How To Exercise Safely in Your Third Trimester

How To Exercise Safely in Your Third Trimester

Your body goes through dozens of changes throughout pregnancy, with differences in function and symptoms between the three trimesters. 

Your third and final trimester can be full of discomforts like heartburn, leg cramps, and Braxton Hicks contractions, but that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to days or weeks of bed rest. In fact, you can still be as active as you normally are leading up to your due date. 

Our expert OB/GYNs at The Association for Women’s Health Care in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois, help you navigate the changes that happen as you prepare for delivery and acknowledge them while planning your exercise routine. 

What’s happening to your body

Exercise feels different late in your pregnancy for a few reasons:

You might also experience swelling or edema in your legs. It’s important to choose exercises that help stabilize your joints and don’t put you at risk of a fall or injury. 

If you’re not a regular exerciser, start off with some low-impact walking. This activity helps you work on your balance while minimizing stress on your joints and helping you become accustomed to engaging in controlled movements. 

Why you should consider exercising through pregnancy

Among many other health and wellness benefits, exercise triggers the release of endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are chemicals that are natural pain relievers and may help alleviate some of your pregnancy-related discomfort. 

Additionally, exercising during pregnancy reduces bloating, prevents excess weight gain, and may shorten your time in labor. 

How to stay in shape toward the end

The third trimester can be the most challenging phase of pregnancy, and exercise during this stage isn’t always so simple. The good news is that there are plenty of exercise tips you can safely follow to continue your routine and stay in shape. 

Our experts can give you tips for exercises to use and others to avoid for you and your baby’s safety.

Here are some types of exercise for you to consider during your third trimester:

If you opt for yoga, Pilates, or something similar, stay away from hot yoga classes. Even if you enjoy them and have previously found them to be beneficial, the high heat can be harmful to you during pregnancy. 

You should also avoid exercises that require you to lay flat on the floor. This position causes the uterus to compress a major vein that travels directly to your heart. 

Third trimester or otherwise, drink plenty of water throughout your workouts. You should also take some breaks to lighten your load, but try to avoid standing still in a single position for too long. 

If you’d like to prioritize your health and fitness with gentle exercises throughout pregnancy, we can discuss safe exercise with you during your next prenatal visit at The Association for Women’s Health Care. Contact our offices with a call or click to reserve your appointment today.

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