A Quick Guide for Staying Fit and Exercising at Home When Pregnant
The benefits of moving more during pregnancy begin immediately, and include healthy weight gain, better mood, greater stamina for labour, and lower risk of gestational diabetes. Your baby will start reaping the benefits in utero too, with regular aerobic exercise during pregnancy linked to improved mental and physical health of children into adulthood.
But moving more doesn’t have to mean two-hour workouts in the gym or five kilometre runs every day. It merely means gentle exercise and stretching, much of which can be done at home.
A quick pregnant home workout routine
Stand with feet parallel and hip-distance apart with your hand resting on the back of a sturdy chair. With your toes and knees turned out to 45 degrees, pull your belly button up and in. Bend your knees to lower yourself as much as possible, while keeping your back straight. Straighten and repeat for 16 reps or until tired.
2. Thigh lifts
Lie on your right side with your right leg bent at a 45 degree angle and your left leg straight. Supporting your head with your right forearm and using your left arm for stability, raise your straight leg to hip height and repeat for 16 reps or until tired. Switch sides and repeat.
On a yoga mat or soft flooring, get down on your hands and knees, wrists directly under your shoulders. Straighten your legs behind you so that your body forms a straight line and hold for as long as possible. Breathe slowly and deeply, and don’t arch your back or let your belly sag.
4. Bicep curls
Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your back straight, feet on the floor and hip width apart. Take a three to four kilogram weight in each hand and hold with palms facing your body. Keeping elbows bent, lift the weights to shoulder height and then lower slowly. Repeat for 16 reps or until tired.
5. Tricep rows
Using a sturdy chair or bench, place your right knee on the seat and your left foot on the floor. Bend yourself over so that your back is parallel to the floor, supporting yourself with your right arm. With a three to four kilo weight in your left hand, straighten your left arm behind you in line with your shoulder. Hold, then return to starting position and repeat for 16 reps or until tired. Switch sides and repeat.
Also remember to concentrate some time on pelvic floor exercises, and don’t forget to include a little cardio. If you have stairs at home, try to walk them at least five times each day.
Look good while you do it
Designed for medium impact exercise, Noppies Active Leggings offer an over-belly waistband and quick dry fabric that’s opaque with a slight sheen. If you prefer shorts, try the Reagan Foldover Shorts with a supportive waistband and a cotton spandex blend. Combine with a Miracle Maternity Tank for a comfortable and stylish pregnancy activewear look.
Perfect pregnancy yoga and pilates
Pregnancy yoga helps to maintain your muscle tone and flexibility, and can improve your posture as you grow. Pilates tends to strengthen your tummy and pelvic floor muscles, creating a stable core that’s ideal for birthing. Both yoga and pilates are fantastic forms of exercise when pregnant, but it’s important to remember to still not overdo it. Stretches should be performed gently rather than pushing yourself. Take the time to breathe properly, and relax as your move.
Look good while you do it
For the comfiest yoga pants in the world, opt for Trimester yoga pants in Jacoba Grey. A ruched waistband sits under the belly and on the hips, and the gorgeous buttery soft stretch fabric and straight styling is flattering to the pregnant figure. Team them with a racerbank tank in pink from Noppies for flexible, breathable pregnancy yoga gear.
Swimming when pregnant
Swimming is the ideal pregnancy exercise, as it exercises your arms and legs while working your heart and lungs safely. It’s also an activity you can do no matter how big your bump gets, and you’ll love the feeling of weightlessness you get from being in the water. If you enjoy group activities, try joining an aquanatal class that focuses not just on exercise, but on stretching the body for reduced back pain and swelling in the legs.
Look good while you do it
With its sporty design and flattering block colours, you’ll love Cake Lingerie’s Smoothie Sports One-Piece. Featuring wide cross-back straps for structure, it offers support and style in one. If you prefer a tankini, you’ll love Esprit’s Night Blue Print Tankini, with its adorable retro vibe.
Going for a walk
Walking can be as gentle or as challenging as you need it to be, making it the perfect exercise for pregnant women. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a great outfit, and you’re good to go.
Walking can be performed in one big hit or it can be broken up into smaller sections throughout the day. You should be able to converse without gasping for breath, so if you feel yourself tiring, stop and head out again later. Before you start, warm up by doing arm and ankle circles and leg swings for a couple of minutes.
Look good while you’re doing it
Blanqi’s Motherhood Is My Muse racerback tank is a silky soft lightweight jersey that will inspire you to walk as much as possible. Wear it to the shops and you might find yourself parking that little bit further away to get the heart pumping. Pair with Trimester’s Archer French Terry Pants.
Going to the gym
Hitting the gym is something most pregnant women can still do and benefit from, but caution does have to be taken, and we recommend consulting your doctor before deciding to continue gym training during pregnancy. The elliptical trainer places little stress on your joints, however, the motion may feel uncomfortable the bigger your belly gets. A treadmill lets you control the terrain and speed, but you must listen to your body to ensure you control it properly. Weight training is excellent, but certain exercises that stretch overhead aren’t recommended.
To play it safe, look for a prenatal exercise class that modifies workouts for pregnancy.
Look good while you’re doing it
The Seraphine Sydney Exercise Bump Kit is the ideal kickstarter for your pregnancy fitness journey. The kit consists of a maternity nursing sports bra with nursing clips and adjustable shoulder straps, maternity tank with side ruching, ¾ maternity workout pants with over bump waistband, a matching headband, and a handy drawstring bag to store it all. Perfect!
Keeping active and safe during pregnancy
If you loved to exercise before falling pregnant and would like to continue with your regular activities, talk to your doctor or pregnancy health nurse. Activities like crossfit and spin class can still be performed, but your routine may need to be altered slightly. Avoid contact sports where there’s any risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, judo or squash. Don’t lie flat on your back for prolonged periods, and don’t go scuba diving or hiking at heights over 2,500m above sea level.
Feel good, look good, and enjoy the many benefits of exercise during pregnancy by deciding carefully which exercise is right for you, and picking something that you enjoy! Queen Bee Activewear has the perfect garments for making sure you’re cool, comfortable and stylish during your pregnancy routine, whether it’s in the pool, at the gym or at the park.
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