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Exercises in 7th of Month Pregnancy

by
author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
Exercises in 7th of Month Pregnancy
With doctor supervision, you can exercise until you're full-term. Photo Credit Sergey Borisov/iStock/Getty Images

While the seventh month of pregnancy -- and the dawn of your third trimester -- might have you dreaming more of putting up your feet than a good workout, exercise should still be a part of your routine. A study published in a 2009 issue of "Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica" found that only 11 percent of healthy pregnant women identified themselves as regular exercisers in the third trimester. While you may want to slow down, don't skip exercise altogether or you could miss out on some of the benefits for both you and your baby.

Talk to the Doc

Most healthy pregnant women -- particularly those have remained active throughout gestation -- are able to continue exercising in the seventh month, even if your growing belly and fatigue can mean slowing down your usual pace. There are some pregnant women, however, who have specific contraindications which prohibit them from exercising, so talk to your doctor about physical activity. If you're at risk for high blood pressure or preterm labor, your doctor might suggest you only engage in mild activity such as walking -- or may even ask you to stop exercising altogether.

Break a Sweat

The American Pregnancy Association notes that pregnant women can continue exercise throughout pregnancy if their heart rate remains less than 140 beats per minute. That means most cardio is fair game, as long as you don't exert yourself past your maximum heart rate. Aim for 30 minutes of cardio each day in the form of safe exercises, such as swimming, walking, prenatal aerobics and dance. Skip exercise that could cause you to overexert yourself or lose your balance, such as skiing, kickboxing and waterskiing.

Stretch It Out

While you may not be achieving Crow pose anytime soon, prenatal yoga can be an excellent way to maintain flexibility throughout your pregnancy. As you enter the seventh month and the third trimester, you may find that your burgeoning belly makes it hard to balance, so make sure you have a wall or chair nearby. Let your instructor know that you're seven months along, and she may be able to suggest some safe modifications to allow for your growing size and changed balance.

Comfort and Safety

While exercise can make for a more comfortable seventh month, it can be uncomfortable if you don't give yourself some allowance. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you may find that it was easier to exercise earlier in your pregnancy when compared to the third trimester. Avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back, and make sure you stay well hydrated throughout your workout by drinking a pint of water before exercise and one cup for every 20 minutes of physical activity. Any exercise that causes pain, shortness of breath or excessive fatigue should be discontinued and discussed with your doctor.

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