You’re in the final throes of pregnancy! These last weeks of being pregnant may seem like some of the most brutally demanding parts of your entire journey.
With fatigue, swelling, and shortness of breath being the name of the game lately, you likely aren’t even thinking about exercising right now.
Regardless of the challenges you face, there are light, low-impact workouts you can do to keep you healthy! It may not seem like it now, but some exercises for the third trimester relieve some of those annoying pregnancy symptoms.
Normal exercise during pregnancy is not only safe, but it’s recommended for a healthy pregnancy.
Exercise during pregnancy can help alleviate constipation, back pain (Cradle Me Baby belly bands can help), and stress. It also lowers risk factors like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Here are 7 safe exercises that we think you should try if your doctor agrees:
Yoga and Pilates offer a bevy of benefits for pregnant women. They offer gentle movements that are easy for a pregnant person to perform.
These exercises help with flexibility and strength in the areas needed for birthing, like the abdominal and pelvic muscles. Certain stretches will make back pain feel better almost instantly!
The stretching and breathing exercises help you focus on mindfulness. The more in tune you are with your body, the better you will feel. This is likely why yoga and Pilates have been proven to lower stress hormones and release endorphins that make us feel good.
You can find some stretches to do at home or look for a yoga class that is specific to pregnancy.
Taking a leisurely 30-minute stroll can put some ease on your back. A few moments outside will do you some good!
Walking outside can give you more energy and improve your mood, both of which have likely been low over the past few weeks.
Mind your pace and walk casually at least once a day to get all the benefits from walking.
Swimming is incredibly nice during pregnancy, especially during the hot summer months when nausea and fatigue are pressing issues.
Aside from being refreshing and soothing, the water takes the weight off your back and joints. Water aerobics are great exercises that allow you to move freely without additional stress.
Water aerobics and doing a few laps around the pool will provide you with efficient cardio and a little bit of strength training. Both of these are also great for lightly working out every muscle in your body.
4. Pelvic Floor
Urinary incontinence after giving birth is caused by the main muscle of your pelvic floor. Strengthening this muscle is simple!
You can do Kegels by squeezing the muscles around the vagina. Do it for 10 seconds or so, and then release. You can do this as many times a day as you see fit.
You can combine this with other exercises to increase the benefits. For example, as you perform your squats or yoga, you can do a few pelvic floor exercises to enhance your workout.
Squats are safe training exercises for the third trimester. Squats can improve the mobility in your hips and prepare your muscles for labor.
Squatting is the natural position for the birthing process, which makes this exercise perfect for relieving pelvic pressure and hip pain. This means you shouldn’t be afraid of doing a squat now and then to pick up something you dropped.
Check your technique when you do squats! Your center of gravity may be a little off with your growing tummy and all. Widen your stance and take it slow.
Cycling can be a little tricky with an aching pelvis. Still, cycling is safe and can ease those pains with a little practice.
It may be a better idea to cycle indoors instead of outdoors to decrease your chances of falling. Outdoor cycling brings about more risks from bumps in the road, cars, people, and animals.
During the third trimester, consider lifting the handlebars a little to reduce spinal flexion.
7. Light weightlifting
Basic bicep curls are okay to perform with light weights. 2–5 pounds per arm should suffice.
Know Your Rights and Feel Comfortable. Exercise can reduce the risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. It also helps with weight management, protects your lower back, and even increases your baby’s developmental processes.
Be aware of how much you’re lifting! You don’t want to do too much to make the pain worse for yourself.
Exercises to Avoid
Some workouts shouldn’t be your go-to exercises for the third trimester. Heavy lifting is too physically demanding for an expecting mother. Too much could put you at risk for miscarriage and low birth weight.
If you’ve never performed a workout before, now is not the time for experiments. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start light and pick up intensity as you get used to a new routine.