Fitness during pregnancy keeps you healthier and might even make you feel better. A little exercise can help boost your energy levels and help relieve the aches and pains you feel. Specific leg exercises might help reduce the leg symptoms you experience, such as swelling and cramping. Always listen to your body when exercising during pregnancy and avoid overheating your body, which can be dangerous to your baby.
Walking combines leg toning and aerobic exercise for maximum benefits during pregnancy. Walking is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, making it safe during pregnancy. A walking routine can help you build up your endurance, which comes in handy as a new mom. Choose a pair of comfortable, supportive walking shoes to wear as you exercise. Walking with a friend makes the time go faster.
Swimming is another low-impact way to tone your legs and increase your overall fitness level. Being in the water feels better for some pregnant women because the water makes the extra weight seem non-existent. There is little risk for injury with swimming, and you reduce the chances of overheating, unless you’re swimming in a very warm pool. Try different strokes to see which one feels the best to you. Focus on working your legs to build and tone muscle.
At the gym, leg extensions are a way to work out the leg muscles. Choose a leg extension machine that allows you to sit rather than lie down. Avoid over exerting yourself. Keep the weight and your reps low to avoid injury or muscle strain.
Leg lifts are a simple way to work your leg muscles at home. Lie on your side with your bottom leg bent at the knee. Point your toes on your upper leg away from your body as you raise the leg as high as you can without feeling strained. Hold your leg for a few seconds before slowly lowering it to the starting position. Repeat this move eight to 12 times before switching to the other side.
Yoga is a popular workout option during pregnancy. It increases muscles strength and flexibility throughout the body, including the legs. Focus on standing poses if your goal is to tone and strengthen the legs. A prenatal yoga class is the best option if one is available because the instructor should be experienced in teaching yoga to pregnant women. Like all prenatal workouts, don’t push yourself too hard with yoga. If you feel unstable during standing poses, use a chair, wall or other sturdy object to hold on to.