Hey folks! Unless you're one of those freaks of nature who comes by good genes or athleticism naturally (I think I mean that lovingly ;) ), I think most of us who have been or are pregnant can agree that pregnancy makes you feel rough, especially in the 3rd trimester. For some, it can also be a rather stressful time for one reason or another. With that being said, I'd like to share with you a few of my new favorite things to help reduce stress and relieve sore muscles during pregnancy!
First, I feel like it should be noted that I am definitely NOT one of those lucky enough to be born with a fast metabolism or interest in working out. I usually prefer doing work outdoors and going for hikes, but that hasn't exactly been an option lately with the weather. Also, I'm built like a hobbit: short and pudgy. So, if you're thinking something along the lines of, “But I was out of shape to begin with. How can I possibly start working out now that I'm pregnant?” take this cliche from one hobbit to another: If I can do it, you can do it! These are all low-impact things you can do. (Plus only one of them is actually “exercise”, if you ask me!)
- YogaOf the prenatal variety, of course. I've already posted once about starting a prenatal yoga routine, so I'll keep this short, but this has been a real life-saver. I was in desperate need of a natural stress reliever, and this fit the bill. It has also helped with sore muscles immensely, especially my back and neck/shoulders! Any time I feel tense/sore, I do one of the routines from the DVD below, which I highly recommend. (I've tried a few others and this is my favorite by far because it's very laid back/slow and low impact, perfect for someone who has never done yoga before!)
- Prenatal AerobicsTo be honest, I'm sure there are other great prenatal workouts out there, but I've only tried Denise Austin's Fit & Firm Pregnancy. I actually got this and a yoga DVD from a Facebook yard sale group for $5. (woo hoo!) I mostly just wanted the yoga DVD and ended up hating it and loving this one, go figure! I've not done the toning workout yet (which are conveniently broken down into trimesters), but the cardio one was fun! She keeps you moving constantly, but I was surprised to find I wasn't out of breath. Again, even if you're not used to exercising, give this one a try, at least!
- Exercise BallOk, so I actually got one of these when I was 36 weeks pregnant in hopes of thinning my cervix out more and to use during labor. However, there are exercises you can do with it throughout pregnancy. After a quick search, I found these two links below that I think you will find helpful as you can pick and choose what's right for you.Exercise balls are good for stretching your upper body/back, strengthening your legs, and helping with your posture and balance during pregnancy. I've also read that doing pelvic circles, tilts, and bouncing gently can help thin the cervix and get baby's head into the right position for birth, so that's what I've been doing. :D
Pregnancy Exercise Ball Workouts (Google image search)
Pregnancy Charts (Pinterest board with more exercise ball workouts for pregnancy. Includes some other interesting pregnancy info too!)
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or certified yoga or exercise instructor. As such, any information or advice herein should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise program, especially during pregnancy. Mixed Bag Mama is not liable for any injury or harm that may come from the use of the above information. Listen to your body and discontinue any type of activity if it causes you discomfort or pain.