Eating right and exercising should be a part of your everyday health and wellness routine. And never has been drinking enough H2O and getting enough movement into your days been more important than when you’re pregnant. One way that you might get your physical fitness in when expecting is by doing Zumba, the exercise program that combines cardio with moves that are muy caliente. But with a belly out to there, can you do Zumba while pregnant?
Is it okay to dance while pregnant?
Dancing does a body good, during your nine months and beyond. In fact, moms-to-be who got down during the early stages of labor experienced shorter stages of labor and less pain, too, according to a PubMed study. “Dance is a fun way to keep active during pregnancy,” Lexi Stromberg, a licensed physical therapist assistant and certified Pilates instructor tells Romper. “It is a great way to connect to your body and it can improve cardio and heart health.” And Zumba, with its focus on aerobic and cardio activity, can help not just your body, but your mind as well. Researchers found that Zumba can improve your mental health — and because you’re usually dancing with a group of other guys and gals, has some social benefits that boost your quality of life, too.
What exercises are unsafe while pregnant?
While it might seem safe to salsa your way to better health, there are some exercises that are unsafe to do during pregnancy. “Exercise is encouraged during pregnancy, but it is good to be mindful that your ligaments (the tissue that attaches the muscles to bones) can get damaged more easily due to the hormonal effects that make them more lax,” Dr. Shieva Ghofrany, M.D., an OB-GYN and cofounder of Tribe Called V tells Romper. “That’s why care with certain activities that will stretch them out should be taken.” So even if you dance a mean merengue, listen to your body as you’re doing the exercises to ensure that you don’t overdo it, or potentially put strain on your body.
Can you do Zumba during your third trimester of pregnancy?
Some pregnant people experience a burst of energy in the latter stages of pregnancy. Chalk it up to nesting, nerves (or a bit of both); you might find that you want to scrub the floors or take long walks. While those are both good options, you can always strap on your dancing shoes (or, you know, your flat sneakers with a good rubber sole for safety and stability), and start movin’ and groovin’. “Just make sure you're going at a pace that is comfortable for you and avoid twisting movements in your third trimester,” advises Stromberg. “Balancing is difficult during the third trimester because your center of gravity is displaced.” You might want to run your Zumba routine by your OB-GYN to ensure that there aren’t any steps that could cause you to stumble or, worse, fall down. You can always speak to your instructor about modifications to certain movements that will keep both you and baby in balance.
What are the benefits of dancing while pregnant?
“Dancing is fun and helps relieve tension and stress,” Rachel MacPherson, CPT, a certified personal trainer explains. “Staying active with low-impact exercises like dancing can help keep you fit and ready for the hard task of giving birth and recovering afterward. Pregnant people who exercise have better birth outcomes and their babies tend to be healthier.”
Although any form of exercise is important to incorporate into your daily routine, dancing while pregnant is one of the easier ones to accomplish. You don’t necessarily need a gym, extra equipment, or even specific workout gear. All you need is some amazing music and the desire to swing your hips to the music, both of which baby will love in utero, researchers found.
It is recommended that pregnant people get about 150 minutes of physical activity per week as long as their healthcare provider gives the green light, per The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. And if you love to dance, you can bellydance your way through your nine months until baby arrives.
Toberna, C., Horter, D., Heslin, K., Forgie, M., Malloy, E., Kram, J. (2020) Dancing During Labor: Social Media Trend or Future Practice?, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32377554/
Vendramin, B., Bergamin, M., Gobbo, S., Cugusi, L., Duregon, F., Bullo, V., Zaccaria, M., Neunhaeuserer, D., Ermolao, A. (2016) Health Benefits of Zumba Fitness Training: A Systematic Review, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27317918/
Ullal-Gupta, S., der Nederlanden, C., Tichko, P., Lahav, A., Hannon, E. (2013) Linking prenatal experience to the emerging musical mind, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3759965/
Dr. Shieva Ghofrany, M.D., an OB-GYN and cofounder of Tribe Called V
Lexi Stromberg, a licensed physical therapist assistant and certified Pilates instructor
Rachel MacPherson, CPT, a certified personal trainer