Third Trimester Exercise

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Should you exercise in your third trimester?

This is a personal question that is up to you and your doctor.

There may be a point in your pregnancy where your doctor begins to limit your exercise, especially if she is afraid the baby will arrive too early. Heed your doctor’s advice. Stay on the safe side.

For most pregnant women, however, third trimester exercise is perfectly fine. The type of exercise you will do might change, depending on how you are feeling. For example, moderate to high impact exercise now holds a new set of risks, such as bladder pain or even an accidental urination! Many women have thought their water broke when actually, they lost bladder control at an inopportune moment.

Another thing to consider when exercising is that the lungs have been pushed upward. You may have trouble catching your breath or even get dizzy or lightheaded. It is best, then, to consider exercises that enhance deeper breathing, not quick and short breaths. If there is any danger of getting faint or losing consciousness, lie on your left side immediately and refocus on your breath. If anyone is around, ask for them to call your spouse or even your doctor if you are worried that something is wrong.

If possible, there are many reasons to continue exercising through the third trimester.

  • To encourage blood flow through the mother and into the baby
  • To encourage deep breathing and oxygen flow to the mother and baby
  • To reduce swelling
  • To maintain strength
  • To maintain immunity to disease
  • To reduce stress
  • To keep pregnancy weight from getting too high

For these 7 reasons, try to move some during these last couple of months. Of course, start monitoring your progress and pare down on time, distance, and resistance weights during the third trimester. You do not need to outdo yourself. You do not need to set higher goals at this point. You just need to move some to get the benefits. Shorter exercise sessions are very effective at this stage of the game.

Consider the following types of exercises in the third trimester:

  • Walking. A short walk is a great form of exercise, even around the block or to the corner and back. It’s not a speed race at this point.
  • Swimming. Many women can maintain their swim routines through this stage, especially the breast stroke, as it encourages constant, deeper breathing.
  • Aqua aerobics. Being in the water takes out the jolt of impact exercises. Feeling buoyant in the water helps you maintain energy longer, and the water keeps you cool.
  • Prenatal Yoga. Not just any yoga class will do. Take a yoga class specifically designed for pregnant women. These classes will focus on techniques that will help in labor, as well.

The perfect DVD system for at home training is the SML Fit Pregnancy DVD.

If you are pregnant: anytime you are exercising, please bring a friend, be in earshot of other people, or at the very least, have your cell phone within arm’s reach.

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