How important is fitness for young mothers

Fitness tips for pregnant women and young mothers

Exercise during and after pregnancy is not only allowed, it is even important. But which exercises are particularly suitable and what should you watch out for when doing sport?

It is not easy for pregnant women: As soon as the baby marathon begins, the body and mind go crazy. For almost 40 weeks, the organism tries to mobilize all strength and energy reserves and to adapt to the difficult circumstances. And in your head your thoughts go crazy and everything revolves around the expected offspring.

It is understandable that for many prospective mothers the stress during pregnancy is so great that they cannot also think about exercise. However, that should be done. Because a lot speaks for easy and targeted fitness during pregnancy - especially if this can improve the condition. Because pregnancy is a real sporting challenge. And what about sport right after the delivery and then again a few weeks afterwards?

Why exercise is important for pregnant women

As already mentioned, sport or fitness is definitely recommended during pregnancy. Because the development of an unborn child in the stomach requires the Cooperation of all body systems. Sports activities do the same, which is why they are called optimal preparation as well as Accompanying program can serve.

Incidentally, during pregnancy, the cardiovascular system, metabolism, breathing and the entire musculoskeletal system - in other words, almost your whole body - are put under increased stress. By her predominantly light fitness and light endurance sports you can benefit in several ways:

  • You can get new energy.
  • Stress can be reduced.
  • Perseverance and self-confidence are increased.

On the other hand, all movements and exercises that lead to press breathing and that are performed with high weights are taboo. After the birth, everything changes again anyway - but more on that later.

Fitness is more than just exercise

Before we explain exactly how, what and why you can exercise during and after pregnancy, there is another factor that needs to be emphasized, even if it is not intended to be discussed in detail in this post: Food. Especially with regard to the offspring, as a pregnant woman you should know exactly what you can eat and drink and what it is better to refrain from. Proper nutrition also makes you fit and prepares you for a more comfortable birth.

fruit and vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are particularly important for you as a pregnant woman. Because this will make you and your offspring with a large amount of Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber as Antioxidants and phytochemicals provided. Above all, the B vitamin 9, also called folic acid, is important for the baby, which is why you have to ensure an adequate intake during pregnancy.

Folic acid ensures that the so-called neural tube closes in the embryo in the first four weeks of pregnancy. If there is a deficiency, it can sometimes lead to a neural tube defect (also called "open back"). The neural tube defect is a serious malformation that can vary in severity and still occurs in almost 800 fetuses in Germany every year.

Particularly good suppliers of folic acid are:

  • broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • asparagus
  • spinach
  • Legumes (especially chickpeas, soybeans, and white beans)
  • Beetroot
  • Whole grain bread
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • cucumber
  • avocado

meat and fish

Meat and fish are primarily that optimal protein supplier and provide you with iodine and iron. But not everything animal is suitable for consumption during pregnancy. Keep away from raw, insufficiently heated and only cold-smoked foods. As delicious as it may be, you should avoid:

  • Raw meat
  • Tartare
  • sushi
  • smoked salmon
  • and raw sausage products such as salami

All of these foods can be contaminated with dangerous germs that can spread to the placenta of the unborn child. Types of fish that are often strong with mercury are contaminated, such as swordfish, tuna or merlin and Offal, like liver, the pollutants (among others Heavy metals) should also only be consumed in moderation.

There is also a constant debate about red meat, not only with regard to pregnant women. Numerous experts and specialist articles devote themselves to this topic in more detail - the results are always similar: Although some nutritionists advise against too much red meat, studies have not proven to what extent one could benefit from a diet without red meat. The nutrients contained in meat also differ greatly, depending on how the animals are kept.


  • In the case of dairy products and eggs, the simple rule is that you have to pay attention to not to consume anything raw. Raw milk camembert and the like, as well as dishes with undercooked eggs, such as tiramisu, soft ice cream or mayonnaise Toxoplasma, Listeria and Salmonella that harm the unborn child.
  • finished products - especially if they Artificial additives - are also to be avoided, as they put a strain on your organism and that Allergy risk increase your offspring. The same applies, of course, to sweets, snacks and fast food.
  • During pregnancy, you should consume two to three liters of unsweetened drinks, preferably water, every day. Alcohol is of course absolutely taboo, because it has been shown to damage your child's central nervous system in an extremely strong way.
  • The topic vegetarianism and Veganism and pregnancy are difficult areas. We have already dealt with the topic in a post and have come to the opinion that vegetarians do not have to start eating meat during pregnancy in order to be able to cover the optimal range of nutrients for the offspring. With a vegan diet, however, there can be an insufficient supply. Especially Vitamin B12 you should also feed in such a case. Additional regular checks by the doctor are also useful.

Fitness During Pregnancy

Different types of movement

On the one hand, there are different types of exercise, each of which can benefit from different fitness exercises during pregnancy. On the other hand there is also medical reasonswho speak against greater physical strain. These include high blood pressure, premature labor or previous illnesses in the mother. If in doubt, speak to a gynecologist, sports doctor, or midwife with sports medicine knowledge before performing any movements that you are unsure of.

Movement type 1: The beginner

If you have done little or no sport and have hardly any experience with fitness exercises, you should wait until the 15th week of pregnancy before you start training. Then you can definitely increase your stamina and flexibility. It is best to start with a one-time training session a week in which you do various low-intensity exercises for 15 to 20 minutes. Once you find that you are finding it easier to exercise, you can increase your exercise to two times a week for 30 to 45 minutes.

Movement type 2: The amateur athlete

If you have been exercising two to three times a week in your free time a few months before your pregnancy - for example, running, dancing, or occasionally swimming - you should maintain this level of fitness beyond the pregnancy period. The best way to do this is to continue exercising as you are used to for the first few weeks of pregnancy.

As your pregnancy progresses, you should Take it a little slower. As a basic rule, you can remember that you should train in such a way that you are never completely exhausted after the training, but can theoretically continue for a few minutes at the same intensity. Activities that are gentle on the joints are always a bit better than the joint-demanding alternative.

This is because you shed more water during pregnancy Relaxin from, a messenger substance that increases the elasticity of the ligaments and tendons and makes them softer, but at the same time increases the risk of injury. Accordingly, walking is preferable to jogging and aquatraining is better than cycling, for example.

Movement type 3: The competitive athlete

You belong to movement type 3 if you have always done intensive exercise four to six times a week before your pregnancy. Even in this case, you should do less as the pregnancy progresses. From around the fourth month onwards, it is advisable to only train a maximum of four times a week and to shift at least one of these training units into the water.

If you train for both endurance and strength, you should make sure to move these units to two different days, as the training on the same day too great burden represents for you.

Important zones to be strengthened

Certain fitness exercises and general moderate endurance sports are helpful during pregnancy for a number of reasons:

  • On the one hand, it has been shown time and again that babies of well-trained women are particularly vital born.
  • Furthermore, the rocking that is created by the movement promotes the Development of the child and above all its sense organs. Prof. Dr. Renate Zimmer, German educationalist and chairwoman of the Lower Saxony Institute for Early Childhood Education and Development (nifbe) examines the influence of psychomotor skills on development. She says: "Swinging is a primal experience for all children".

But especially for you as a future mom, sport also brings a lot:

  • In this way, you can use it to prevent typical pregnancy symptoms such as venous congestion, calf cramps and hemorrhoids.
  • Overall, you acquire better posture.
  • You raise your daily mood to get through the pregnancy with a clear head and in a positive mood.

But which exercises are particularly suitable for which zones?

  1. The legs

As already mentioned, you release more relaxin during pregnancy and thereby become something more vulnerable in the ligaments and tendons. So that your legs can easily carry the extra weight during pregnancy and you don't get injuries here, you should widen regularly Squats To run. The difference to the "normal", narrower squat is that in addition to the thigh muscles, you also train the gluteal muscles.

For the wide squats, simply position your legs a little wider than shoulder width apart and then bend your legs by lowering your buttocks towards the floor and at the same time bending your upper body very slightly forward. As soon as you are parallel to the floor with your thighs, you have reached the optimal end position. From here you can slowly get up again with the strength of your legs. It is important that when performing this, the knees point in the same direction as the toes at all times.

  1. Back and pelvic floor

The baby's back and pelvic floor are also placed in the tummy significantly more burdened, than usual. The latter plays a central role during pregnancy and also during childbirth. With the bridge or the simplified bridge you strengthen these areas and at the same time also train your legs and buttocks a bit.

For the bridge, sit on a mat, feet hip-width apart with bent legs and arms at shoulder height. Make sure that your feet and hands are pointing in one direction. Now tighten your stomach, pelvic floor and buttocks and lift your pelvis upwards while you breathe out. Legs and upper body or back should be in a line at the end of the execution. So you build a bridge with your body.

Then you release the tension again and lower your pelvis (almost) to the floor again. Alternatively, you can also do the simplified bridge, in which you lie fully on your arms, on your shoulders and, so to speak, form a triangle as soon as you lift your pelvis.

  1. The belly

Perhaps you feel like many other pregnant women and you have an instinctive fear or even panic about stressing your stomach too much because of course you are yours Protect baby want and are afraid of hurting it even by doing some exercises. In some cases, for example if the cervix is ​​shortened or the fetus is not growing sufficiently, it is also dangerous to exercise the abdomen or even to exercise in general. Therefore, in principle, every training program must be clarified with the doctor in advance.

A good and very easy exercise for the stomach is the following: You lie on your back on a mat and now lift your legs by bending them so that a right angle is created. Now you pull your head and shoulders towards your knees and move your legs slowly and in a controlled manner forwards and, as soon as you notice that the position is difficult to hold or you are becoming unstable, slowly back again.

Like the other exercises, you can repeat this exercise about 10 to 20 times. With the squats, you may be able to do a little less at first, but after a while they should also be a lot easier for you.

What every pregnant woman should pay attention to

  • Basically, every pregnant woman should make sure that the Pulse do not rest during exercise. If your heart rate doesn't exceed 140 to 150 beats per minute, you're doing everything right. With such a high frequency, it is also important to ensure that the training does not last longer than 20 minutes. Heart rate monitors help to control the heartbeat.
  • A so-called Hyperthermia (overheating of the body) can harm your newborn. So you should never go to your maximum limit; if you are no longer responsive while doing sport, you have gone a little too far and should shift down a gear.
  • Drink always enough during exercise and wear breathable clothing.
  • As far as nutrition is concerned, from around the tenth week of pregnancy you need just under 300 Calories more a day. You should definitely not do without these if you should put them together sensibly. Complex carbohydrates from whole grain products and fruits and vegetables are preferable to other foods.
  • A tip that basically cannot be given often enough not only with regard to sports during pregnancy: Be special while you have your offspring in your stomach empathetic with yourself. You can feel changes in your body better than anyone else. So if you notice that something is not good for you or, on the contrary, you feel particularly relaxed after a movement or something else, then simply adjust your behavior or your training accordingly. Your inner voice will tell you what is right and what is not.

Endurance sports according to their suitability for pregnant women

Moderate endurance sports are also ideal for exercising regularly during pregnancy. The following graphic gives you an overview of which sports are suitable and how:

Get fit after giving birth

Exercise shortly after giving birth

As soon as the offspring are there, they change Everyday life as a young mother thoroughly. Then everything revolves around the baby and you will probably not feel too keen on constantly doing intense exercise.

And that's a good thing, because midwives and doctors strongly advise against excessive fitness and several hours of endurance training after childbirth. If you overdo it, the worst case scenario is a lowering of the pelvic organs, i.e. the bladder, uterus and intestines. Then there is a risk of permanent incontinence and other unpleasant consequences.

So instead of doing intense exercise shortly after giving birth, you should work on it a lot natural movement to incorporate into your everyday life:

  • Long, leisurely walks
  • Light water aerobics
  • Gentle yoga and stretching exercises

After a few weeks you can then increase the intensity.

When the first eight weeks are done

Should be used for the first proper workouts after giving birth about eight weeks being repaired. Then it is Regression phase usually completed and the so-called diastasis rectus (the gap between the straight abdominal muscles that is created by the excessive stretching of the abdominal wall during pregnancy, should be reduced to such an extent that the doctor gives the green light for moderate exercise.

Moderate sport means something like: Short, cohesive workoutsin which the pelvic floor and core are trained. Even if you trained at high intensity before the pregnancy and you are already feeling pretty fit again without a child in your stomach, it is still better to take it easy and get used to your original workload very slowly. Additional weights for fitness exercises and strength training as well as extremely long sports units are still a taboo.

The best fitness exercises for young moms

After about twelve weeks as a young mommy you can come with me again targeted fitness exercises start to "tune" your figure again. Running training - initially ideally with walking and then alternating with light running - is now possible again. Here, too, your body and especially your pelvic floor will tell you by itself when it is enough and how much intensity is good for you.

The best exercises now are those where the pelvic floor can always be tightly tensed, as this is still very much used. Even the straight ones should Abdominal muscles initially only be trained statically. With the obliques, it matters less.

Workouts that work the whole body are best. You won't go wrong with a combination of several simple exercises:

  • Squats
  • Downward facing dog
  • Leg lifter
  • Front raises
  • Weird crunches
  • Triceps push-ups
  • Pelvic lift and bridge
  • cobra
  • Torso turning
  • Level scales
  • Quadruped exercises


In conclusion, it can only be emphasized once again: No matter what and how you are training: Listen to your inner voice and feel inside yourself. If you experience pain, general discomfort or bleeding, you should stop training immediately. Because sport should ensure well-being and not cause the opposite!


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Figure 2: © komarinansk (# 140050571)

Figure 3: © Dan Race (# 40374600)

Figure 4: © 4frame group (# 141051995)

Figure 5: © Iryna (# 159882349)