8 Best Exercises for Pregnant Women ...

Exercises for pregnant women — now that sounds like fun, right? Most of us think that during pregnancy, a woman ought to take it easy, but that’s not true! It’s important for mama and for baby that mama stays fit throughout her 40 weeks. Why? Well, a fitter mama can expect a quicker post-partum recovery, and she’ll have more energy, too! Yay! But how to stay fit while expecting… I can help! Here are my picks for the 8 best exercises for pregnant women — I did these all while I was pregnant with my two daughters, and I can tell you, they helped!

1. Yoga

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Yoga is good for anyone’s body, literally — elderly people, children, football players, ballerinas, and yes, even expectant mothers. It’s calming. It’s an excellent stress reliever. It improves balance and focus and flexibility. It’s low-impact. But it’s still a marvelous exercise. Perfect!

2. Swimming

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This is another low-impact exercise for pregnant women, or anyone else for that matter, including anyone with weak joints. The pregnancy wobbles float away in the water, and it’s such a good cardio workout.

3. Stretching

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Like yoga, stretching exercises can help with flexibility and with pain management, making it an excellent exercise for pregnant women. I really enjoyed the Leisa Hart's FitMama - Prenatal Workout DVD while I was pregnant because it had so much stretching in it!

4. Walking

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Don’t underestimate the power of a brisk walk! If you’re a pregnant woman looking for a simple, healthful exercise to do, one that’s good cardio and weight-bearing, then this is it! Lace up a good, supportive pair of walking shoes, grab a bottle of water, and take a walk!

5. Dancing!

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While I was pregnant, I loved dancing. Somehow, it made me feel graceful, when most of the time, I felt like a clumsy elephant. It also got my heart thumping, and improved my mood and balance. Pop in a good dance mix CD or upload your favorite dance playlist, and go for it!

6. Other Low-impact Aerobics

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Basically, any doctor-approved low-impact aerobic exercise is a good idea for pregnant women. Your cardiac health is still important, even though you’re expecting…in fact, can you think of anything more important than a healthy heart, so you can live a long, healthy life with your child?

7. Weight Training

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Don’t let the muscles in your toned calves and arms deteriorate just because you’re having baby. During these 40 weeks, feel free, with your doctor’s permission, to modify your weight training regimen to keep your muscles toned and your body fit and happy.

8. Kegel!

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Oh yes! Let’s not forget your Kegel exercises! The muscles you’ll be working are on your pelvic floor, and learning to control them through exercise will help ease your labor and delivery, and later, your recovery! Here’s how to do a Kegel: contract your muscles as though you’re trying to stop a flow of urine, hold for ten seconds, and release. Repeat five or six times at a go. Now, bear in mind, no one should be able to see you doing these (since you’re using muscles “down there,” not using your abs or thighs or anything), so you can do them anywhere, any time!

With so many fun, fantastic ways to stay fit while baby brews, there’s no best-rest for you, my dear! Let’s get up and move! Which of these exercises for pregnant women will you try first? Or do you have another pre-natal exercise to add to my list? Do tell!

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