Staying fit can go beyond formal workouts. Try these easy exercises to do while pregnant.
Exercise has been shown to help ease labor and delivery by strengthening your muscles, making you more limber, building your endurance, and even supporting your breathing. Other perks include better sleep and stress relief. But even if you miss a traditional workout (say, yoga or water aerobics), you can still find ways to benefit by incorporating more movement into your daily routine. Remember to run any new activities by your doctor for an OK. Also, start slowly if you are not used to activity. Even five or 10 more active minutes every day is a good start, and you can add time each week until you get up to 30 minutes.
Moving your body to the music is actually really good exercise. Why not sign up for a ballroom dance class with your partner? It’s a great way to spend time together and stay physically fit. Or pop in a DVD and take a (slow) spin at home.
Work In More Walking
Reasons you might love walking: You can do it anywhere. It’s low-impact. You can go with a friend for some catch-up time. You can continue to do it after your baby is born, with the added bonus of spending time together in new scenery and fresh air.
You can start by simply taking a stroll around the block. Then look for ways to add more walking throughout your day: Lap the grocery store before you pick up your first item, walk into the bank instead of using the drive-through, or take the stairs to use a bathroom on a different floor at work. On planned fitness walks, as you build up stamina, you can increase your speed, walk up and down hills, and add more distance.
Give In to That Nesting Instinct
Especially later in pregnancy, many women may feel the urge to clean and organize. Take advantage of that energy to tackle small projects around the house that will help you get moving as well. Be careful not to overdo it—listen to your body.
Take a Stand
As long as you’re feeling good, look for simple ways to stand rather than sit throughout the day. Maybe you can stand (or even walk around) while you’re speaking on the phone at home or work. Waiting for a car repair? Spend part of the time standing.
Watch What You Wear
Surprising but true: The more comfortable your clothes are, the more likely you will be to stay active throughout the day.