Look, staying fit while pregnant can be tough. Chances are your regular workouts aren’t quite feeling the same as usual. Or maybe you’d like to start exercising, but between the nausea and growing belly don’t know where to start. Girl, we’ve all been there! Here’s a list of the ten best sports for pregnant bodies to give you some ideas:
10) Stationary or Upright Biking
Number ten on the list is something many of us have done since we were kids: biking! Mountain biking is out (too high fall risk) and road biking will likely become uncomfortable (too much leaning forward), but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt this sport to a pregnant body. After all, it’s low-impact, great for strengthening your hips, quads, and butt, and gets your heartbeat in the aerobic zone. To accommodate your growing belly, try out a “beach cruiser” or other upright-style bike. Leaving the seat a bit lower than usual will help you prevent an accidental fall as your weight shifts forward. Don’t forget stationary bikes, either! Most gyms have at least a few with wide, cushy seats for your loosening pelvic ligaments. Hop on, turn up your favorite music, and start spinning!
9) Top-rope Climbing
Next on the list is a non-traditional yet growing sport: rock climbing! A great full body workout, climbing strengthens your core, upper back, and arms while incorporating gentle stretching and twisting motions for a changing body. Look forward to increased hip and leg flexibility along with greater body awareness. The best part is, YOU get to choose which motions feel best to get you up the wall. Pregnancy harnesses are sold at many outdoor retailers and online to keep your belly protected from accidental falls. Look up a local climbing gym to try it out!
Not a fan of heights but still want great stretching and strengthening for your lats and back? Give sea kayaking a try. Also called “sit on top” kayaks, ocean kayaks are large, stable boats that are nearly impossible to flip. You can count on a peaceful, scenic ride for you and your soon-to-be kiddo while exploring the great outdoors. Unlike many abdominal exercises, kayaking focuses more on the sides of your abs instead of the center; this makes it feasible even with a large belly. Look up a kayak rental house at a nearby lake, river, bay or ocean to get started!
7) Aerial Silks
Rounding out the non-traditional sports for this list is aerial silks, a growing branch of circus arts. Aerial silks consists of two large fabrics hanging from the ceiling that an artist can climb, tumble, and show off beautiful moves on. The emphasis is on technique over strength, meaning it’s still viable with weaker-than-usual muscles and softening bones. Teachers will focus on safety and efficiency on the silk to keep both you and your growing baby safe. Aerial silks is another great, full-body workout you can find at any circus or aerials gym nearby.
6) Low-impact Aerobic Machines
One exercise we’ve all tried at some point or another are the elliptical machines at the gym. They may not be the most glamorous sport on this list, but ellipticals are a tried-and-true aerobic exercise for any body needing to take it easy. Great for runners who want to stay in shape or anyone who wants to be fit when it’s time to push, ellipticals are easy to find at any standard gym. Try the stair-steppers too!
5) Workout Programs
Need a little more inspiration to squeeze in your aerobic? Try subscribing to a workout program! With videos you can do at home, anytime, with minimal equipment, it’s easy to find a workout program that fits your interests and fitness goals. Many even offer prenatal-specific series to keep you and our baby safe. Check out youtube, facebook, or instagram to find the right program for you.
That’s right, just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while working out. Turn up the music and get those feet moving! From group classes to solo parties in your living room, zumba and hip-hop to ballet and salsa, there’s a dance style for everyone. You can even find how-to videos on youtube or through gaming consoles like Wii Dance. Pick your favorite music and get baby jammin’!
A classic for pregnant women, swimming will never go out of style! The weightlessness is unparalleled, especially in those last few months. No matter the style – laps, water aerobics, even walking through the pool – moving your body through the water is a great way to safely pump up your heart rate while getting a great full-body workout. All your need is a local pool and a swimsuit that leaves space for your beautiful belly!
Another classic of course is prenatal yoga. You can find groups at a local yoga studio no matter where you live, and all you need is comfy, stretching clothing and a mat. Prenatal classes will focus especially on strengthening your core, loosening up your hips, and practicing breathing exercises. It’s a great way to increase body awareness while meeting other soon-to-be moms. So slip on your favorite leggings and get stretching!
The top exercise for pregnant bodies: walking! What really brings this sport to the top of the list is its absolute ease of access: lace up some comfortable shoes and step our your front door! Walking is easy enough to do through the nausea of first trimester (in fact it may even help you feel better) and low-impact enough to do with the belly of third trimester. Just make sure those feet are well-supported as your ligaments start to loosen. Get ready to step outside and enjoy the fresh air!