Let’s be honest--we all think that we could exercise more. But it’s difficult to make time for it with the responsibilities of a job, a partner and family, and can feel nearly impossible when you’re pregnant and add fatigue into the mix. Some women manage to push through the exhaustion and drag themselves to one or two classes per week. Even if you can’t, though, there are simple ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine that are not time consuming and light enough to do throughout all three trimesters.
Here are 10 ways to get moving throughout the day while pregnant:
1. Add some weight:
This may seem counterintuitive, but adding ankle weights to your legs and walking around with them is how some women stay fit while pregnant and doing chores.
2. Stand on the subway:
The last thing you want is to reject that offered seat, but standing has benefits when you’re pregnant. You maintain balance, you add strength to your legs and you take some pressure off the lower back and pelvis, which are often impacted by long hours of sitting down.
3. Chow on the go:
Unless it is very cold and slippery outside, you can take a walk on your lunch break. Find a public park and take your lunch with you to eat it there. Even if it’s only 20 mins of walking, that’s more than you would do when you eat at your desk.
4. Squat while brushing your teeth:
You know how you should be brushing your teeth for (at least) 2 minutes? That’s a good timeframe to be doing squats. And squats are good preparation for labor. If you use mouthwash, use the extra 30 seconds to come down into a low squat and hold for the same benefits.
5. Walk the extra mile:
At night when coming back from work, getting off at one stop early and walking the remainder might be just what you need to decompress after a long day. Walking a few extra blocks can help you destress and act as a mini workout to end the day.
6. Pelvic tilts while sitting:
It is hard to work your core during pregnancy, but working on pelvic tilts while sitting down is gentle and can help with conditions such as pubis symphysis dysfunction. Arch your back and inhale, then tuck your pelvis and exhale. You can add kegels for extra credit.
7. Stair step ups while waiting:
Anytime you wait for a train on the subway or anywhere else that has a step, you can step up and down for some light cardio. The best way to do this is by holding on to a railing, stepping the right foot up, lifting the left knee up, then stepping down with the left foot followed by the right foot.
8. Wall pushups during coffee breaks:
If you have a communal coffee room or office pantry, you could do a few wall push-ups while waiting for your food to heat up or the Nespresso to froth that perfect milk foam. Place hands on the wall and keep your shoulders above your wrists, then step back about one foot. Bend your elbows and extend.
9. Clam shells and leg raises on the couch:
During pregnancy it is better to lie on your side than on your back. If this is how you watch TV, then you could add clam shells and leg raises to your Netflix & chill. For straight leg raises, pull your toes up and lift and lower the leg. For clam shells, align your knees and heels and lift just the knee.
10. Office Warrior III:
Balance is key in pregnancy for safety and as an indicator of good leg and core strength. Trying to regain balance postpartum will be easier when you’ve maintained a good sense of it while pregnant. Next time you get up from your office chair, grab the back and lean forward while standing on one leg. No need to force staying on one leg or holding the balance, but just lowering your torso a little bit and grounding through the standing foot will improve stability.
Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded.