Pregnancy Fitness: Third Trimester

Pregnancy fitness is a vital part of a healthy pregnancy, but once that third trimester rolls around you may find it hard just to stand, never mind exercise. Trust me, I am there.

30 weeks pregnant with my second child and I feel like a beached whale. My weight gain has been appropriate, but after chasing a toddler all day, working and doing regular chores, I hardly feel like moving never mind working out. Yet, I know it is important.

It doesn’t help that I took a spill a few weeks ago, hurting my foot and leg. I didn’t exercise for a while and now I feel thrown off and lazy! I need to get back on it though, I am feeling better and need to make sure I have my endurance up for my labor and delivery.

I don’t go to the gym and get a full body work out while pregnant, or ever really. But there are a few exercise routines that you can do, even in the third trimester, that help you get a nice work out in and are cheap or free!

Walking: Being so far along, you don’t want to over do it. You need to make sure your heart rate stays at a safe level, and you do not injure yourself. Walking is great cardiovascular exercise and a relatively safe workout. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology says it is safe to do about 30 minutes of moderate activity during pregnancy. Walking gets you fresh air, which combined with the activity, can help you sleep better.

Swimming: It is still a bit too cold for me now, even in Florida. But when I was pregnant with my first baby, who was due in June, I spent April and May in the pool. It was a great relief for my back and wonderful exercise without getting sweaty or worked up. In Florida, I hate getting drenched for a 30 minute workout, and I get hot easily when pregnant! Spending 45 minutes to an hour alternating laps in the pool and water aerobic exercises was how I stayed fit and cool through the end of my pregnancy.

Prenatal Yoga: I have yet to try this, but have heard wonderful things about it. Yoga is low impact, helps you become more limber, as well as helps you breath and relax – both necessary for labor. I plan on trying this soon. I have ordered two DVDs and will soon do that instead of my daily walk, as it is starting to get too hot for me.

It is hard to get motivated after a long day, especially when you feel like a beached whale. But I know I always feel better on days I exercise than on days I don’t. I sleep better and have more energy during the day. The hardest part will be getting back into a routine AFTER baby is born.