ng your pregnancy seems to be one of the toughest and most challenging things that you’ve done in your entire life. However, it is not something out of your reach. Just give yourself a chance and see how it changes your body and mind. According to a review study from Obstetrics and Gynecology, regular workouts during pregnancy not only helps mothers-to-be stay in better, but it also helps encourage a healthy birth weight, as well as lower odds of cesarean delivery. As with any type of pregnancy exercise, start by asking your healthcare provider if it’s okay to begin an aerobics routine. If you get the green light, aim for at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise at moderate intensity on most or all days of the week.

  1. DONKEY KICKS

Pregnancy can be strenuous on your back, so get some relief by strengthening your core and glutes. This move can be completed without equipment and can be modified for all fitness levels. The traditional execution of this exercise is the best for beginners. Focus on form, ensuring the back isn’t sagging and your glute is doing the work.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Get on the floor on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle.

FINISH: Slowly pulse your flexed foot toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes. Your back should remain perfectly still in a neutral spine. The motion should be small and controlled with the muscle do the work and not momentum. Return to the starting position to complete one rep. Do three sets of 15 pulses on each side.

  1. ARM STRETCHES

As your pregnancy progresses, your growing uterus can cause difficulty in breathing, loss of appetite, acidity and pain in the ribs. Arm stretches help create flexibility in the upper abdomen region and hence, allow more space for the growing uterus.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Sit with your knees hip-width apart.

FINISH: Start the exercise in a standing position with your arms raised overhead and hands joined together. Now bend your upper body towards the right while exhaling, hold for 5 seconds and come back to the starting position while inhaling. Now bend your body to the left and hold it for 5 seconds, then come back to the starting position. This makes one repetition. Repeat it 30 times at a stretch.

  1. PLIÉ SQUAT

Squats are a great exercise to keep you in shape during pregnancy. As your belly grows though, the traditional squat gets more challenging. This is when you can switch to a plie squat.

Step-to-step instruction

 START: Stand with your legs wide and your toes pointed outward slightly. Roll the shoulders back and down while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Keeping the core engaged and the chest high, add a slight bend in the knees. Hand straight in front of your chest.

FINISH: As you squat down, focus on keeping your knees in line with your feet. Keep your back straight, with your neutral spine, and your chest and shoulders up.  Keep looking straight ahead at that spot on the wall. At the bottom of the squat, press through your heels, exhale, and return to the standing position.

  1. SIDE LEG LIFTS

Hips change position during pregnancy. Performing regular side leg lifts can help your abductor’s muscles. This simple move targets the outer thighs. However, pay attention to detail on this move, you want to move your hip joint not your back.

Step-to-step instruction

 START: Lie down on your side so that your body straight from shoulder to feet. Put your lower arm under your head.

FINISH: Lift your upper leg diagonally until you feel the impact on the outer waist. Remember to keep both legs as well as your back straight. Come back to the starting position. Repeat this 20 times then switch to the other side. For an even greater burn, finish this series with lifts in a bigger range of motion, taking the foot all the way toward the ceiling and back down

  1. WATER RUNNING

Swimming is great for pregnant women because it allows you to be active without added pressure on your joints. If you have access to a pool, try water running or walking. Being submerged in water has a lower impact on your body while still giving you a great workout.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Do short intervals of two to three minutes of fast walking or jogging followed by at least a minute of rest.

FINISH: As your fitness builds, increase the length of your walking/running intervals.

  1. STATIONARY BIKE

No reason to miss spinning during pregnancy. Cycling on a stationary bike is generally safe even if you’re just starting an exercise program. Cycling is a good way to boost your heart rate without stressing your joints. As your belly grows, you can raise the handlebars for greater comfort.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Begin with a five-minute warm-up at 50 percent effort.

FINISH: Then, for two minutes, pedal at 60 percent. After that, lower the intensity to about 30 percent effort for two minutes. Do this about four to six times, and finish off with a five-minute cool down at 40 percent effort.

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