Women who choose to exercise during their pregnancies can experience health benefits. These can include improved:
- Blood pressure
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Weight control
Experts recommend a low or moderate-intensity activity for most women. However, you can perform vigorous activities, such as jogging, if you get permission from your doctor. Still, pregnant women do have to consider the precautions to take to keep themselves and their babies healthy.
The joints tend to loosen during pregnancy, so balance can be harder to achieve. Therefore, it’s best to focus on exercises that will stabilize the joint connections to prevent injury.
Safety is essential, so it’s wise to talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness program. Pregnancy, especially the third trimester, isn’t the time to start something robust. If you’ve been inactive most of the pregnancy, it might be best to start with walking.
Above all else, you should void activities that require:
Continue reading to learn about the workouts that are appropriate to do in the third trimester.
Walking or Jogging
Walking is a great form of exercise for a pregnant woman. You can also try jogging if walking doesn’t present enough of a cardiovascular challenge.
However, when you’re pregnant, that is not the time to begin a running routine. If you’ve been running throughout the weeks of pregnancy, though, you can continue to run or jog if your doctor agrees.
The key to running while in the third trimester is to reduce your training intensity and duration. Even a seasoned athlete will cut efforts in half or more while late in pregnancy. Just remember that if your body does not feel good, it’s time to slow it down. Plus, you can even start walking to help keep the body in shape without getting overheated or winded.
Aqua Aerobics and Swimming
Those who have access to a pool can take advantage of fun aqua sports. For example, lap swimming is a great way to work the whole body. It’s also therapeutic for pregnant women who suffer from pains and aches. Water tends to take some of the pressure off your back and legs, which can also help prevent overheating while exercising.
However, it’s important to remember that even if you’re in cool water, exertion will produce sweat. Swimming for longer periods can still dehydrate you. Therefore, it’s best to bring a bottle of water and take breaks as needed to replenish the water you lost through sweat.
Many public pools and gyms with pools have water aerobics classes. Pool Zumba will get you dancing and having fun while adding resistance. You can also find flexibility and joint classes that will test your range of motion gently with water support.
If you love jogging but can’t handle it on the ground, aqua jogging might be an excellent alternative that makes it less impactful. Some gyms even have stationary bikes in the water that you can ride.
Pilates, Yoga, Bar, Other Low-Impact Options
Almost any low-impact exercise is excellent for pregnant women in the third trimester. Examples can include:
Any of these workouts will target your major muscle groups. You’ll feel stronger and fitter for the delivery of your baby.
If you can, try to take classes from the gym that are designed specifically for pregnant women. These poses are often modified to be safer and more comfortable with a growing belly.
You’ll find that Pilates is an excellent way to help women build more core stability during their pregnancy. As your belly grows (and your baby), your core gets weaker. This can lead to sciatica and low back pain.
Classic Pilates moves are designed to strengthen the deep abdominal muscles, called the transversus abdominis. This works to improve your posture, which can be helpful while you’re pushing during labor.
Yoga is great for reducing depression and anxiety that can accompany pregnancy. You’ll also find that it can relax you, which can improve your ability to sleep, reduce cramps, and help you feel calmer. Remember, this is a very stressful time for you and your baby!
Some women might also find that yoga can improve their moods, decrease pain, and reduce their risk of requiring a Cesarean delivery or having a premature birth.
Toning and Bodyweight Moves
Heavy weights might be dangerous during your third trimester, especially if you’ve rarely lifted dumbbells before. Therefore, you might want to start with bodyweight-only workouts to help you maintain your strength. These can include:
- Modified planks
- Wall pushups
It’s best to avoid a lot of ab work and crunches that will have you lying on your back. Sometimes, it is tricky to lie on the back for a long time during the third trimester. Instead, it might be better to do side-lying work. This helps to stabilize the muscles, such as the:
- Inner thighs
- Outer thighs
When doing arm work, you might want to try using light weights. Now is the time to build up your upper body strength because babies are quite heavy. You can perform these exercises using anywhere from two to five-pound dumbbells:
For the most part, whatever workouts you did at the beginning of your pregnancy are likely safe toward the end. Make sure you’re choosing activities that make you feel good. That way, you’re more likely to stay with them while you progress through the pregnancy. Plus, it won’t feel like work.
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