During pregnancy, exercise should have the goal of staying in shape, so you can lose weight easier after you give birth. However, studies have shown that weight loss during pregnancy can be beneficial for both the mother and baby, when the mother’s BMI is over 40.
Once you confirm the pregnancy, consult your physician for detailed information on your exercise routine. For a regular pregnancy, most doctors will advise you to keep active and if your pregnancy is normal, you can even exercise almost as much as you did before.
When it comes to exercise for weight loss during pregnancy, 30 minutes of exercise for five days a week is the minimum for staying in shape, and here’s what type of exercise you should choose.
Safe exercise does not increase the risk of pregnancy complications or miscarriage, but if you want to be extra safe, brisk walking is one simply activity that you can do anytime, either outdoors, or indoors on a treadmill. A good start would be walking a mile three to four times a week, but if that’s not enough to keep you in shape, try other types of exercise for weight loss during pregnancy.
Few types of exercise are as beneficial for the body and mind alike during pregnancy as yoga. It can help you deal with back pain by strengthening your core muscles, and it might even shorten your labor if you opt for a natural birth. However, avoid yoga exercises that entail lying on your back after the first trimester. Another type of yoga to avoid is hot yoga, since your body temperature is already elevated during pregnancy.
Water aerobics is an excellent type of exercise for weight loss during pregnancy, but swimming is even more beneficial. From dealing with back pain to staying in shape with less pressure on your joints, any type of exercise in water is good for you, except for scuba diving.
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Another great way to stay in shape in any trimester is indoor cycling. It’s the perfect type of cardio for pregnant women since it helps get the blood pumping without extra stress on your legs and joints. You can style ride your bicycle outdoors, but you’re safer inside, with raised handle bars that don’t get in the way of your growing belly.
Most women can continue or even start doing weight training after confirming the pregnancy. However, it’s safer if you pace yourself with weights that won’t hurt your back, or raising weights while lying on your back even in the first trimester. Combine weight training with cardio and you’ve got the perfect combo of exercise for weight loss during pregnancy.
Practicing high intensity sports isn’t forbidden for most women during pregnancy, but taking it easy is a must. For tennis and other field sports, you should only practice them on flat and groomed surfaces that reduce impact and will put less strain on your back. You should consider giving up all racquet sports during pregnancy, since they involve quick changes in your posture.
Another great type of exercise for weight loss during pregnancy, routines that focus on your stomach area are beneficial in more than one way. Since you can’t do crunches to strengthen your abs, try a different kind of exercise. Start by sitting on your hands and knees, hands under shoulders and knees under hips, and your black straight. Raise your spine while pulling in your stomach as much as you comfortably can without locking your elbows. Hold the position for a few seconds, before returning to the original position and repeating 10 times.
See also: What’s the Average Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy
When you’re picking out the right type of exercise for weight loss during pregnancy, remember that there are plenty of restrictions based on the changes that your body goes through. Contact sports should be avoided, along with scuba diving and exercising at a high altitude before getting acclimatised.
Avoid lying flat on your back during exercise after 16 weeks and avoid overheating (including saunas and hot tubs). If you can’t avoid exercising in a hot and humid environment, stay well hydrated, for your sake and for the baby’s.