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7 Best Exercises for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women should incorporate prenatal exercises into their daily routine to stay fit and healthy. (Photo by Yan Krukov via pexels)
Pregnant women should incorporate prenatal exercises into their daily routine to stay fit and healthy. (Photo by Yan Krukov via pexels)

Being pregnant is a very challenging time for women – both mentally and physically.

Your body undergoes several changes; your ankles get swollen; your back aches; you feel bloated and constipated, and you can’t even sleep. Fortunately, there are several safe exercises for pregnant women that can help cure pain and aches and minimise some of the most common symptoms of pregnancy.

In fact, various studies also suggest that prenatal exercise can have great benefits for the mother and baby as well. Some of the advantages of exercise for pregnant women include:

  • Shorter labours
  • Fewer complications during delivery
  • Fewer risk of preterm birth
  • Healthier babies with fewer health issues
  • Less back pain
  • Faster brain development of the baby
  • Reduced risk of cesarean delivery

Exercises for pregnant women

The best exercises for pregnant women are those that can help you develop stamina and strength. Since labour and delivery are physically and mentally challenging, being in the best shape can possibly help you flow more easily during those circumstances.

We’ve listed a few safe and easy exercises that pregnant women can do in any trimester.

1) Pelvic curls

To do this exercise:

  • Lie straight on your back and keep your knees bent. Your feet should be flat on the floor at a hip-width distance.
  • Breathe easily and as you exhale, contract your hips and raise them off the floor.
  • Keep your hips contracted as you exhale and lift your spine slowly, one vertebra at a time.
  • Continue to raise your spine until it reaches your shoulder blades.
  • Now inhale at the top position and then exhale as you lower your body. Make sure to place your body slowly onto the floor and take the initial position.
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2) Kneeling pushups

To do this exercise:

  • Lie straight on your stomach.
  • Slowly push up onto your knees and hands. Make sure to keep your knees directly behind your hips.
  • Now pull in your abs gently and slowly lower your chest towards the ground.
  • Exhale and press back up.
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3) Squats

To do this exercise:

  • Stand straight in front of a chair or couch. Keep your back facing the chair.
  • Keep your feet wider than hip-distance and use the couch as a safety to ensure the right form.
  • Squat down as if you are about to sit, but immediately come back up as your thighs start touching the edge of the chair.
  • Make sure to exhale as you squat down and inhale as you stand back up.
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4) Hip flexor stretch

To do this exercise:

  • Take a half-kneeling position.
  • Put your left knee on the floor and your right foot directly in front of you. Keep your right foot flat on the floor.
  • Keep this posture tall and slowly lunge towards your right foot until you feel a nice stretch in the front of your left thigh and hip.
  • Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds and then relax.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
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5) Mermaid stretch

To do this exercise:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent or folded.
  • Your feet should face to the left.
  • Raise your right arm straight towards the ceiling, and as you exhale bend your torso sideways towards your left. You’ll feel a good stretch on the right side.
  • Hold the stretch for a few breaths and then repeat by switching sides.
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6) Incline pushups

To do this exercise:

  • Stand straight facing a railing and keep your hands at a shoulder-width distance.
  • Step your body into a standing plank position and maintain a straight line through your back.
  • Lower your chest and slowly bend your arms towards the railing.
  • To return to the initial position, straighten your arms.
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7) Pelvic brace

To do this exercise:

  • Lie straight on your back with your feet on the floor and knees bent.
  • Rest easily on the back of your hips and create a small space between your lower back. Make sure your lower back isn’t pressed to the floor.
  • Inhale and as you exhale, perform a kegel contraction by closing the openings of your vagina, urethra and anus.
  • Also, try to contract your lower abs with the kegel.
  • Inhale, relax your pelvis and abs and repeat the contraction as you exhale.
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Summary

Staying active when you are pregnant is very important as well as advantageous for both you and your baby.

Incorporating a few of the above-discussed exercises can help keep your muscles strong, your core strengthened and your heart functioning at its best.

Moreover, it can have a great impact on your mental health as well. However, it is equally important to listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort.

Also, consult your doctor if you have any concerns regarding what exercises would be safe for you during your pregnancy.

Edited by Bhargav
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