You must remain fit during pregnancy, and exercise is one of the best ways to do so. However, you have to exercise safely and this is a bit tricky late in any pregnancy.
There is absolutely no question that women who exercise during pregnancyremain happier and healthier than those who avoid it. Not only does it make them feel and sleep better, but it also helps to eliminate the risks of many common pregnancy complaints and problems.
It is also something that prepares a woman for the “marathon” that childbirth can become, and it is always helpful to have strong and toned muscles throughout an entire pregnancy. However, there are times during any pregnancy when you face challenges during specific movements, especially in the last trimester.
The End of the Race
The pace at which your body has changed throughout your pregnancy is astonishing, and now you are (admit it) becoming a bit tired of being pregnant. You haven’t seen your feet for a while, you feel a bit fatigued all of the time, and you are retaining a lot of fluid. Add to that the weight of the baby against your bladder making you feel as if you must head to the restroom every few moments, and it is not likely that you are up to running a marathon during the third trimester.
That is an appropriate feeling, but you cannot just lay down on the bed and wait for those first few contractions to kick in. Just like the first two trimesters of your pregnancy were about wellness and caring for yourself and the baby, these last three months are as well.
Though you feel challenged by a lot of your favorite movements – such as simply walking without waddling or feeling off balance – you still have to keep moving. In fact, walking is considered one of the best exercises you could be doing during this point in the pregnancy. Thirty minutes of brisk walking are all that you need to keep your heart healthy and your blood pressure in good shape.
However, do speak with your doctor before you do any exercises because they will know if you should be limiting movement or avoiding certain activities. Also ask them about some toning exercises that can help with delivery. The two following exercises are commonly suggested:
- Pushups – because you cannot do these in the “classic” way, use the wall to do them. Stand with the feet at hip width and put your palms on the wall. Straighten the arms and straighten the back by visualizing your belly button tucking in towards your spine. Keep your head up and bend at the elbow as you lean the chest towards he wall. Push yourself back into the starting pose and repeat ten times.
- Plies – a classic ballet move, this is altered to support a pregnant woman’s body. You just face the wall with the feet at hip width and the knees gently turned out. Put hands on the wall and tuck the pelvis so the tailbone is pointed down at the flood. Slowly bend the knees as you dip the torso towards the ground.At midway, begin to stand back up, being sure you keep the heels down. Repeat ten times.
You will also want to explore any local options for pregnancy specific fitness classes. Everything from yoga and dancing to basic birthing classes are ideally suited for this short period of time. Remember to ask your doctor about the appropriateness of any workouts and exercises you intend to do, and be sure to keep moving as much as possible during the last trimester.
Betty Anderson is a freelance writer for the online maternity boutique