Moderation is golden! Moderate exercise during pregnancy is wonderful for both mother and baby. And so is adequate rest. Pace yourself. Aim for about 30 minutes of moderate exercise 4-6 days a week – a brisk walk, a swim, a light resistance workout or prenatal yoga. If you’re having a low energy day and time is limited, opt for a nap instead of a walk. Keep your body moving to feel your best during pregnancy and to prepare for a strong, beautiful birth. In fact, studies show that exercise during pregnancy shortens the ‘push’ phase of labor by over 33%!
Always listen to your body. Drink water before, during and after exercise. Avoid over-heating and make sure you can maintain a light conversation while conducting any workout. If you find yourself huffing and puffing, take the intensity down a notch and pause for a water break. After every prenatal workout, you should feel invigorated and energized. If you find yourself drained following exercise, your body is telling you to lighten up on the intensity. Exercise during pregnancy is about nourishing yourself and your baby – moderation is the key to safely enjoy the many documented benefits: reduced back pain, lower risk of gestational diabetes, improved circulation, less swelling, a shorter labor and a much faster postnatal recovery.
Avoid all exercises that bulge the abs forward- including most conventional abdominal exercises, such as crunches and sit-ups. If any exercise or body position bulges your abs forcefully forward, don’t do it! Skip twisting and backlying exercises while pregnant, and I also encourage you to avoid high impact workouts that involve running or jumping. Check out this post for a longer discussion of running during pregnancy. To keep things simple, The Dia Method offers balanced workouts approved by OBs that efficiently pack cardio, core and resistance training into safe & effective 25-minute workouts! Enjoy being active during this special time.