Prenatal Fitness - The Best Pregnancy Workout Plan

Prenatal Fitness – The Best Pregnancy Workout Plan

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Prenatal fitness can be daunting for a lot of reasons. There are so many questions around exercising while pregnant. Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy? What is the best pregnancy workout plan? Are ab workouts when pregnant safe? Will it hurt the baby? Will it hurt me?

Those first few weeks after you find out you’re pregnant are so exciting. You start to change your eating habits to benefit the baby, and you switch your skin routine to pregnancy safe skincare products. But, what about your workout routine? Are first trimester pregnancy exercises safe? Unless your doctor says otherwise, the benefits of prenatal fitness throughout your entire pregnancy far outweigh the risks for both mom and baby. I will get to what I think is the best pregnancy workout plan below, but first let’s talk about prenatal fitness in general. (If you want to skip the post and go straight to the program, CLICK HERE and use code FERTILITYFOODS to save on your workout plan.)

*Once again, please note I am not a doctor. Get permission from your doctor before starting any prenatal fitness routine. Your doctor may advise you not to exercise due to various pregnancy complications.

Benefits of Working Out While Pregnant

There are numerous benefits of working out while pregnant, both mentally and physically. Not only does it help control pregnancy weight gain, but it helps prepare your body for labor and delivery, and even has benefits postpartum for both you and baby. According to Mayo Clinic, some benefits of working out while pregnant include:

  1. Stress Relief – Mentally, exercise is a wonderful stress reliever. Pregnancy is a stressful time with an increased chance of developing depression. Endorphins released while exercising boost mood and alleviate stress and anxiety.
  2. Relieve Aches and Pains – Exercise can also relieve many pregnancy aches and pains. Prenatal fitness helps to relieve back pain, pelvis pain, bloating and swelling. Pregnant women that exercise regularly also report sleeping better.
  3. Promote Endurance – Exercising while pregnant helps build up your body’s endurance to prepare it for labor and delivery. It may even make your delivery easier and decrease the risk of having a c-section.
  4. Lower Risk of Gestational Diabetes – It is proven that prenatal fitness may lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes and prevent excess weight gain.
  5. Increased Blood Flow – Exercise increases blood flow to both you and the baby. This helps reduce swelling, which is very common during pregnancy. Increased blood flow to baby helps with development, and preparing the baby for life outside of the womb.

How to Exercise While Pregnant

During the first trimester, you can continue any workout plan you were already doing. But, it is important to listen to your body and rest when you need to. First trimester nausea and morning sickness is rough for a lot of women. You may need to adjust your workouts to accommodate how you’re feeling, and that’s ok. Take it slow!

Also, take it slow if you’re just starting out on your exercise journey. Pregnancy is a great time to start working out, because the benefits of prenatal fitness are so important. Find something simple to start with, like walking everyday. Then you can build up from there.

As you get into the second and third trimesters, your body is going through a lot of changes. You will need to adjust your workout to accommodate your growing belly. Focus on what feels good, and focus on pregnancy safe exercises. Not all workouts are safe while pregnant, so talk to your doctor before starting anything new or if you have any questions.

Exercises to Avoid When Pregnant

Most exercise programs are safe during pregnancy, especially programs designed specifically for pregnancy. But, there are things to consider as you workout while pregnant. According to WebMd, it is important to avoid these types of activities:

  1. Exercises where you lay on your back for longer than 3 minutes. It is important to avoid lying on your back for extended periods while pregnant, because it can reduce blood flow and oxygen to your baby.
  2. Anything that causes you to hold your breath.
  3. Contact sports like football, volleyball, basketball, etc. Also, sports with a high fall risk such as skiing and horseback riding.
  4. Any exercise that may cause even mild abdominal trauma, including activities that include jarring motions or rapid changes in direction. Also avoid activities that require extensive jumping or bouncing.
  5. Exercising in hot, humid conditions. Avoid hot yoga during pregnancy.
  6. Anything that doesn’t feel right or is uncomfortable. Listen to your body.

The Best Pregnancy Workout Plan

The best pregnancy workout plan is a plan that is pregnancy-safe, consistent, and enjoyable! You won’t be motivated to stick to it if you don’t enjoy it. Doctors recommend moving your body for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Just do whatever feels good! Whether that is walking, swimming, spin class, yoga, pilates or weight training, you and your baby will benefit from the movement.

There are also some incredible pregnancy workout plans out there that are convenient and easy to follow. The best pregnancy workout plan I have come across is Expecting and Empowered. I used it when I was pregnant, and swear this program helped me heal after umbilical hernia surgery to fix my torn abs. I still use the core exercises today.

The Expecting and Empowered program has prenatal fitness plans divided into each trimester, so it is easy to find the best workouts for your stage of pregnancy. And, their amazing postpartum fitness programs are divided into a cesarean delivery program, perfect for c-section mamas, and a vaginal birth program great for all mamas. The core workouts are comprehensive, easy to follow, pregnancy and postpartum safe, and there are a TON to choose from. This is a wonderful program if you are trying to avoid diastasis recti or help heal it.

Plus, the Expecting and Empowered Instagram profile is a plethora of information for everything pregnancy, postpartum, and more. And, if you like podcasts, the Expecting and Empowered podcast is one of the most informative pregnancy, postpartum, and women’s wellness podcasts I’ve listened to. And, it is highly entertaining! Perfect for those pregnancy and postpartum walks and workouts.

The Expecting and Empowered app is streamlined, easy to navigate, and challenging but fun. It is perfect whether you do your pregnancy workouts at the gym, or prefer to do your pregnancy workouts at home with pictures and videos that describe each move. It will leave you stronger, more confident, and ready to tackle your pregnancy and postpartum goals. Use code FERTILITYFOODS to save on your new fitness program.

Let me know if you found any certain pregnancy workout plan helpful, or if you have tried Expecting and Empowered! I hope you like it. Enjoy!


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