Beat the BLOAT! My favorite exercises to avoid Pregnancy/ Postpartum swelling
March 10, 2017
Bloating and circulation issues can seriously hinder the "glowing" we've been promised of in our pregnancies. Does Carpal tunnel, foot and ankle swelling, bloating, sound familiar?
Yeah, not cute.
Plus, if your shoe size changes, you'll likely be donating all of your cute pumps after your pregnancy is over....
Look, issues with circulation are most often genetic, but this doesn't mean you're stuck with these common prenatal ailments until baby arrives.
To help reduce swelling pain, try some of my favorite exercises to improve your circulation and feel better:
1.) Light cardiovascular exercise
Taking walks, using machines like the treadmill, elliptical, or spinning bike will increase blood flow and circulation throughout the body. When we move our body, our large muscle groups promote the flow of oxygen throughout. Regular exercise will increase blood flow and improve circulation.
Now, ya'll know I'm a huge proponent of respecting the 6 week wait after delivery. That means no heavy lifting, jumping, running, or pushing your body. In my opinion, now is a time to focus on letting your body heal, bonding with your baby, and putting more energy into finding sleep. However, going for a walk and staying active once you're feeling up for it is great. I was SO swollen after I delivered Finn, and going for slow (non-baby wearing) walks definitely helped.
Swimming, in my professional opinion, is one of the best exercises to improve circulation. Exhaling against a large body of water will increase your lung capacity like no other exercise can, and reduce bloating. There is no lower impact exercise out there, regardless of stroke selection. Using a kick board to move the legs is a wonderful way to get the blood flowing in your legs with zero impact.
On a personal note, I started swimming twice a week during my third trimester of pregnancy and experienced absolutely no swelling. My feet hurt.. but that was likely from the massive belly I had been lugging around for almost 10 months.
For the most part, just moving your body on a regular basis will help you feel a thousand-y times better. Stretching on a regular basis is the same deal. Workouts like prenatal yoga, prenatal Pilates, and even just a couple of stretches before bed will also improve your circulation. Plus, it just feels awesome when you're SO FUCKING PREGNANT.
I've had so many clients with severe back pain that I decided to create a simple PDF stretching guide for Pregnancy.