Every week on Friday I enjoy highlighting one of the many fabulous bloggers out there. I truly believe in this community and that in the connection we can do so much together towards our goals. I think you may feel the same way, which is why I bring you “Fit Friends”. Perhaps you can find another fitness pal to connect with or even just another great blog to read.
This week, I have a special guest post from the Katie Moore at Moore From Katie. She has a post to share all about having a fit pregnancy. I always aimed to maintain as much fitness as possible during my two pregnancies and, since I know I have pregnant readers, I thought this would be a great feature. Enjoy!
Exercises for a Fit Pregnancy
Exercise is an important part of pregnancy. As much as I did not want to do it sometimes, I must admit exercise played a vital role in helping me through delivery and getting back my endurance after. Exercise also provides numerous benefits to the growing baby inside you. Knowing that just a little exercise each day could help my baby in the long run was motivation enough for me!
Exercise also helped me deal with side effects of pregnancy, such as nausea and fatigue. Strength training kept my muscles toned and ready for the impending marathon, also known as giving birth. The benefits of staying fit during pregnancy are numerous! Whether you are newly pregnant, or getting ready to meet your baby, check out a few of these exercises I recommend.
The gravitational pull of your growing belly will obviously impede normal push-ups after the first trimester or so. Pregnant women can still work to strengthen their arms, shoulders and core muscles by performing a push-up next to the wall. Stand about two to three feet from a wall; place your hands flat on the wall with your arms straight. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your chest to the wall. Keeping the back straight, push back up to a standing position.
An exercise ball can be extremely useful for many exercises during pregnancy because it takes the strain and pressure off of the hips and back, which can be extra sore during pregnancy. Getting your thighs in shape now with squats will help during labor, as squatting is often a comfortable position for many women. You can also get a nice back massage as you perform these wall squats. Place an exercise ball between yourself and a wall, holding it against the wall with your back. Place your feet, toes forward, shoulder width apart. Slowly squat down, letting your back roll down the ball. Stop when your legs form a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knees do not bend over your toes. Slowly slide back up and repeat.
These leg lifts will strengthen your back along with your abdominal muscles, allowing your body to easily carry the growing baby in your womb. Performing these lifts on all fours also takes some pressure off of your hips and bladder for a while, as the baby floats in space. Place your hands directly beneath your shoulders, fingers pointing forward. Knees should be about hip-width apart. Lift one leg behind you with a bent knee, straighten the leg and hold it parallel to the floor for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.
At some point in pregnancy, most women feel like they’ve lost their sense of equilibrium. Sometimes just walking down a flight of stairs can seem a challenge. The side plank will help with stability and balance in addition to strengthening the side abdominal muscles. Perform the side plank by propping your upper body up on one elbow and lifting the hips to form a diagonal line from your hips to your head. Bend your legs at the knee to support your lower body, keeping the knees in line with the hips. Hold for several seconds, and then lower your hips to the floor to rest. Repeat on the same side several times, and then switch to the opposite arm.
All of these exercises helped me to relax during my pregnancy as I prepared for my newborn. I was able to do them at home, on my own time. I recommend you speak with your doctor, doula or midwife to see which exercises are best for you. They will be your best resource both during and after your pregnancy. Along with talking to your healthcare provider about diet and exercise, be sure to discuss any other things you may have a question about. My doctor gave me tons of information about pregnancy from the value of my baby’s cord blood to counting contractions! Whether you chose to use a doctor, doula or midwife, he or she will be able to help guide you to make the best decisions for you and your family.
Have fun as you prepare for your newborn. Remember to relax and take one step at a time!
Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26