensive yet give you a good cardio workout without putting stress on your joints. Most of them also don’t take up a lot of room, so they’re perfect for those days when it’s too cold or rainy to go outside but you still want to complete a good workout. Stationary bikes are also a great way to warm up before doing another type of exercise, including more strenuous cardio and even weight-lifting.
Unless you’ve been doing high-impact cardio all along, you might want to stick with low-impact exercises while you’re pregnant, especially as the pregnancy progresses. Stationary bikes provide great workouts but aren’t too intense for women whose bellies are growing every month. Even if you’ve never ridden one, it’s usually acceptable to start riding one when you’re pregnant. In other words, stationary bikes are easy to learn!
Leg exercises are good because strong leg muscles can help support the baby as it grows, and it can make childbirth a little easier. You can stick with basic leg lifts if you like, but you can also do some gentle lunges, plies for legs and glutes, and even some leg presses. If you’re curious about whether doing a basic leg press while pregnant is safe, the answer is “yes,” it is, provided you check it out with your OB-GYN first.
If you’ve never lifted weights before, you’ll need to start off with very gentle movements and slowly build up from there. No intense weight-lifting is recommended even if you’re used to it, but if you get your doctor’s approval, you can go for it. Of all the muscles that need to be strengthened for a healthy pregnancy, leg exercises are some of the most important, and they can all be done indoors.
When you’re pregnant, it’s easy to pull a muscle due to the way your body moves when you’re carrying a child. The more you stretch your muscles, the less likely anything like this will occur. The lower back can be especially sore when you’re pregnant, especially in later pregnancy, but doing some stretching exercises can improve the situation greatly. All stretching exercises need to be done slowly and without bouncing, which could cause a pulled muscle to occur.
For the right lower back stretches while pregnant, you can choose a basic squat-type exercise or a one-arm row. For the one-arm row, hold a five- to eight-pound weight in one hand and place the other hand on a chair. Bend forward slightly and bend your elbow as you hold onto the weight. Always keep your back as straight as possible and bend your knees slightly for more support. Not only does this exercise help your lower back, but it’s great for your biceps and triceps as well.
Yoga is a great way to get into good shape whether you’re pregnant or not. It keeps your muscles nice and relaxed, improves circulation, and allows for better balance, which gets you in good shape and helps prevent trips and falls. Not all poses are good for pregnant women, so you’ll have to do some research first. Some of the asanas that are safe include the tree pose, locust, and the trichomania.
There are other safe yoga poses for pregnant women as well, and most of them will keep both your body and your mind calm and relaxed. Yoga is an ancient exercise that has numerous benefits, and many of the poses make carrying a child and childbirth itself much easier, as well as recovering from childbirth afterwards. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, never start a yoga activity without consulting with your doctor first.
Even if you’re used to jogging or other high-impact exercises, it’s much easier on your body to stick with low-impact aerobic activities, especially as the pregnancy progresses. In addition to using a stationary bike, you can also swim, take a water aerobics class, or use an elliptical or stair-climber machine. As long as it isn’t a high-impact activity, you shouldn’t have any trouble participating in it.
That being said, as you go from your first to your third trimester, you might find yourself needing to switch to lower-impact activities even if you’re used to the high-impact exercises. It is simply more comfortable to go with low-impact versions of exercise once you have a belly that’s continuously growing. Most low-impact exercises can be done indoors, and you can even walk indoors if that’s what you feel like doing.
ConclusionIndoor exercises are often needed when a mom-to-be lives in a place that gets very cold outside during the winter months. You shouldn’t think of it as being “stuck” inside because there are numerous exercises that can help you stay healthy during pregnancy. It’s best if you combine light aerobics, stretching, weight lifting, yoga, and leg exercises so that you can take care of yourself aerobically and in other ways as well.
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