Your Essential Guide to Exercise During Pregnancy

First Trimester

  • Week 1 and 2 (Before Conception) - Yoga Women who have the highest levels of stress-related enzyme in their saliva (called alpha-amylase) are 29% less likely to become pregnant than those with the lowest levels. Yoga is a great way to unwind and de-stress during this time.

  • Week 3-5 - Relax Fatigue will truly hit you during your first trimester, as your body completes the huge task of manufacturing the placenta. You should listen to your body; if it's telling you to relax, then get plenty of rest.

  • Week 6 - Walking/Yoga As your fatigue continues to take a toll on your body, it's hard to motivate yourself to exercise. Even if you take a walk, or go to a yoga class, the endorphins will lighten your mood and help you to sleep better. Just don't overdo it!

  • Week 7 - Kegels The pregnancy hormone, hCG, is increasing the blood flow to your pelvic area, which will affect your urine flow. As frequent urination becomes more prominent, ensure you practice your Kegels to prevent any embarrassing leaks.

  • Week 8 - Squats Performing squats can help to strengthen and tone your thighs; during labour, they can even help your baby to descend. Hold the squat position for 10 to 30 seconds, and repeat 5 times.

  • Week 9-10 - Light-Moderate Exercise By week 10, you may have been hit by constipation; to keep everything moving, do some light exercise, such as walking.

  • Week 11 - Yoga Anxiety and depression can be a risk during pregnancy. Once-a-week yoga classes for 8 weeks is enough to reduce an expectant mother's risk of anxiety and depression, and lowers the chance of premature birth and postpartum blues.

  • Week 12 - Kegels Building these bladder and uterus supporting muscles reduces your chance of bladder issues, and can help to ease other pregnancy and postpartum symptoms. Try and do 3 sets of 10 kegels throughout the day.

  • Week 13 - Light-Moderate Exercise As your fatigue decreases, you may realise you have gained a newfound spark of energy. Try channelling this into a gentle workout routine, just make sure you don't overdo it!

Second Trimester

  • Week 14-16 - Walking Varicose veins may become more prominent during your second trimester. These large, swollen blood vessels are caused by the extra blood volume that you produce to nourish your baby. Though you can not entirely prevent varicose veins, you can help to minimise them by walking throughout the day, helping the blood to circulate.

  • Week 17-18 - Light-Moderate Exercise Take advantage of your burst of energy in the second trimester by engaging in some exercise.

  • Week 19-21 - Swimming Keep your exercise low impact, with swimming, yoga, or walking. Thanks to ligament-loosening relaxant in your body, you are more susceptible to injury.

  • Week 22-23 - Meditation Engage in a spot of pregnancy meditation to relax. Try sitting with your eyes closed and imagining a peaceful scene. Working up from your toes to your face, concentrate on relaxing each and every muscle. Breathe slowly and deeply through your nose, choosing one simple word (such as 'yes') to repeat aloud each time you exhale. After 10 to 20 minutes, you should feel a lot more relaxed.

  • Week 24-25 - Kegels If you're beginning to feel pain in the pelvic area, you may be experiencing Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). This is caused by now relaxed and stretchy ligaments that normally keep your pelvic joints aligned. Regularly practice your Kegels and pelvic tilts, which will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If the pain is severe, ask your practitioner for a referral to a physical therapist.

  • Week 26 - Daytime Exercise Pregnancy insomnia can affect you during your second trimester. Try exercising during the day to help you tire out by nightfall.

  • Week 27 - Yoga For some expectant women, your legs can become tingling and jittery as a result of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Consider trying yoga, or other relaxation techniques, to help the problem.

Third Trimester

  • Week 31-32 - Prenatal Yoga Backaches can make you feel super uncomfortable during your third trimester. If you haven't already, try to incorporate yoga into your exercise routine. The stretches will relax your back and mind.

  • Week 33-34 - Kegels Constipation's side-kick, Hemorrhoids, can be kept at bay by doing Kegels. Pelvic floor exercises will help to improve circulation to the area.

  • Week 35 - Kegels Practicing your pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen the pelvic muscles and prevent, or correct, most cases of pregnancy-induced incontinence.

  • Week 36-38 - Kegels As you can tell, practicing your pelvic floor exercises are vital in your third trimester. Kegels can also help to relieve discomfort caused through pelvic pain. The pain occurs due to your joint flexibility, the pressure from your baby's head burrowing deeper into your pelvis, and your heavier uterus weighing you down.

  • Week 39-40 - Walking Walking may help to induce labour naturally (ask your healthcare provider first).


Original article: Kegel8 Website

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