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The third trimester of pregnancy, which lasts from week 28 to week 40, is when you are heading to the home stretch. This is the time when your body is stretching the most, and you're battling various pregnancy problems, such as heartburn, round ligament pain, frequent urination, shortness of breath, swelling, and many more. Luckily, through some pregnancy-safe exercises, you can ease some of the discomforts as well as prepare your body for labor and delivery.

Is Exercising Safe During Pregnancy?

Exercise in the third trimester is considered safe and recommended for moms-to-be with no pregnancy complications. However, you should always consult with your healthcare provider before you engage in any fitness activity. That's because the last trimester isn't time to start a new exercise routine. If you haven't exercised throughout your pregnancy, you should start with walking. Certain high-risk complications make exercise unsafe!

Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

Doing low- to moderate-intensity activity during pregnancy can help you and your baby in many ways:

  • Help with tiredness
  • Lower your back pain
  • Lessen swelling
  • Ease constipation
  • Protect your joints
  • Improve you and your baby's cardiovascular fitness
  • Reduce the risk of swelling
  • Help maintain blood pressure
  • Lightens your mood
  • Weight control
  • Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean
  • Help your skin look better

The Best Exercises for the Third Trimester

#Walking & Jogging

A light jog or walk is one of the best, easiest, and most accessible exercises for pregnant women. All you need for it is a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes and a sidewalk or a park. While walking doesn't stress your joints too much, jogging is perfect for cardiovascular health. If jogging doesn't suit you, try walking at a comfortable pace.

#Swimming & Aqua Aerobics

If you have access to a pool at your local club, take advantage of aqua sports. Swimming is a great exercise that takes the stress off your joints and ligaments. Lapping around the pool or doing water aerobics is the safest and most comfortable way to get your heart pumping. Before you begin, ensure the water is at least up to your breast.

#Prenatal Yoga & Pilates

Low-impact exercises, such as prenatal yoga, pilates, and barre, are incredibly beneficial for pregnant women in the last trimester. Not only do the stretches strengthen your core and pelvic floor muscles, but the relaxation techniques practiced in yoga help you sleep better and relieve your stress and anxiety. If possible, practice yoga with a certified instructor having expertise in training pregnant women. Also, make sure you wear high-stretch maternity yoga wear when performing prenatal yoga and pilates.

#Pelvic Floor Exercises

If you choose to exercise only one thing, make it your pelvic floor. Pelvic floor exercises, also called Kegel exercises, may not provide the whole body workout, but they strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. The muscles you contracted to stop the flow of urine are the pelvic floor muscles. You can do Kegels by holding and relaxing these muscles.

#Bodyweight and Toning Moves

If you're looking to tone muscles and maintain strength, try at-home workouts such as squats, wall push-ups, lunges, leg lifts, and arm lifts with or without low-weight dumbbells. Aim for at least half an hour a day of exercise. Start with as little as five minutes and gradually increase it to 30 minutes a day.

Activities You Should Avoid in the Third Trimester

Some workouts may not be good for you during late-stage pregnancy. They may include:

  • Hot yoga or pilates
  • Lying down
  • Standing still
  • Contact sports

Precautions to Take While Exercising in the Third Trimester

Make sure you take the following precautions before engaging in any exercise or physical activity during the last trimester:

  • Avoid lying on your stomach.
  • Skip exercises that require standing in one position for too long.
  • Exercises that pose the risk of falling must be avoided.
  • Refrain from exercises that require you to lie flat on your back.
  • Avoid high impact exercises that involve jumping.
  • Keep yourself well hydrated during the exercises.
  • Avoid aerobic exercises if you have chronic diseases
  • Listen to your body. Don't push yourself.

Some Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Let your body tell you what it can do! If, at any point, you notice the following symptoms, stop, rest, and contact your doctor immediately if required. Slow down or quit if you have these warning signs:

  • Feeling dizzy, nauseous, or lightheaded
  • Leaking amniotic fluid
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • A severe headache
  • Sudden contractions
  • The baby doesn't kick as usual
  • Pain in the chest, back, or pelvis
  • An unusually rapid heartbeat
  • Pain or swelling in your calf muscles

The third trimester of pregnancy is filled with all kinds of emotions and physical changes. If you're the kind of woman who likes to stay fit, doing these third-trimester pregnancy exercises will help alleviate many discomforts. You just need to perform them with caution!


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