Whether you are expecting a single baby or multiple, pregnancy puts your body to the test with an incredible number of changes. Most notably, a constantly growing belly and frequent hormone fluctuations put an immense amount of strain on your bones, joints, muscles and ligaments. You can keep your body in great shape by continuing to perform gentle exercise routines as long as they are permitted by your doctor. Here are five exercises that doctors often regard as safe throughout pregnancy.

Stretch It Out

Strain on the round ligaments at the front of the pelvis can cause pain to shoot up your torso and down your legs. You may even feel an immense amount of pain in both hips and through your lower back. The best way to combat the pain is through a series of stretches that target the affected areas. You can sit on the ground or a large ball while slowly stretching out your arms, legs, neck, back and shoulders.

Take a Walk

Walking for at least 30 minutes a day can keep your blood pressure in check and improve overall well-being throughout your pregnancy. You do not need to walk fast or strain yourself by going up and down steep hills to reap the benefits of walking. A slow walk around the neighborhood, alone or alongside a friend, will do.

Go for a Swim

Going swimming a few times a week improves cardiovascular fitness and muscle tone without putting strain on your joints. The water will support the weight of your belly to reduce back and shoulder strain while you are working out. For a low impact exercise that keeps your heart pumping in the target range, try to tread water for as long as possible in the shallow end of the pool.

Practice Yoga

Prenatal yoga poses improve oxygen-laced blood flow from your heart to the placenta. The exercises also stretch and tone muscles, joints and ligaments throughout your body. Only hold each position for 10 to 15 seconds at a time to avoid overexerting your body. Remember to keep your breathing rhythm in check while holding and changing poses.

Lift Some Weights

Strong muscle tone will come in handy as you handle birthing your baby at the end of the pregnancy. You can keep your muscles strong by lifting reasonably sized weights. Use five to 10-pound dumbbells to perform lifts while standing or sitting. Target your chest, back, shoulders and arms to gain strength without putting your pelvic muscles at risk of injury.

Find Your Groove

Although you can complete all of the above exercises on your own, you might want to receive professional guidance with pregnancy workouts by contacting your orthopedic specialist clinic. The orthopedists atSoutheast Ortho can assist with exercise selection and form checks as you progress through your pregnancy and beyond.

Return to Blog