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Which Month to Start Exercise During Pregnancy? (Full Trimester Exercise Guide)

Kiran Verma

Written by Kiran Verma

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Ubaid Khan, MBBS

Which month to start exercise during pregnancy? What are the benefits of exercise during pregnancy? These are question that comes in our mind during pregnancy, right?

Definitely, as from now on, everything is going to affect the baby. And you want the best for your tot though, she/he is still enjoying in your womb and driving you crazy.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gaenocolgist, if you are healthy and are going through a normal pregnancy, you can start or continue your physical exercise. Of course with some modifications.

Which Month to Start Exercise During Pregnancy?

It is advised not to start the exercise only during pregnancy suddenly. But make it a habit. You can start the pregnancy exercise during your first trimester. But only start with like slow walking, jogging, keep doing whatever you were doing. Don’t go with high impact or high weight lifting exercise.

Additionally, exercises are safe for every stage of the pregnancy, if you are doing it right. So, always, exercise under an expert.

But, before actually performing any exercise you should concern the same with your doctor. If you are still, not sure then, you can look around and see some of the real examples, some of these are mothers to be working on the street, on the farms, on the beach, and more.

All of these prove that you can even roll your feet and dance during pregnancy.

To be noted, women who live in urban areas are being surrounded by a comfortable environment at home and in the office. As a result, they cannot engage in physical activities. This enhances the need for a supervised exercise program if you are starting it for the first time.

However, if you are already engaged in the routine, you can continue the same with some changes.

According to the Times of India, one in 10 women exercise appropriately. As they do not know, that sitting at home and resting can enhance the further risk. Also, the study WINGS, of which 800 women are part, shows that only 10.7% of pregnant women follow the recommended physical activities.

What are the Duration of Each Trimester?

What are the Duration of Each Trimester?

Here, I guess, you must know that there are a total of three trimesters that you have to go through. I will start by specifying each trimester to give you a better understanding. 

The first trimester is of 0-13 weeks which is considered the most crucial for a baby’s development.

Then comes, the second trimester which is of 14-26 weeks long, it is often termed as the “Golden Period”. Because varied irksome symptoms of early pregnancy vanish during this phase.

Last, the duration of the third trimester is 27-40 weeks long this is the final step of yours towards your pregnancy.

Note: Before starting any workout or exercise, contact your doctor or expert first.

Pregnancy Exercises – First Trimester

Let’s start with, what pregnancy exercises you can perform during your first trimester: 

1. Walking and Jogging

Pregnancy Exercises - First Trimester

Running is the ideal aerobic exercise that you can perform during pregnancy too if you are comfortable. To be noted, if you never jog or run before pregnancy, then it is advised not to do it now. 

Hey! There is a lot you can do, for instance, you can engage in brisk running, stationary cycling, or swimming, which are low impact exercise. Running and jogging is something that you can perform in each trimester.

However, with the growth of the bump your center of gravity is going to change which affects your balance. Therefore, run on an even surface to avoid falling. Also avoid running in heat or if you have a risk of premature birth.

Benefits of Running:

  • Better sleep
  • Lessens the leg cramps
  • Enhance the energy
  • Lessen the stress and anxiety 
  • Improve mood
  • Boost cardiovascular function
  • Easy to give birth
  • Prevent weight gain
  • Lessens the risk of constipation and hemorrhoids
  • Lessens the muscle cramps
  • Reduce emasculatory discomfort
  • Decrease the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Allow you to maintain a healthy weight after pregnancy

Also Check: Best Pregnancy Pillows

Precautions:

  • Don’t place too much pressure on the fetus and uterus
  • Run-on even surface
  • If you are overheating quit running
  • Don’t run or jog when the sun is up
  • Focus on the ideal technique to run instead of fast pace
  • Avoid putting excess stress on joints, bones, and muscles
  • Remain hydrated
  • If you are injured, instantly call the doctor
  • Wear supportive shoes and bra
  • If you have a typical pain while running, contact doctor, especially during the third trimester

2. Swimming

Swimming During Pregnancy Exercise

Swimming is the ideal exercise with many positive effects, if you swim rarely, you can start it again slowly. Further, increase the duration with time. You can perform workouts like stroke and crawl, double backstroke, sprint and slow, etc.

For a better start, keep the duration of the swimming until you are comfortable and at a moderate speed. This will not leave you breathless. 

On the other hand, if you are an intermediate and advanced swimmer, you should have taken the advice of the doctor before following your regular schedule. But avoid breathlessness as it suggests that the baby is not able to breathe too.

Here you can have a look at, water and pregnant exercise. Swimming is perfect for the first, second, and third trimester.

Benefits of Swimming:

  • Soothes ankles and foot swelling
  • Ideal to maintain a healthy weight
  • Relief from sciatic pain
  • Keeps cardiovascular health under check
  • Boost labor and delivery experience 
  • Lessens the morning sickness
  • Enhance the muscle strength 
  • Reduce muscle and spine tension
  • Keeps you relax
  • Enhance the quality of sleep
  • Easy on ligaments and joints
  • Boost blood circulation and tones of muscles
  • During the first trimester, to eliminate the morning nausea you can swim for 30 minutes
  • In the second trimester, you can lessen the frequency of swimming and you can also perform backstroke, this won’t affect your blood flow
  • During the third trimester, to reduce the back muscle tension you can swim in breaststroke style
  • Enhance the functionality of muscles around the shoulder and spine 
  • Control the body temperature and keeps you cool

Precautions

  • If you notice vaginal bleeding, you should instantly stop swimming. This also includes pain in the abdomen, fluid loss, irregular heartbeats, and uterine contractions
  • Stop when you find yourself dizzy, breathless, and lightheaded
  • Swim in clean water  
  • Avoid hot tubs
  • Be careful while walking, it might be slippery
  • Breath steady and continuously
  • Remain hydrated
  • Take essential calories
  • Wear swimsuits accordingly 

3. Wall Slide 

It is one of the ideal pregnancy exercises at home, here the steps begin, 

  • Keep your hands’ width apart and back against the wall
  • Then, brings arms up in a way that your shoulder blades are pressing the walls
  • Simply by inhaling, bend your knees and slide your back down to the wall, at the angle of a 45-degree 
  • With the bending of knees, you have to straighten your elbows, till your arms straight over your head
  • For 5 seconds hold the position
  • To straighten your knees, exhale 
  • As you straighten your knees, your body goes into the same posture
  • Repeat the same for 10 counts

Benefits of Wall Slide:

  • Keeps you in good posture
  • Tone up pelvic floor muscles and tone up your legs
  • Develop isometric strength
  • Ideal for glutes, hamstring, calves, etc
  • Enhance the stamina 
  • Strengthen the bones
  • Reduce craving for smoking or tobacco

Precautions:

  • Avoid exerting much pressure
  • Quit it if you are feeling too hot
  • Wear proper shoes to avoid slipping
  • If you notice anything unusual, call a doctor
  • If you find yourself breathless, stop right there

4. Clamshell

I’m not going to take much of your time, here are the steps,

  • Start by lying on a side, with your hips and feet stacked
  • Ensure to keep your knee at the 90-degree angle and support your head with your hand
  • Later, keep your feet together and slowly raise your knee as far as possible 
  • In between do not rotate your hip and lift your other knee keep it on the floor
  • Before lowering your leg, hold the position for a second and squeeze your glutes
  • Repeat it 20 times
  • Do the same on the other side

Benefits of Clamshell:

  • Preserve your knees and lower back from strain
  • Ensure hip stabilization
  • Forms outer side of hip and butt
  • Focus on glutes
  • Strengthen the pelvic floor

Precautions:

  • Do not overstretch
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Avoid if you feel unusual pain, breathlessness, and dizziness
  • Rotate your hip not lower back
  • Keep your neck in a neutral position
  • Do not strain your neck

Also Read: How to take care of a pregnant woman every day? (19 tips!)

5. Yoga

Yoga During Pregnancy

India is being known for performing yogic asanas, even you can perform yogic asanas during pregnancy too. Some of these asanas are, 

  • Gentle neck and shoulder rolls
  • Butterfly pose, half and full
  • Cat stretch pose
  • Palm tree pose
  • Triangle pose

Benefits of Yoga:

  • Provide relief from strain and tension
  • Increase the endurance of the muscles needed for birth
  • Keeps you physically and mentally fit
  • Allow you to stretch the spine
  • Increase the flexibility
  • Enhance sleep
  • Keeps you fit
  • Strengthen the childbirth muscle
  • Lessens the lower back pain, headaches, nausea, and short breathlessness
  • Cat stretch pose, tones the reproductive system of female

Precautions:

  • Avoid backward bending
  • Do not lie on your abdomen
  • Avoid cobra pose
  • Stop performing twisting postures
  • Avoid deep bending

You can also use yoga pregnancy gym ball for more comfort and ease.

Use gym ball during pregnancy

6. Pilates

If you are pregnant and trying to find an ideal plus safe exercise during your pregnancy, nothing could beat pilates. As it focuses on the core and has other benefits. First, let’s start with how to perform the pilates, 

  • First, you can simply sit on both your knees. Stretch your hands as much as possible, more like a child pose stretch. Warm your body by reaching back, further, take your hands, and stretch. As you go up, keep your knees at a 90-degree angle. In short, use your hamstring and glutes to go up
  • Second, get in a cat-camel pose, do not extend your spine much. Finally, move your spine with a little strength and breathe.

Likewise, you can perform various types of pilates.

Benefits of Pilates:

  • Enhance your posture
  • Eliminate headaches
  • Help you in labor and delivery
  • Improve your mood 
  • Enhance the level of energy
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Strengthen the legs
  • Strengthen your glutes and stomach
  • Lessen the back pain
  • Improve balance
  • Can be performed during any of the trimesters
  • Ensure pelvic and lower back stability

Precautions 

  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Be careful as you might fall
  • Avoid belly curls and crunches
  • Do not jump
  • Do not perform unsupported backbends

7. Hip Raise or Bridge

This is another one of the perfect pregnancy exercises from home, you do not require any equipment to perform this. Simply follow these steps, 

  • Start with lying on a mat then bent your knees so that your feet lie flat on the ground
  • Ensure to keep your back straight 
  • For stability place your hands out on your sides 
  • Simply by extending your hips upward raise your glutens up
  • That is while pushing through your heels
  • Perform the same, till your back, hips, and thighs are in a straight line
  • Further, hold the same for the count of one
  • To return to the same position, lower your hips on the floor
  • Before repeating, take a pause

Benefits of Hip Raise Exercise: 

  • Develop your core muscles
  • Improve your posture
  • Stabilize your movement
  • Activate your glutes

Precautions:

  • Avoid during the final stage of pregnancy
  • Do not perform if you are recovering from an injury
  • Avoid overarching and too high your lower back
  • Do not rush while performing the exercise

8. Kegels

Kegels is the perfect exercise during pregnancy as it strengthens the muscles which support the uterus, bowels, and bladder. You can perform Kegels like anywhere, here follow an easy step.

Simply imagine you are trying to stop the urine or passing the gas. This will contract the pelvic floor muscles. 

The best part is that no one can know that you are performing Kegels, as I said above.

Benefits of Kegels:

  • You can perform it during the postpartum period
  • Enhance the urinary control
  • Boost the strength of the pelvic floor
  • Enhance the healing of perineal tissue
  • Boost the vaginal blood circulation
  • Relax your vaginal muscles

Precautions:

  • Do not move legs, buttocks, or abdominal muscles while performing Kegels
  • Avoid making it a habit to start and stop urine 
  • Performing Kegels during emptying the bladder, end up enhancing the risk of urinary tract infection
  • If you are facing issues while performing Kegels, contact the doctor
  • Performing the same with too much force or incorrectly tighten the muscles too much
  • Pain in the abdomen and back are cues that you are doing it wrong

9. Squats

Yes! Squats are counts as one of the ideal pregnancy exercises as it helps in enhancing the lower body strength. That too without any equipment, first I would start with how to perform it,

  • Stand, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart
  • If you do not have weight and bars, hold your hands in front of your body, this will maintain the balance of the body
  • Slowly lower yourself into a squat position
  • Do not push yourself, instead go as far as you are comfortable
  • Keep your back straight and your weight should be on your heels and knees
  • Get back on the earlier position by squeezing your glutes
  • With that, you can also perform, sumo squats, squats against walls with the ball, deep squat holding with pelvic floor contraction, and chair squat, 

Benefits of Squats:

  • Lessen the headaches and constipation
  • Enhance the energy
  • Control gestational diabetes
  • Improve the posture and mood
  • Reduce the swelling
  • Enhance the sleep
  • Tone up your muscles
  • Enhance the strength and endurance of muscles

Precautions:

  • Stop doing the exercise if you are facing dizziness, breathlessness, and pounding heart
  • Avoid if you notice vaginal bleeding and vaginal fluid leaking
  • Do not perform if you have chest pain and muscle cramps
  • Avoid if you feel the uterine contraction

Also Read: How to take care during pregnancy of the first month?

10. Low-intensity Weight Training

Low-intensity Weight Training during pregnancy

Certainly, you can hold weights during pregnancy but that should be moderate. Even experts claim that lifting weights is the ideal way to remain fit during pregnancy. However, always consult with the doctor before lifting weight

To be noted, whether you lift weight before or not, you are enhancing the risk of musculoskeletal injury. This is a result of a hormone called relaxin which is released by the placenta.

Benefits of Weight Lifting:

  • Ease your delivery and labor
  • Enhance the stamina
  • Retain muscle mass
  • Strengthen the muscle of the back
  • Ideal for overall fitness
  • Can be performed all the trimesters

Precautions 

  • Do not strain yourself
  • After the 12th week avoid lifting weights while lying on the back
  • Avoid using heavyweights
  • Do not hold breath
  • Be careful with free lifts

11. Cycling With a Stationary Bike or Spin Classes

The major reason behind mentioning stationary bike is that standard cycling has a possibility of falling and being injured. That is surely not good for the baby and mama.

If you are worried then do not be, spin cycles or stationary bike are all healthy and offers low risk.

If you are a newbie, I would advise you to start moderately and if you are doing it before follow your schedule but consult the doctor before. 

Benefits of Cycling or Spin Classes:

  • Enhance cardiovascular fitness
  • Reduce the level of fat
  • Improve the posture 
  • Can be performed during any trimesters
  • Allow you go regain initial strength

Precautions

  • Do not exert too much pressure
  • Do it moderately
  • The height of the handle and seat should be ideal to avoid injury
  • Keep yourself hydrates
  • If you find yourself dizzy and breathless, do not perform

12. Dancing

Dancing during pregnancy is safe until it does not includes jumping, leaping, and twirling. Before that, you need to be fit, used to dance, and have a normal and safe pregnancy. 

Benefits of Dancing:

  • Keeps you fit
  • Tone up your muscles
  • Keep your lungs and heart-healthy
  • Lessen the stress and anxiety
  • Decrease the risk of delivery 
  • Slow the process of weight gaining
  • Prevent gestational diabetes and preeclampsia

Precautions:

  • Do not engage in vigorous or strenuous dance
  • As your bumps grow do not perform a dance which includes jumpy and jerky movements
  • Quit dancing if you notice vaginal fluid leaking or vaginal bleeding
  • Stop dancing if you are feeling dizziness and if you are out of breath
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Stop if you are feeling a severe headache
  • Start moderately 
  • Do not dance if you face pain in the legs and calf

Also Read: 16 Challenges First-Time Parents Face While Taking Care of the Baby!

First Trimester Do’s and Don’ts

Before performing any exercise, you should know what you should or what you should not do. Let’s have a look at the first trimester do’s and don’ts,

Do’s 

  • Warm-up before exercise
  • Avoid overheating your body
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Ask for a doctor’s advice before starting any exercise
  • Stick to low impact exercise
  • Understand the cues of quitting

Don’ts

  • Do not introduce yourself with a completely new schedule of exercise 
  • Prevent overdoing any exercise
  • Do not forget to take advice from the doctor

Pregnancy Exercise – Second Trimester

Now comes the second trimester and here, you would get the answer of how to be fit during pregnancy second trimester. Let’s have a look at the exercises to perform in the second trimester.

1. Walking and Slow Jogging

As I have mentioned earlier, slow walking and jogging is the ideal exercise for 5 months pregnant woman. Simply wear your quality of shoes and walk or jog on an even surface to avoid slipping or falling.

2. Stationary Cycling or Spinning

Yes! you can spin or do cycling on the stationary cycle. For this, either join a GYM or buy one for yourself. It is the safest way to avail of the benefits of cycling at home or the Gym.

3. Swimming

If you are looking for something to tone up your muscles and relaxing, swimming is the best exercise for 5 months pregnant woman. However, do not ignore the cues that you must stop right there, some of these are dizziness, vaginal bleeding, etc.

4. Squats

The squat is one of the exercises that you can perform in the second trimester too. Although, you should not strain yourself and go down as much as you are comfortable. Also, take other precautions.

5. Yoga

As I said before, yoga is ideal to perform during pregnancy, mostly yoga asanas are the same as of the first trimester while some are distinct. These are,

  • Gentle neck and shoulder rolls
  • Half and full butterfly pose
  • Hero’s pose
  • Cat stretch pose
  • Frog pose
  • Seat forward bend pose

6. Side-lying and Inner Thigh Exercise

Here, what you have to do, 

  • Start by lying on your side and by supporting your head with your arm
  • Straighten your leg which is not in touch with the floor, while keeping the other leg at a 45-degree angle
  • For stability put your free arm on the floor
  • Lift your leg to the height of the hip
  • To take rest put your leg on the pillow at the angle of 45 degree

Benefits of Side-lying and Inner Thigh Exercise:

  • Boost body stability
  • Strengthen inner thigh
  • Enhance the muscles endurance
  • Strengthen your core

Precautions:

  • Do not overstretch
  • When you notice vaginal bleeding or leakage, stop right there
  • If exhausted rest then repeat
  • Do not overdo it
  • Keep yourself hydrated

7. Forward Pull-ups

Here you go with the steps:

  • Slightly bent your knees by keeping your say left leg forward
  • Slowly lower down your upper body on the left knees
  • Take the support of your knees by putting your left hand on it
  • By keeping your elbow close to your body, start with your right arms
  • Further, lift your left arms up
  • To add, your elbow should point towards the ceiling
  • Do the same 20 times, each arm

Benefits of Forwarding Pull-ups:

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthen the back muscles
  • Enhance the upper body strength
  • Release the muscle tension

Precautions:

  • Do not use heavyweights
  • Wear quality shoes to avoid slipping
  • Always take the support of your leg for the stability
  • If you feel dizzy and breathless, do not do it

8. Planks

exercise during pregnancy

This seems easy to perform but end up exhausting you promptly, saying with my personal experience.

  • You do not have to do anything, simply get down on your hands and knees
  • Then, your wrist should be under your shoulder
  • Later, form a straight line by lifting your knees and straighten your legs
  • In between, avoid arching your back and sagging your stomach

Benefits of Planks:

  • Strengthen your core and arms
  • Strengthen your back
  • Tighten the muscle of the back and core
  • Improve posture
  • Lessen the back pain
  • Enhance the mood

Precautions:

  • Prevent back from being injured
  • Your butt should be down, not picking upward
  • Ensure to keep your body in a straight line
  • Do not bend over
  • Do not overdo the planks
  • Avoid straining your back and shoulder

9. Upright Row

To remain healthy during pregnancy, you can perform this exercise by sitting and standing, here, how to perform it.

  • Either sit on the chair and stand, keeping your knees bent or feet width apart
  • Hold weights, keeping your arms down in front of your body
  • Simply, by exhaling lift the weight up to your chest,
  • Ensure to keep it under the chin
  • Further, get back to the initial position by inhaling
  • Do the same 20 times

Benefits of the Upright Row:

  • Strengthen the shoulder muscles
  • Ideal for the anterior and lateral head of the deltoids
  • Make your arms steady

Precautions:

  • Do not hold much weight, ask for doctor’s advise
  • While lifting weights, do not hurt the tummy
  • Keep your hands wide, else it might result in internal rotation
  • Set the limit to lift the bar
  • Do not overdo the exercise

10. One-arm Row

You can perform this pregnancy exercise at home, 

  • Put say, right knee on the chair and left should be on the floor
  • Bend forward and place your right hand on the chair. Your back should be parallel to the ground
  • Hold a weight in your free hand 
  • Then, facing your palm extend your arm down and inline
  • Bend your left hand at the angle of 90 degree
  • After holding it for a while, return to the starting position

Benefits of One Arm Row:

  • Ideal for biceps and triceps
  • Strengthen the back
  • Strengthen the core, upper arms, and shoulder
  • Reduce the discomfort

Precautions:

  • Do not hold much weight, go for doctors advise
  • Use a steady chair else you might fall
  • If exhausted, quit doing it
  • Maintain the posture of your hip, shoulder, and back
  • Do not round and arch your limber spine

11. Curl and Lift

To perform this exercise, you need a chair

  • Start by sitting on the edge of the chair
  • Keep your back straight, feet on the ground and your arms should be on your sides
  • Hold the weights, ensure your palm should face your body
  • Bend the elbows at the 90 degree 
  • Keeping the elbows in the same position and  lift the weights to the height of the shoulder
  • Return to the earlier position by lowering your arms

Benefits of Curl and Lift:

  • Ideal for your biceps
  • Strengthen your shoulder
  • Strengthen your arms

Precautions:

  • Do not perform it too fast
  • Quit if you have an arm injury
  • Stop if you are breathless and dizzy
  • Choose a sturdy table to lessen the risk of falling

12. Forward Lunges

You can also perform this exercise during the third trimester but with the help of the chair. First, I would focus on the second trimester, 

  • Stand by putting your hands on your hips
  • Put your one leg forward and bend the other to the floor
  • Bend the leg till your forward leg nearly makes the right angle
  • Repeat the same 30 times, each

Benefits of Forward-Lunges:

  • Tone your body
  • Enhance overall fitness
  • Strengthen the hips, legs, and back
  • Enhance the stability 
  • Improve the endurance and strength of the lower body

Precautions:

  • Keep your body upright
  • Avoid overextending your legs, as it might result in arch your back
  • Put your leg forward as much as you are comfortable
  • Do not look down and behind while performing lunges

Also Read: What Should I Pack for the Hospital for Baby?

13. Pectoral Lift

Let’s not take much of your time, and start, 

  • Sit or stand, keeping your legs slightly bend or feet hip-width apart
  • Hold the weight at the height of the shoulder in front of you
  • Start by bending the elbow at the right angle
  • Your upper arms should be parallel to the ground
  • By keeping your elbows together, lift the weight up and down
  • Perform the same 20 times

Benefits of Pectoral Lift:

  • Stabilizes the shoulder joints
  • Improve the posture
  • Strengthen and lengthen the muscle of the chest
  • Build the breast muscle

Precautions:

  • Avoid lifting heavyweights
  • Keep knees aligned 
  • If you are feeling breathless, avoid performing 

14. Shoulder Press

Here are the steps that you have to follow, 

  • Sit or stand in the same position as the earlier exercise
  • Start by holding the weight in your hands
  • By slightly bending your arms at the elbows
  • Hold your hands above your shoulders
  • Lifting your arms until they get straight by breathing out
  • Do the same 30 times

Benefits of Shoulder Press:

  • Strengthen the shoulder muscle
  • Stabilize the spine
  • Strengthen core muscles
  • Ideal for lower back

Precautions:

  • Hold the weight as long as possible
  • Avoid holding heavyweights
  • Choose a durable chair
  • Do it slowly not fast
  • Stop if you are exhausted 

15. Downward Dog 

 Downward Dog exercise during pregnancy

It is very helpful during this phase. However, you should not perform it in your late pregnancy. Here what you have to do, 

  • Come into a cat posture by tucking the toes and spreading your fingers
  • Then, press the floor with your fingertips
  • Further, bend forward and rest on your feet and palm
  • Meanwhile, continue to press the floor with your fingers and form an “A”
  • Later, bend your right knee, and by feeling the stretching straighten your knee
  • Do the same with your left knee
  • Repeat the same as many times as you are comfortable

Benefits of Downward Dog:

  • Enhance the flexibility 
  • Stretch your body
  • Calm the mind
  • Strengthen legs 
  • Enhance emotional balance
  • Tighten your hamstring

Precautions:

  • Do it slowly to avoid hurting yourself
  • Do not overdo it
  • If you are facing any issue like vaginal bleeding or leakage stop instantly

16. Pelvic Tilt or Angry Cat Pose

That’s not tough to perform,

  • Start by getting into the cat pose
  • Your palm and points of toes should be pointed to the ground
  • Press the ground and lift the chest
  • As you exhale, round your spine towards the ceiling and curl down your head
  • With this, expand your back body like a hissing cat
  • To get back to the initial position, press your arms in the ground and bring your hollow chest back into the broad

Benefits of Pelvic Tilt:

  • Stretch your hip and back
  • Improve the flexibility
  • Relieve tension
  • Massage your belly organs
  • Improve posture
  • Ease the pain

Precautions:

  • Do not strain your neck
  • Keep the movement in the spine
  • Keep it slow

Pregnancy Exercise-Third Trimester

Pregnancy Exercises - Third Trimester

Here, I would focus on the pregnancy exercise for the third trimester. Let’s start with what you have to do, 

1. Walking 

As I said slow and moderate walking is perfect to stay fit and active during pregnancy. To make your walking session comfortable, you can divide it into short sessions.

Some of the benefits of walking are improving circulation, lighten the mood, strengthen muscles, and more.

2. Swimming 

Likewise, you can also perform swimming during pregnancy, certainly, you have to make modifications accordingly as per the doctor’s advice.

3. Pilates

If you are searching for an exercise that focuses on your core then Pilates is the ideal exercise. With that, it also eases your labor and delivery. 

4. Squats 

Certainly, you can perform the squats till your third trimester, however, do not strain your body. If you notice anything unusual, contact your doctor instantly. You should be very careful. 

5. Kegels 

Kegels is easy plus an exercise that you can perform anywhere but certainly with all the measurements and precautions. It eases your delivery and tightens your pelvic muscles.

6. Yoga 

How come you forget yoga asanas in the third trimester. Yoga is the ideal answer to your question, how to be fit during pregnancy, here are some yogic poses,

  • Gentle neck and shoulder neck
  • Full shoulder rotation
  • Ankle rotation
  • Cat stretch pose
  • Child pose

7. Butterfly Pose

To perform this, 

  • Sit keeping your back straight and feet spread straight out
  • Bend your knees and bring your feet to the pelvis, ensure that the soles of your feet should be in touch
  • Grab your feet and bring them to the genitals as much as possible
  • Later, press your thighs and knees to the ground
  • Further, flap your legs

Benefits of Butterfly Pose:

  • Improve the flexibility of the groin and hip region
  • Eradicate stress due to standing and walking
  • Can be performed during each trimester
  • Ease the delivery
  • Smooth bowel movement

 Precautions:

  • Start slowly
  • Avoid if you are suffering from a lower back disorder
  • Use a cushion if you have a knee injury
  • Keep your spine erect
  • Do not bend forward

8. Angry Cat Pose

It is the ideal pose to improve circulation and relieving pain. To add, it also improves your posture and calms your body. 

9. Pelvic Floor Exercise

It is performed to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic. You just have to sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles for 10 to 15 minutes. Additionally, when you get used to it, you can try to hold a squeeze for some seconds. Later, add more squeeze. You can also try the same by sitting on a ball, although, it might be harmful.

Benefits of Pelvic Floor Exercise:

  • Strengthen the pelvic muscles
  • Lessen the possibility of incontinence after delivery
  • Enhance the bladder and bowel control
  • Keep the muscles fit before the baby’s birth

Precautions:

  • Do not tighten your stomach and muscles of bottom or thigh at the same time
  • Avoid holding breath
  • Take rest between the sets of squeezes
  • Do not overdo it

10. Stair Climbing 

It is safe plus healthy to climb stairs during pregnancy. However, ask your doctor before doing it, as it completely depends on your pregnancy. 

Benefits of Stair Climbing:

  • Can be performed during each trimester 
  • Lessen the constipation
  • Reduce the backaches
  • Decrease the swelling and bloating
  • Enhance the ability to cope with labor

Precautions:

  • Foremost, do not rush and run while climbing up and down
  • Hold the handrails
  • Listen to your body, if needed wait for a while
  • Remember to breath
  • Keep your posture straight 

11. Lunges

Yes! Lunges are one of the ideal exercises that you can perform during pregnancy for toning and body exercise. Likewise, you can perform leg lifts, push-ups, etc, to tone up your body.

When You Should Avoid Exercise in Pregnancy?

When You Should Avoid Exercise in Pregnancy?

Only knowing, which month to start exercise during pregnancy is not enough. If you are going through the below-mentioned conditions or have any complications, you should avoid doing exercise. These are:

  • If you are giving birth to twins or triplets
  • Has risk factors for preterm labor
  • Suffering from heart and lung diseases
  • Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Cervical insufficiency
  • Uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes
  • Weak cervix
  • Bleeding and spotting

What are the Precautions to Take While Doing Exercise?

Here, I will mention some of the precautions that you should take while doing exercise, 

  • Be hydrated, before, during, and after a workout. If I have to mention some cues of dehydration, then these are dizziness, yellow urine, racing or pounding heart, urinating in small quantity, etc
  • Especially during the first trimester, avoid overheating  
  • To support your breast, wear a sports bra, further use a belly support belt to support your belly while walking or running
  • Wear loose clothes 
  • Exercise in a temperature-controlled room
  • Do not lay flat on your stomach, neither remain still in the position
  • Avoid exercise outside during hot or humid days
  • Lying on the back result in pressing a large vein by the uterus which results in returning the blood to the heart. If you stand motionless your blood can pool up in the legs and feet, that might reduce your blood pressure for a while
  • Follow the advice of the doctor

Can Exercise Cause Miscarriage?

It is believed that exercise might result in the miscarriage of the baby. That’s a natural cause of worry especially if you have had a miscarriage before and it is the early days of your pregnancy.

As I have mentioned before, you should stay active during pregnancy than resting, it is beneficial, trust me.

The fear of shaking or hurting the baby while exercising is very normal. However, that’s not the case, your baby is completely safe inside your womb. Also, you should start with some low impact exercises which include swimming and walking.

Why low impact exercises are being advised to perform?

Well, the major reason behind this, according to the study of 2007, high impact exercises enhances the risk of miscarriage. 

If I have to mention specifically, then it could be before 18 months of gestation period. Further, there is no study exists that shows the direct relationship between exercise and early pregnancy. 

What are the Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy?

What are the Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy?

So far, you have got to know the month which is ideal to start the exercise during pregnancy, then, you got to know the precaution to be taken.

Next, I would like to discuss the benefits of the pregnancy exercise

  • Allow you to sleep peacefully
  • Improve the mood and level of energy
  • Shortened labor
  • Lessens the swelling, constipation, backaches, and bloating
  • Tone up your muscles
  • Enhance the overall fitness 
  • Foster strength and endurance
  • Avert excess weight gain 
  • Strengthen the heart and blood vessels
  • Lessen the risk of C-section
  • Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes
  • Encourage good posture
  • Enhance the ability to cope with labor, that allows you to get into shape after delivery
  • Prepare your body for delivery

What are the Workouts to Avoid While Pregnant?

Mostly, it is recommended by the doctors to avoid lying flat on the backs after the first trimester. Further, unless asked you should avoid these exercises

  • Leaping
  • Avoid holding breath
  • Exercises that include a sudden change of direction
  • Bouncing
  • Avoid activities which might result in falling, like horse riding, skiing
  • Jarring
  • Do not deep bend your knees
  • No scuba diving
  • Avoid activities that include extensive hopping, skipping, and jumping
  • Do not straight-leg toe touches
  • Avoid contact sports, such as football, basketball, volleyball 
  • Avoid exercise in hot weather
  • Do not bend back
  • Avoid motionless standing 
  • Quit sit up and roll-ups
  • Avoid high impact aerobics

After learning what workouts to avoid while pregnant, I would advise you to consult the same with your doctor before doing any of these. 

Can you Lift Weights While Pregnant?

This is the first question that comes to our mind when we start to exercise, right?

No worries, I’m here to help you, here is the answer to your question.

Yes! you can lift weights as I mentioned earlier.

But that with some modifications. Furthermore, it is advised to lift the weight under 30 pounds and also remain hydrated. However, lifting weight can result in musculoskeletal injury. That is because of the hormone relaxin which is produced by the placenta.

Therefore, avoid lifting heavyweights!

Do’s and Don’ts Before During Pregnancy Exercise

I would like to mention these as you should know what is right and wrong, especially because it involves your baby,

Do’s 

  • Warm your body before exercise
  • Wear comfortable clothes which do not restrict your rib cage
  • Practice Kegels regularly 
  • Breath properly, especially while lifting weights
  • If you are uncomfortable, quit exercise 
  • Contact doctor instantly, if you feel pain, vaginal bleeding, or leakage
  • To maintain the energy eat small meals or snacks
  • Be consistent 
  • Focus on your back, shoulder, pictorials, and biceps
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Choose a room which is cool

Don’ts 

  • Avoid pregnancy exercise in hot and humid time
  • Avoid bouncy, jumpy, and twisting exercise
  • Do not overstretch 
  • Quit sports which might result in falling 
  • Do not lift to many heavyweights
  • If exhausted, reduce the intensity
  • Do not continue, if you are heating up

Conclusion

New Parents

At last, I would advise you to stick to the doctor’s advice. Above all, if you are performing any of the pregnancy exercises for the first time you can hire an instructor or join classes. Follow the modifications and changes which the doctor suggested.

To add, warm up your body before the workout then, start your workout. With that, with the help of the doctor’s advice eradicate the risky moves or high impact moves too. As this will keep you and your baby safe.

To maintain a diet healthy, you can also follow healthy pregnancy diet.

For sure, you will be a great mother!

Happy and safe pregnancy!

Kiran Verma
Kiran Verma

Kiran Verma, founder, and author of BabyCart completed her post-graduation from CSJM University, Kanpur. However, the busy housewife that she is, yet, her being a mother changed her life when she had to face so many issues post-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and taking care of the baby. That encouraged her to commence the BabyCart blog with the motive to make pregnancy and parenthood uncomplicated, especially for new parents. Read more

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