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Week 13 to 28, or months 4 to 7 months of your pregnancy, come under the second trimester. This is the time where you would notice some drastic changes in your body, like a noticeable baby bump. There are very little physical restrictions during the second trimesters. Therefore, you can carry on with most exercises you did in the first trimester unless your medical practitioner as advised otherwise. If you have a confirmed healthy pregnancy and are keen on maintaining your fitness level, you’ll find this article quite useful. Here, we shall discuss some safe exercises you can try during the second trimester to maintain the health of your pregnancy.
Video: Safe Exercises to Try During the Second Trimester of Pregnancy (Plus Tips and Precautions)
Safe Exercises for the Second Trimester
Pregnancy workouts are an important aspect of pregnancy. They are not only required for the would-be mother’s health but are also beneficial for the baby developing inside her womb. Here are some safe exercises you can include in your regime during the second trimester:
Walking is the simplest exercise you can do on a daily basis. Ensure you wear comfortable clothing and a pair of shoes that has a good grip and provides support. The walk doesn’t necessarily have to be intense. A leisurely walk or a stroll in the park should do the trick. Walking every day for about 30 to 40 minutes ensures that your body is not sedentary and also keeps your heart healthy. Carry on in a comfortable and consistent speed, and do not forget to sway your arms and enjoy the activity.
2. Slow Jogging
This for the women who love jogging. It is only recommended for those who have a healthy pregnancy. If you get your regular checkups, and your medical practitioner has advised you, you may include slow jogging into your exercise regime. There are, however, some rules you must stick to to make the exercise safe for you and your baby. Jogging should be done only on flat surfaces for you to maintain a pace without getting tired. In case you feel tired while jogging, do not continue; sit immediately and relax for a while. You can also prefer running on a treadmill but at a slow and controlled speed.
Yoga can help you stay fit and also improve your mental and emotional health. With the hormonal fluctuations in the second trimester, it could become difficult for you to cope with stress. Yoga is one of the most recommended exercises to improve flexibility and avoid stiffness. In case you are a pro, you may continue practising yoga, but avoid positions that could put your health or your baby’s health in jeopardy. If you are new at it, consider getting some guidance through yoga classes. You may begin with the breathing exercises (pranayama) and slowly incorporate simple yoga poses.
4. Stationary Cycling
Exercising on a stationary bike is the best way to improve muscle strength. When you are in the second trimester, your belly starts growing, and this is the time you actually shouldn’t put a lot of stress on your abdomen. Sitting on an exercise bike and cycling may prove to be the best exercising option for you, as long as it isn’t making you uncomfortable and there are no risk factors.
Swimming can help you relax your muscles and get all the me-time you need. You can also consider practising swimming exercises that do not put any exertion on the abdomen. Swimming for about 30 minutes can be a great exercise for the second trimester.
Squats also help improve the strength in the leg muscles; something you will need and appreciate as the pregnancy progresses. This can be done as long as you don’t have a high-risk pregnancy and feel comfortable while exercising. Here’s how you can do the exercise
- Stretch your feet wide apart while standing.
- Extend your arms in the front at shoulder level, and squat down by bending your knees at a 90-degree angle.
- Try to stay in the position for about 3-4 seconds and then stand up straight.
- Repeat the exercise as many times as you can.
- Do not forget to breathe out when you bend down and breathe in when you lift up.
Now that you know some safe exercises for the second trimester, here are some tips to help you make the most of the little time you are able to exercise every day.
Tips for Exercising During the Second Trimester
These tips will ensure you exercise safely and your body benefits the most.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing if you are going for a non-stretch material.
- Shoes are very important if you are going to be walking or jogging. Get a pair that fit well and have a good grip.
- Always keep a sipper bottle handy to keep yourself hydrated.
- If needed, rest in between sets. It is alright if it takes you over an hour for a 30-minute regime.
- Keep some healthy snacks to have after exercising. You are going to be extremely hungry by the end of each routine.
Before you go ahead and do one of these exercises, you must consider taking some precautionary measures to ensure safety. Read on to know more.
Precautions to Take While Exercising During the Second Trimester
Safety should be your priority during pregnancy. Here are some precautions you must keep in mind while exercising during the second trimester.
- Avoid exercises that have a risk of falling.
- Maintain a healthy diet to keep you all charged up for undergoing physical activity during the second trimester.
- Do not exercise too much. Exerting yourself beyond your limits is something that is not at all recommended. Exercising for about 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week is enough.
- Avoid physical exercises where there are sudden movements or jerks. For example, jumping, balancing, changing sides, etc.
- Consider doing light exercises, specifically those that do not increase your heart rate rapidly.
- Refrain from exercise in case your pregnancy has complications and your gynaecologist has advised against it.
- Try this test while exercising to know if it is too intense for you. The test is called ‘talk test’ wherein you make normal conversation with yourself or someone else while exercising. If it leads to heaviness in the breathing or palpitation, the exercise is too intense for you. You must slow down or look for an alternate exercise that isn’t as intense.
- Women who have a history of heart disease, asthma or even diabetes, should consider any exercise only after consulting their gynaecologist, as there could be pregnancy-related complications.
These prenatal exercises for the second trimester should make it easy for you to set a safe exercise regime for yourself. But, always remember to check with your gynaecologist before doing any of these exercises. When there’s nothing to worry, you may start slow and keep a consistent pace while exercising. If there are unexpected pains, you must stop immediately and seek additional medical attention.
Also Read: Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy