The first trimester of pregnancy is a good time to start an exercise plan if you don’t already have one. Exercising regularly helps reduce the risk of problems that may arise later in your pregnancy, along with additional benefits like boosting your mood, improving sleep, and gaining strength to combat back pain during labor and delivery. Starting an exercise plan doesn’t mean you have to join an intense Crossfit league or expensive gym. There are plenty of easy, low-cost exercises you can do at home! Here are a few of our favorites:
Go for a walk
This one’s a no-brainer. Going for walks is easy, convenient, and doesn’t cost a dime! Try taking a walk first thing in the morning to jumpstart your day or go during your lunch break. Just 30 minutes a day helps improve your circulation and tire you out so you can get a better night’s sleep.
Swimming is an excellent way to get your heart rate going, relieve aches and pains, and reduce swelling without putting too much stress on your joints.
Note: Many swimming pools have hot tubs or spas nearby. While it may sound tempting, sitting in a hot tub is not safe during pregnancy. Water that hot can cause your body temperature to spike, putting you and your baby in danger. Try a warm bath at home instead.
Clamshells & Leg Raises
This is one of the quickest and easiest exercises you can do right at home. Start without any equipment until you build up your strength enough to use resistance bands.
- Lay on your side with your hips flexed and your head supported
- Keep your feet together and open the top knee to externally rotate the hip. This should be felt in the outer region of your top hip.
- Once you build up your strength, try adding a resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.
- Lay on your side with your head supported and lower leg bent.
- Lift your top leg up to about 30 degrees, keeping your foot parallel to the ground and your thigh aligned with your body.
- This should be felt in the outer hip region of the leg that is lifting.
Practicing prenatal yoga is a great way to get your blood flowing, improve flexibility, and help reduce stress and anxiety. Our favorite yoga guru, Yoga with Adriene, created a free video demonstrating 5 Prenatal Yoga Poses for all Trimesters.
You might also enjoy reading:
- 5 Items to pack in your hospital bag
- Tips to catch more Zzzz’s during pregnancy
- Eating for Two: 3 Healthy Recipes for you and your Growing Baby