Many expectant mothers have reservations about exercising in the second trimester of pregnancy. To explore its impact, join us in this article.
Staying active during pregnancy benefits both you and your baby. It helps maintain healthy weight gain and prepares you for childbirth. Moreover, regular exercise can improve your well-being and sleep quality.
Amidst the body’s transformations, pregnant women often wonder about the appropriateness and intensity of exercise during the second trimester.
1. Prioritize Safety
Moderate activities are generally safe when you and your baby are healthy. However, avoid activities that carry a risk of falling. Cycling is safe during the first trimester, but in the second trimester, opt for a stationary bike.
Steer clear of activities that limit oxygen flow, such as scuba diving or high-altitude ventures.
Discontinue exercise if you experience:
- Vaginal discharge, bleeding, or abdominal and hip pain
Stay well-hydrated while exercising. If you find it challenging to speak normally, feel lightheaded, or experience dizziness, you may be exerting yourself too strenuously; take a break and rest.
2. Some Exercise Options for the Mid-Pregnancy Phase
Walking, a fundamental human activity, is an ideal choice for expectant mothers. It allows you to enhance upper body strength and flexibility by swinging your arms while walking. Engaging in brisk walking also provides cardiovascular benefits.
A healthy walking routine involves 30 minutes a day. If you’re new to walking as an exercise, you can start with 10 minutes a day.
Among the recommended exercises for the second trimester of pregnancy, yoga stands out. It offers gentle stretches, alleviating pregnancy discomforts like lower back pain and regulating blood pressure.
Learning to synchronize your breath with body movements is integral to yoga practice, aiding you during labor and delivery.
If you’ve been practicing yoga before pregnancy, continue with your routine, ensuring comfort. Avoid poses that risk imbalance, such as the warrior and tree poses, unless you have assistance. Additionally, refrain from poses that involve twisting your abdomen.
Avoid inversions (positions with your feet above your head) and poses requiring significant back arching.
Bikram yoga or hot yoga should be avoided during pregnancy, as they may pose risks to your baby and cause dehydration.
If you’re new to exercise in your second trimester, consider enrolling in a prenatal yoga class tailored to the well-being of both mother and baby.
A recommended frequency is 3-5 sessions per week, or daily if preferred, with each session lasting approximately 30 minutes.
Swimming and Water Aerobics
Engaging in water-based exercises is highly beneficial during pregnancy. These activities offer a gentle and low-impact way to simultaneously enhance both strength and aerobic capacity. It’s essential to focus on swimming routines that strengthen your core without subjecting your abdominal muscles to twisting movements.
If you’re already accustomed to exercising in the pool, strive to maintain your routine. However, if you’re new to swimming, consider seeking guidance from a qualified coach to ensure safe and effective practice.
How much exercise is adequate? For optimal results during the second trimester of pregnancy, aim to exercise 3-5 times per week, with each session lasting approximately 30 minutes.
If you have consistently been running since the first three months of pregnancy, it is safe to continue this practice for the next three months. Keep in mind that your body is undergoing changes, particularly a shift in your center of gravity. Consequently, it’s essential to exercise caution to prevent falls. Opt for running on level terrain or use a treadmill for added safety.
If running wasn’t a regular part of your routine prior to pregnancy, now is not the appropriate time to begin. If you encounter joint, back pain, or any associated symptoms, it is advisable to cease running.
If you prefer to exercise independently, pregnant women should establish a routine of walking to ensure maximum safety. However, if you wish to engage in activities like yoga, swimming, or running, it is advisable to seek guidance from a qualified professional coach.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.