3 heart health fitness tips for pregnancy

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Earlier on this week Jen talked to us about making exercise fun and finding the biggest motivator of all – your “Why?”

Today Charise shares the three easiest and most enjoyable ways she has found to stay active and heart healthy throughout pregnancy!

I’m honored to help Mrs. Green promote national heart month today, and I would like to focus on keeping the heart healthy throughout pregnancy, since it’s a life stage that I am currently in for the second time. I am typically a very active person; I enjoy hiking, dancing, snowboarding, yoga, and working out in various forms, but for some reason activity becomes very difficult for me in pregnancy.

Staying fit is important for maintaining a healthy pregnancy and for feeling strong throughout labor and delivery, but it is also a very important time to maintain activity for the sake of your heart. Pregnancy is ten months long. That’s almost a year of having your body in a different state, and if you take into consideration the time that you need to rest and recover after giving birth, you are pretty much looking at a full year of life when staying fit and thereby taking care of our hearts can fall by the wayside.

First trimester of pregnancy can often be accompanied by nausea and fatigue, which can make exercising very difficult, and after three months of just trying to get by, it can be difficult to get back on track with staying active. I know this from experience!

Here are the three easiest and most enjoyable ways I have found to stay active and heart healthy throughout pregnancy:

1. Prenatal Yoga

Not only is prenatal yoga a wonderful form of exercise, it is also empowering and a fantastic stress reducer. Reducing stress is incredibly important for keeping your heart healthy. I personally love attending my prenatal yoga class every week. It is so nice to be in a space with other pregnant women who are invested in having an active pregnancy. If you are unable to attend a class in your area, a yoga DVD like this one – Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga – can be a cost effective solution.

2. Long Walks

Taking a long walk is a wonderful form of exercise, and it is another option for reducing stress. Getting fresh air and taking in some beautiful surroundings is calming, healthy, and refreshing. This is a particularly easy form of exercise for me as my toddler loves spending time outside, so we can both benefit from this heart healthy exercise.

3. Prenatal Pilates

I have been loving the 10 Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates DVD as the strengthening portion of my weekly workouts. The DVD comes with five 10-minute workouts so you can customize your exercise routine to fit your schedule. This is particularly helpful when you would rather treat yourself to some iced cream rather than work. You can start off by promising yourself that you will only have to do a ten minutes workout. Then, once you’re feeling strong and enjoying yourself, you can tag on some more ten minute workouts!

Adjusting to life with a new baby can seem like a challenging time to exercise and stay fit, but there are actually many hidden opportunities throughout your day with a little one where exercise can be fit in. You can find 20 suggestions for how to do so in my post: The Stay at Home Mama Workout: Tips for Staying Fit With Little Time and Money.

Regardless of the methods you choose, pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood are very important times to care for your heart!

What are your favorite ways to stay active throughout pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood?

Charise blogs at I Thought I Knew Mama, a window into the adventures of stay at home mamahood, natural parenting, and green & healthy living. She is the proud mama to an incredible son born in June 2010 and to a baby girl due in May 2012. You can also find Charise on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +

We’d like to thank Philips for sending us an Avance juicer and Abel and Cole for our delicious fruit and vegetable boxes so we can keep ourselves fit and healthy too!


  1. Mrs Green on February 29, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I feel instantly calmed reading your post Charise – thank you so much. You’ve made everything reachable, attainable and I feel you’ve taken all expectation, the shoulds, musts and oughts. I hope you are enjoying your pregnancy and have a wonderful babymoon in May!

  2. Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama on February 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    @Mrs Green: Thank you so much! Much love!

  3. […] natural parenting post with the linky at the bottom of this post. I’m helping Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog celebrate national heart month. Please visit my guest post on her blog: 3 heart health fitness tips […]

  4. Christine @ African Babies Don't Cry on March 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    This is a great list, thanks Charise. I, unfortunately, didn’t stay fit during my last pregnancy and was sorry I didn’t. I definitely hope to change that for my next one 🙂

  5. Only Best For Baby on March 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Great post. When I was pregnant last year I found prenatal yoga and walking made all the difference to my health and happiness. They kept me fit, supple, relaxed and calm.

    My baby enjoyed these activities too and it was so nice to know I was doing something positive for the two of us.

    All the best with the remainder of your pregnancy.

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