Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and boost energy- and who doesn't need help with these during pregnancy? Regular exercise need not be strenuous to be beneficial, and according the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the benefits include reduced back pain and lowered risks of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. There are plenty of low-impact options available to expectant parents!
You should always consult your care provider before beginning a new exercise routine, especially during pregnancy.
Walking is a great way to build muscle and endurance, while being gentle on the joints. Get outside and explore the trails at the Cincinnati Nature Center, or use the paved paths at county and state parks. Fresh air, sunshine (yay, Vitamin D!), and spending some time away from blinking screens and fluorescent lights is good for the body and mind.
If getting outside isn't feasible due to a packed schedule or bad weather, try squeezing in your daily walk using a fitness DVD. I personally love Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home workouts. Leslie has a fun, upbeat personality and her cast includes a variety of ages and body types. I'm currently midway through my pregnancy with baby #5 and have been sweatin' it to this video:
Yoga is another good exercise option during pregnancy. Prenatal yoga classes are a great way to connect with other parents. Taking time out for self care in a soothing space? Aaah. Feel the stress melt away. Bonus: prenatal yoga teaches you to focus on controlling your breathing through deep movements- which is fantastic preparation for childbirth!
One of my favorite prenatal yoga DVDs is done by Leisa Hart (you might recognize her name as one of the Buns of Steel instructors). Fitmama's workouts feature women in their first, second, and third trimesters, with Leisa explaining the pose modifications for each.
What exercise do you enjoy during pregnancy? Do you feel a difference when you do workout versus the days when you don't?