It’s easy to tell pregnant women about the importance of exercise, and the ways having built up your strength will help you through labor and birth. What’s harder is figuring out how to put that well-meaning advice into practice when that involves trying to fit time for exercise that hasn’t already got a place in your schedule, as well as getting your body moving even as Baby grows, giving you even more to carry with you. Even small amounts of added exercise can make a difference in getting your body ready for the strain it will go through in the later part of your pregnancy, labor, and giving birth, and will help you out in bouncing back afterwards. Once you start looking, there are all kinds of little spaces in your day where you can add a little extra physical activity.
- On the phone: Instead of settling down on the couch for a nice, long chat, catch up with family or old friends as you walk around the block a few times. Walking is a great way to build your strength without risking overheating or falls, which can be concerns with some types of exercise, especially later on in pregnancy.
- Commercial breaks: There aren’t too many people who don’t wind down now and then by watching a favorite TV show, and with even many online streaming sites adding ads, that winding down tends to come with quite a few commercial breaks. Ads are definitely annoying, but they’re also ideal times to do some low-key weight-lifting (even a couple of cans from the pantry will work for weights) or to walk around the room for a bit.
- During the show: And speaking of TV, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your favorite shows while doing a little stretching or yoga from the comfort of your living room, which can make a difference in trying to beat the swelling that can come along with pregnancy.
- The long way ‘round: You’ve heard it before, but you know it’s true – take the stairs instead of the elevator, park on the far edge of the parking lot, or get off your bus one stop before your usual one so you can walk the rest of the way. There is of course more wiggle room during pregnancy (nobody is expected to walk up six flights of stairs late in the third trimester, for instance) , but little bits help, and while it may not feel like it, the more you can get yourself moving casually during the day, the better shape you’ll be in when it’s time for Baby to arrive.