Exercise in Pregnancy

The third trimester is a hard and wonderful time in your pregnancy. Physically, it’s easy to feel like your 3rd trimester body is limiting your activity even more than during your 1st and 2nd trimester body did. Your baby and uterus are both growing very rapidly so you may notice more fatigue or body aches. Psychologically, you may begin to feel like you have been pregnant forever. Or you may suddenly realize you will meet your baby soon and that your pregnancy has flown by in a blur. You will begin having restrictions on how far and how you should travel.

Knowing you have many sleepless nights ahead, your instinct may be to prop your feet up and relax through the remainder of your pregnancy. But, while rest is important, it is also better for parents to stay active throughout their pregnancy. But since many people hate heading to the gym, we’ve come up with this list of fun things to do in Knoxville and the surrounding areas that keep you busy and active while having a blast.

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Hit the gym:

Well, some people do like going to the gym. If you do, Knoxville Mom’s Blog has a long list of gyms in the area, some of which even have childcare available.

Tour the Knoxville Museum of Art

Tour the McClung Museum of Natural History:

According to their website, both parking and admission are free.

Visit Smart Toys and Books:

They have a toy shop, classes, and an interactive playground. Scope it out for your new baby or take your older kids for an afternoon of fun.

Visit the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge:

Because science is awesome :)

Visit the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge:

You can wander the decks, climb the grand staircase, and pretend you’re sneaking off to Jack Dawson. A girl can dream, right?

Try to escape from an Escape Room:

There’s actually two in Knoxville. Escape Game Knoxville and Escape Works Knoxville. These are a little bit more mentally active than physically but you will likely be on your feet for most of the hour. Plus, these are so fun that they had to be on the list.

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Walk/jog on a greenway:

Family friendly walkways are all over the city of Knoxville

Hit up a park:

Another thanks to Knoxville Mom’s Blog for their great list broken down by Knoxville geography. You can use this time to scope out playgrounds for when your baby grows up or take an older sibling with you to run off some energy.

Hike or swim at the Fort Dickerson Quarry:

Only 2 miles long and rated low/moderate difficulty, the Quarry is less than 3 miles from Downtown. It offers an escape into the wilderness without the danger of being far from medical help should you need it.

Swim at any of these 11 outdoor areas:

Swimming is great when you’re pregnant because it lets you be active while relieving the stress on your body of the added pregnancy weight.

Walk/hike on the Urban Wilderness Trail

Walk/hike at Ijams Nature Center:

Bathrooms and a gift shop (aka food/water) are available in the Visitor Center. They have special events (like art shows) and information on local animals inside as well as the trails outside.

Canoe, kayak, or paddleboard at Mead’s Quarry:

Private boats are not allowed but you can either bring your own paddleboat or rent equipment from River Sports Outfitters.

Visit the Knoxville Zoo:

Not sure you want to be so far off the beaten path that you have to pee off a trail? Wandering the Knoxville zoo offers unlimited access to bathrooms and food/drinks for purchase. Oh, and there are cool animals. And a splash pad if you are brave enough to take on the kids!

Go to Dollywood or window-shop in Gatlinburg:

It’s easy to forget how close you really are to these fun attractions.

Wander the outlet mall at Sevierville

Window shop Downtown Knoxville in Market Square and Gay Street shops:

Don’t forget there is free parking in the Market Square garage after 6pm on weekdays and on weekends.

Hit up some Farmer’s Markets:

With options in Downtown, South Knoxville, Bearden, and West Knoxville, there is sure to be a Farmer’s Market close to you! Bonus points for buying and eating fruits and veggies!

Struggling to stay motivated?

Recruit a friend to join you

Pick someone who also wants to stay in shape and who won’t let you slack. You return the favor and it is a win-win.

Take a class

Investing a little bit of money may help you stay motivated to come back

Find a parent group

Everything is easier with support, after all

All things in moderation

There are some medical conditions that limit your activity. Before starting any exercise routine, you should check with your doctor or midwife to see if you have any restrictions. After you get the okay from your provider, you should try to exercise for about 30 minutes a day. Keep in mind, when you exercise vigorously, more blood goes to your muscles. This means your uterus (aka baby) gets less blood (aka oxygen) than when you are resting. With this in mind, you don’t want to push yourself too hard. According to the Mayo Clinic article above, if you can carry on a conversation without getting out of breath while exercising, you are at the right level of exertion. Make sure you stretch before and after and drink lots of fluids. If you start getting too hot, stop and find somewhere cool to rest. Always listen to your body – if it’s telling you to stop, stop!

If you’ll excuse me, I have some cool new places to visit!