5 Ways to Change Your Workout Now That You’re Pregnant

Try these mom-to-be-approved moves.
ByElena Donovan Mauer
February 28, 2017
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Yep, one more thing is going to have to change now that you’re pregnant: your fitness routine. Your usual workout could be too strenuous or risky, not to mention that your center of gravity has changed so your balance is off. Here are some new, safe fit ideas to replace your old ones.
Pre-bump workout: Bikram yoga
Replacement: Yoga that doesn’t happen in a boiler room

Bikram yoga gives you an extra stretch and aerobic perks because it’s done in a hot room—usually about 90 to 105 degrees F. But raising your body temperature that high is off limits during pregnancy. (Plus, you risk dehydration.) The good news is you can still practice regular yoga—at normal room temperature of course—as long as you let your instructor know you’re pregnant. She’ll tell you how to modify the poses so they’re safe for you and baby. (Don’t stand on one leg, for example, because you could get wobbly.) If you still crave the extra cardio of Bikram, hit the treadmill or elliptical after class. You can walk or jog if you were doing that pre-bump, but don’t overdo it.

Pre-bump workout: Rock climbing
Replacement: Swimming

Your daredevil days are over for now. Expecting moms shouldn’t do anything risky. This doesn’t just mean climbing; skiing, kayaking, horseback riding and contact sports are all no-nos. If you were into any of these before, we’re guessing you don’t like to be confined to a typical gym. Here’s an idea: Head to the local pool and go for a swim. Swimming is one of the best workouts you can do because it’s low impact and the water supports you so you can’t fall. Plus, it gives you a blend of cardio and body toning.

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Pre-bump workout: High-impact aerobics
Replacement: Hiking or stationary bike

You might have to step out of that kick-your-butt boxing class, but you can still get a good cardio workout and not get bored. Hit the elliptical machine or stationary bike one day and go hiking the next. You can even add some strength training with light weights. What’s important is that your heart rate doesn’t go so high that you risk exhaustion. To know you’re not pushing yourself too hard, bring along a buddy for a chat: If you can carry on a conversation without gasping for air, you’re safe.

Pre-bump workout: Pilates
Replacement: Prenatal Pilates

Yeah, some Pilates moves are okay, but a lot of them aren’t right once you hit your second trimester, since you could teeter in the plank position and you shouldn’t lie on your back for more than five minutes at a time. Make sure what you’re doing is safe by taking a class designed especially for pregnant women. The instructor will have already made special mom-to-be considerations so you won’t have to worry about the moves.

Pre-bump workout: Um, not too much
Replacement: Walking

Even if your idea of a workout was walking to the mailbox once a day, you should be exercising now. But be sure to take it slow. As long as your OB okays it, you can walk for about 30 minutes five times a week. At your second trimester, talk to your doctor again—it might be fine for you to start prenatal yoga or Pilates or even spinning. Just don’t exhaust yourself. Remember: Being fit can make labor easier. There’s incentive!

The Bump Expert: Tracey Mallett, personal trainer, fitness instructor and author of Super Fit Mama: Stay Fit During Your Pregnancy and Get Your Body Back After Baby

Updated December 2016

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