Exercise is good for the body at any age. We exercise to increase our muscle and bone strength, to achieve cardio fitness and to maintain a healthy body weight.
We also exercise to maintain good mental health. Studies have shown that mental health can be strengthened by daily exercise. Most exercisers will tell you they do it for their minds as well as their bodies.
Being pregnant is no reason to stop exercising. In fact, it's a great reason to start! Most people can maintain their work-out regimes until well into the third trimester though some modifications may be needed.
Exercise can help maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and make it easier to get back into shape afterward. It can also help with pregnancy-related depression, and ease aches and pains.
Here are some exercise options to think about:
Swimming is one of the best exercises in pregnancy. It really takes a load off. It’s a very low-impact sports with no pressure on joints or feet. No matter how big we get in pregnancy, we feel nearly weightless in the water.
Most strokes are easy to do although the butterfly could become harder as pregnancy advances. According to swimming.org, “Backstroke is probably not such a good idea in late pregnancy as the baby may cause pressure on the main blood vessels in the abdomen.”
However, the breaststroke is a great all-round stroke to choose, as all the limbs are worked on, as well as the chest and back.
One thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Sometimes we forget we’re thirsty because we’re in the water. But exercise is exercise. Bring a water bottle to the pool.
Water aerobics are an excellent option, and a group dynamic can be very encouraging.
Yes, tennis is great during the first two trimesters! Social tennis is probably the best, since many players can get hit during competitions. Tennis is great for heart health and is a fun, sociable game when done for fun.
The third trimester may be more difficult since court speed is needed but a friendly set of doubles is doable.