What You Need to Know about Antenatal Exercises

What You Need to Know about Antenatal Exercises
Last Updated: 02 March 2020

Pregnancy is a pointing moment in any woman’s life. This is a time when the mood swings kick in for a majority of women while some become completely unstable. For others, this is a reflective period where laying back as they entertain their taste buds is the best option. Whatever group you fall under, this is a period where you need antenatal exercises more than ever.

Even though your healthcare provider will tell you to refrain from excessive physical exhaustion, they won’t ever recommend staying inactive. Staying active is not only helpful to you as the mother but also healthy for the unborn child. That said, it is important to note that there are different pregnancy exercises suitable for each trimester of the pregnancy period. We will list them down for you and even tell you just why you need the best maternity leggings during this period. Read on to find out which pregnancy workouts you should embrace throughout your expectancy.

Importance of Exercise during Pregnancy

Of course, you just want to take a pillow and lay low for a while – perhaps grab chocolate and popcorns and watch TV all day long. You are ready to throw anything nearby to anyone who’ll suggest prenatal fitness – especially if this someone is your husband! Well, lucky us, we aren’t within your reach.

But just why should you stop getting addicted to sofa-love and start taking antenatal exercises seriously? We can write down a whole book on the importance of abs exercise during pregnancy but the list below will suffice in convincing you:

  • Prepares and eases the child-bearing process.
  • Reduces the chances of preterm labor & birth.
  • Lowers stress levels while raising your spirits – so much for mood swings!
  • Makes you shine, glow and maintain that tight figure – don’t overdo it though. Once you’ve given birth, you get to regain your body shape much faster if you had a prenatal workout plan.
  • Sleep gets better.
  • Easier and speedier recovery.
  • Hypertension and gestational diabetes are less apt to strike.
  • Better blood circulation to the fetus.
  • Look good, feel good – nothing conquers a pregnant woman who has full confidence in herself.

So you see, the benefits of exercise during pregnancy far outweigh any possible strain you might have to endure. Making use of the best prenatal vitamins during this period is a good way to complement your pregnancy exercises.

What Exercises Can You Do While Pregnant?

Caution is key during this period and you don’t want to overstrain yourself which might put both you and the baby at risk. You also don’t want to work out just for the sake of working out – you want to yield all the possible benefits. So, what exercises can you do while pregnant?

Walking Briskly as an Antenatal Exercise

Medics and trainers are now realizing how auspicious walking is as compared to other exercises. Taking advantage of this, salesmen and ad execs are now leaning towards technology and promoting wearables which promise to keep a check on your physical activities – walking to be specific. When talking of walking, you need to balance between fast walking and lux walking once you feel the effects coming in. However, it generally refers to quick steps for long distances. What are the benefits of walking during pregnancy?

benefits of walking during pregnancy

Benefits of Walking During Pregnancy

Other than the benefits listed above of general exercise, walking has the added advantage of minimizing the impact on knees and ankles unlike with other cardiovascular pregnancy workout plans. What’s more, it’s free and allows you the freedom to choose whatever path you’d like to follow.

NB: Walking newbies should start slow for the first few days as they increase their pace, distance and walking time. Generally, you can start as low as 20-30 minutes in a day as you slowly gain momentum. You can do as much as 90-120 minutes of brisk and lux walking during pregnancy when you are comfortable enough. Nonetheless, don’t put so much pressure on yourself and you can always press the STOP button.

can you run while pregnant

Can You Run While Pregnant

Also, be careful since now the protruding tummy is continually shifting your center of gravity – it becomes much easier to lose balance and fall. Tread on the right paths without potholes or rocky ground and don’t forget to put on your walking shoes. This begs the question, can you run while pregnant? There is a general misconception that running will induce premature labor but it will help fasten the birth process. Walking and running are ideal antenatal exercises in the first trimester and can be applied throughout the pregnancy period with decreasing vitality.

Prenatal Stretching

prenatal stretching

Prenatal stretching is preferred to antenatal yoga during pregnancy. Coupled with the best maternity leggings, prenatal stretching is going to offer you more flexibility until the very last trimester of your pregnancy. Stretching combined with squatting goes a long way to open up the pelvic region making labor much more bearable. Furthermore, when constancy is maintained, it is a pregnancy workout that goes a long way to strengthen abdominal muscles.

Stretch during pregnancy needs to be done constructively and there are verified trainers whose main aim is to show you how to stay fit while pregnant. They have online training courses that could show you the best stretch positions. So, can you do squats while pregnant and stretches? The question should be, what are you waiting for?

can you swim while pregnant

Can You Swim While Pregnant?

Water exercises generally tend to work on the whole body in general and not just certain parts. Other than swimming, this also includes aqua aerobics and walking in water. The resistance is just right to keep you pushing on and the buoyancy is perfect to cut out all that added weight. Take a swim during pregnancy and you are sure to reap multiple benefits throughout the whole period. Settle on the stroke that keeps you most relaxed as you use a kickboard to keep the buttocks and leg muscles tight and strong.

Yoga for Pregnant Women

yoga for pregnant women

While some women find yoga and pregnancy a doable option, we generally wouldn’t recommend it because of the risk factors involved with antenatal yoga. Certain positions expose you to high-risk factors of falling and injuring yourself or worse yet, the baby. Remember the shift in the CoG? If you persist, however, you can consult your medical practitioner about when should I start prenatal yoga.

Antenatal Exercises: Safety Tips

As noted above, there are several exercises to avoid when pregnant. While prenatal exercises are a good way to help when feeling cold during pregnancy, one needs to observe extra care and caution.

  • Avoid jumpy exercises or those that involve sudden jerks even diving into a pool. Rather, use the rails to guide your way inside.
  • Backbends, excessive flexing, and practices that require balance like yoga.
  • Holding out your breath for too long is not advisable for both you and the baby.
  • Anything that increases the probability of falling like horse-riding, bungee jumping, ice hockey, cycling on treacherous treks, basketball, rollerblading, hiking and mountain climbing.
  • Rough games that involve impact such as American football.
  • Stay away from hot tubs, warm pools, saunas, and steam rooms even when the temptation is too much – you wouldn’t want to expose your unborn bundle of joy with excessive heat.

Now that you know what exercises are safe during pregnancy and exercises to avoid while pregnant, it now becomes imperative to know exactly when to make use of that STOP button we talked about.

When to Stop Working out When Pregnant

Essentially, your body is in the best position to answer this question. You might experience increased signs of nausea, lightheadedness and even excessive tiredness and this should be good warning signs. Moreover, you might start experiencing sleeplessness instead of better nights, irritability and joint pains which is a sign your body has had enough.

30minutes – 1hr is good timing for daily prenatal workouts. You should also be considering foods to avoid when pregnant as these might also aggravate these symptoms. In case of unusual pains, reach out to your gynecologist.

Activities to Avoid during Pregnancy

A good question we usually get from active mothers is concerning cycling while pregnant. Is it safe to ride a bicycle while pregnant? Yes and no!

It is much safer to ride stationery/fixed bike which brings about a good number of the benefits mentioned earlier. This steadily raises the heartbeat which is good for you without the risk of falling. If you aren’t new to cycling, you can do so outside in the first and probably the second trimester for shorter distances.

The activities aforementioned clearly show what not to do when pregnant. Some other activities to avoid when pregnant include those which force you to recline on your rear for extended periods and those involving high altitudes. Back lying compresses your tummy against blood vessels which might work against you. This might even increase your luggage when deciding on what to pack in the hospital bag.


A visit to clearly shows the associated benefits of using the best maternity leggings during these light and intense workout periods. Not only will they keep the tummy in check but will also reduce the tension and give you more comfortability. Choose the right antenatal workouts that will suit you best rather than trying a little bit of everything.

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