Being healthy in all ways is something I am always striving for (hence my crazy idea to do my first ever 5K 4 months postpartum). And I love helping others find their way to be healthy, too, if I can. Of course health extends through pregnancy – a time that can be a challenge in all ways but especially physically.
We’ve already mentioned a couple of options for pregnant mamas on this website such as AquaMoms, Healthy Moms in general, and Prenatal Yoga. But there is a lot you can do at home, too, if committing to an entire class or even leaving the house (hey, it happens to everyone) is too much for you. So I was thrilled when O2 Fitness Clubs contacted me about working together to create a video to help pregnant women feel successful at home.
Using the video below you can stay fit and healthy – and you don’t need a lot of space or any equipment at all. I love it!
All of these exercises are designed with options and are low impact; however, before starting any new workout routines while pregnant you should always check in with your physician.
Kara Olexa, who you will meet in the video below, is a Personal Trainer at O2 Fitness who specializes in prenatal care and training. Not only does she provide some wonderful exercises for pregnant women but she also supplied me with a plethora of information.
For example, when working out it is important for pregnant women to remember the following tips:
- listen to your body
- stay hydrated (1 Dixie cup of water every 15 minutes of exercises at least)
- avoid exercising in extreme heat
- exercise regularly (i.e. 3 times a week, not just 1 time a month)
- wear supportive shoes and a supportive bra
- eat a high carb snack prior to exercising
- warm up and cool down
- avoid extreme positions or jerky/jarring/twisting movements (your joints are loose and more prone to injury when you are pregnant)
- once postpartum, return to exercise gradually
To get the moves, both strength and stretch, to do at home, watch our (very nice, I am so proud of my newly tested video-editing skills) video:
You can also see this video here and through our YouTube Channel here.
You will want to do the strength exercises 3 times a week in 3 sets of 10 and you will want to hold each stretch about 1 minute every day.
When thinking about your cardio training, Kara believes (and I found this true for myself) that classes are an excellent choice for pregnant women because you will be given instruction on proper form with continuous feedback. The only class you will want to avoid is anything like a contact-type or kickboxing class. Beyond that, though, the sky is the limit as long as you listen to your body. High impact exercise is not necessarily contraindicated, it’s just that most pregnant bodies don’t like it with all the bouncing and jumping. Oh, and don’t lay on your stomach during the later stages of your pregnancy. Ask your group fitness instructor and/or personal trainer what your options are in the event you are presented with a positiong that has you laying on your stomach.
Signs that you’ve done too much or should stop:
- vaginal bleeding
- preterm labor
- unexplained dizziness/fainting
- swelling/pain/redness in calf
- excessive fatigue
- unexplained abdominal pain
- extreme shortness of breath
- SUDDEN swelling of ankles, hands, or face
- persistent headache or distorted vision
- lack of baby movement in a 12 hour period
And remember, pregnant mamas, that you are not “eating for 2!” (Such a bummer to hear, right?) You do need to intake more calories but only eat when you are hungry. Aim for smaller, more frequent meals which usually work better. Make healthy choices as much as possible but don’t deprive yourself of your favorite treats, either. Remember that moderation is always the key.
Enjoy your pregnancy, have fun with it, and stay active! Best of luck!