There are many things women need to pay attention to during pregnancy, things like diet, activities, and proper exercise, which will be very helpful for a future natural childbirth. Pregnancy fitness must be science-based and rational. This article will introduce you to how a fitness plan should be developed, while highlighting the best exercises during each trimester of pregnancy and the recovery process after pregnancy.
The first thing to be clear about is that pregnancy is the BEST time to learn how to strengthen your deep core muscles. While many moms aim to tighten and tone, core muscle training doesn’t just strengthen your deep core; at the same time that you are learning how to connect with your deep core when you are pregnant, your baby will lightly “hug” you in your belly. Don’t underestimate your baby’s little movements. By doing half of the work, you will get double the result: helping you both find and strengthen your deep core muscles. It is indeed a novel experience! Some of the benefits of learning how to strengthen your core during pregnancy are: better posture, fewer aches and pains, increased energy, and so on. Correctly training your deep core muscles can enhance your ability to connect with your deep core in everyday movement, allowing you to come out of your pregnancy with a great-looking body.
The best pregnancy workouts should always include exercises that have a suitable duration and intensity. Most importantly, be safe! During the first trimester, moms should do the following exercises:
- Walk about 20-60 minutes per day at a good pace.
- Make sure to do at least 3 hours per week of cardiovascular exercises such as walking, biking, or swimming.
- Do strength resistance exercises 2-4 times a week, including exercises such as Pilates and yoga.
During the second trimester, if you haven’t started working out up to now and your doctor has confirmed that you are physically capable, then it’s really time get moving. Only 10 minutes a day, to start, can help you feel much better. During this period, if you do simple foam-rolling release exercises only for 30 to 60 seconds per day, you will find the foam roller provides a good bit of relief for your low back or sacral area. I typically suggest you lie on a bed up to 5 minutes at a time during rest periods, but if your doctor asks you not to lie on your back at all for medical reasons, then follow your doctor’s guidance. For the third trimester, you will probably feel much more tired and exercising will become harder. You will have to dig deep within yourself to find the motivation to do exercises.
Each person’s training intensity may vary. Previously, we recommended Heart Rate Monitoring, which tracks the resting heart rate and calculates a safe range in which to exercise (usually 60% to 80% of the maximum aerobic capacity). However, this measurement may have a bias because each person’s pre-pregnancy activity level and individual cardiovascular strength are different. Now we usually recommend the “Talk Test” to help achieve the optimal prenatal exercise. Use the talk test to determine whether the exercise is too hard: if you can carry on a conversation with your friends or even sing a song while working out, you’re at the right level of exercise. See the chart below for a work-out plan.
Try the following work-out
plan on a daily basis and add some light stretching for flexibility:
|Monday||20 to 30 minutes of cardio activity, such as walking, light jogging, or swimming|
|Tuesday||Core and pelvic floor work|
|Wednesday||20 to 30 minutes of cardio activity|
|Thursday||Upper and lower body strength training|
|Friday||20 to 30 minutes of cardio activity|
|Saturday||Core, pelvic floor work, upper and lower strength training|
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