As a personal trainer Sam Wood, Founder of 28 by Sam Wood is often asked by expecting mums if it is safe to exercise during pregnancy. My answer is always yes – in fact, I believe it’s essential. While of course you should ensure you get the thumbs up from your GP or healthcare professional first, exercising when pregnant can be extremely beneficial. It can help reduce any pregnancy related pain (back, neck, pelvis and hips), increase energy levels and help release the feel-good endorphins that are often needed during pregnancy. It’s also a great way to help you recover post birth and can make bouncing back that much easier.
image via 28 by Sam Wood
When you are growing a little human, I completely understand that you don’t want to do any moves that might put your bub at risk. So with this in mind, here are my top 5 exercises that you can safely do during pregnancy.
Keeping your legs, glutes and hammies strong during pregnancy is essential – especially for all the lifting you will be doing once the bub arrives! Having strong legs and bum will also help take the pressure off your back. Do your squats slowly and maintain control, making sure your knees don’t fold as you’re going down and aim for 20 reps at a time.
2. Seated bicep curls
Strong arms are also a must when it comes preparing for the arrival of your new bub – not only to help you carry the baby, but all the extra stuff you have to lug around too! Sit tall with your back straight and shoulders back (you can even do this one while seated on the couch) and curl with control. Go for 15 reps and If you don’t have dumbbells, milk cartons are a great alterative.
3. Kneeling plank
These are a simple modification to a normal plank that can help with posture while making sure there’s not too much pressure on your body. My tip here is don’t forget to breathe! Go for 3 reps with these, holding for 10 second on and 10 seconds off.
Walking is an awesome low impact option to keep you fit and toned, and to help you get moving without putting extra pressure on your joints. It’s also a great way to clear your mind when you have a million baby-related concerns racing through your head. When going for a walk, my tip is to take it easy and listen to your body. Whether it’s for 10 to 30 minutes, make sure you go at your own pace, stay well ventilated and take a rest whenever you need one.
5. Pelvic floor exercises
Last but definitely not least, pelvic floor exercises are a must during pregnancy and the most important move of all. Aim to keep these up throughout your whole pregnancy to help maintain muscle tone. Make sure you do these every day (setting yourself a reminder so you don’t forget can be incredibly useful!) and hold for 5 seconds, 5 times each day.
So there you have it, 5 exercises that you can safely do when expecting that will benefit both body and mind. On top of the above exercises – I always recommend pregnancy Pilates or yoga as great low impact options to keep your muscles moving and help you stay active.
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