If you're a working mom-to-be, finding the time to work out every day can feel a little impossible. Fatigue from growing a tiny human can make the prospect of loading up your duffel every morning to trek to the gym after work, or waking up at 5 AM to fit in that yoga sesh the last thing you want to think about doing.
Though it might seem like a good idea to just take it easy during your entire pregnancy, you wouldn't be doing you (or your baby) any favors by skipping your workouts entirely. More fatigue, muscles aches, and a slower postpartum recovery are just a few side effects of a sedentary pregnancy.
The key to staying strong and healthy during your pregnancy lies here: working physical activity into your every day routine. Below you'll find all of our sneaky tips for moving that bump all throughout your workday.
1. Replace your desk chair with a birthing ball
This one is more for comfort than anything, but replacing your desk chair with a birthing ball can strengthen your core, improve posture, and even help get baby into an optimal position for birth.
2. Take the stairs...many times throughout the day
Skipping your morning elevator ride for a trip up the stairs probably won't amount to much, but if you take the stairs multiple times throughout the day you'll feel the difference. For an addd challenge, take the stairs two at a time - but be careful with your new pregnant belly pulling you slightly forwards!
3. Take a 30-second jogging break
Need to clear your head or boost productivity? Try a quick 30-second jog-in-place in your office to get the blood pumping.
4. Wall-sits while catching up on emails on your phone
Activate your glutes and strengthen your pelvic floor while simultaneously getting rid of all those pesky junk emails and crafting quick responses to urgent emails. Two birds, one stone.
5. Do calf-raises while waiting
Might as well be productive while waiting on the copier or warming up your morning tea. Try calf-raises! For an added challenge, work one calf at a time.
6. Activate your core/pelvic floor while working at your desk
You know how important core + pelvic core strength is for pregnancy, labor, and postpartum recovery, so why not get a little extra strengthening in? Do abdominal squeezes, glute squeezes, and kegels while you work!
7. Do 5-second leg raises underneath your desk
Another silent and barely noticeable exercise are seated leg raises. Just straighten your legs out in front of you while seated and hold them there for 5+ seconds. You can even add a book or purse to your ankles for an added challenge.
8. Pace while making phone calls
Take a break from hunching over your computer and get some steps in when you take phone calls. Don't save it just for chat time though - try making the rounds instead of emailing your co-worker 3 doors down.;)
9. Do shoulder squeezes
Good posture is the key to reducing neck/upper back pain during pregnancy. Combat hunched shoulders caused by your expanding belly by pretending to squeeze a pen in between your shoulder blades.
10. Stretch your neck frequently
Stretching your neck is another crucial part of having good posture and reducing neck pain. Do neck circles while sitting at your desk, 5 in each direction a few times a day!
11. Adjust your chair for better posture
Make sure your desk chair is set up to allow for proper posture during those long, laborious work days. Adjust the height of the chair so that your feet, knees, and hips are all 90º from the ground.
12. Do chair squats at your desk
Squats are the holy grail of fitness, especially during pregnancy. Some professionals even recommend squatting up to 300 times a day during pregnancy!! Get some reps in at your desk by squatting at your desk chair 5 times before you sit down.
13. Use your desk to do tricep dips and incline pushups
Don't forget about your upper body with all that pacing and squatting! Your desk is the perfect place to get pushups and tricep dips in. Aim for 10 at a time throughout the day.
14. Use the leftover time from your lunch break to sneak in some exercise
We've found it usually doesn't take your whole lunch break to get your food down. Use your leftover time to sneak in a walk or some body weight exercises before you get back to work.
Don't worry about trying to fit in every tip every single day. Working your way up will do just fine, and every little bit of movement helps your pregnant body stay healthy and happy for your little one.
Do you have other work-friendly exercise tips? Share them below to help other moms stay fit during pregnancy!