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Is it Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?

Q: Is it safe to exercise while I’m pregnant?

A: Yes! As long as you have an all clear from your doctor, staying active while you’re pregnant can help ease the discomforts of being pregnant and even help prepare your body for labor.

 

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
The most important thing to remember about exercise during pregnancy is that you stay active. You don’t have to exercise as intensely as you may have before your pregnancy; moderation is key.

  • Exercising for 30 minutes three or four days a week will get your blood flowing and help reduce backaches, constipation, and bloating associated with pregnancy
  • Low impact exercises, like prenatal yoga, can help improve your mood and your posture
  • Exercising during your pregnancy can help you sleep better, increase your energy, and may help prevent gestational diabetes

 

What Types of Activities to Avoid
Not all exercise activities are recommended for pregnant women. Consider avoiding the following types of exercise during your pregnancy:

  • Any activities where falling is more likely
  • Activities that require excessive jumping, skipping, or bouncing
  • Exercises that involve waist twisting motions while standing
  • Activities that require you to hold your breath for long periods of time
  • Any exercises that push you to the point of exhaustion

 

Guidelines for Exercising During Pregnancy
Consider including these basic guidelines when planning your exercise during pregnancy:

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and a supportive bra
  • Exercise on a flat, level surface to prevent falling
  • Eat enough healthy calories before and after your exercise to meet the needs of your activity and your pregnancy
  • Wait about an hour after eating and before exercising
  • Choose well-fitting shoes that are supportive and designed for the type of exercise you are doing
  • Always drink lots of water before, during, and after your workout
  • When exercising on the floor, get up slowly to avoid any bouts of dizziness
  • Remember, your center of gravity has shifted due to your pregnancy, which may cause you to lose balance more easily
  • Extra weight from the baby may cause your body to work harder than before you were pregnant

 

Safe Exercises for Pregnancy
Here are a few exercises you can try, based on your fitness level, during your pregnancy. Remember, it’s important to talk to your doctor before engaging in any new exercise regimen.

  • Walking is a great way to stay active, especially for beginners or less active women who are pregnant. It doesn’t require any equipment and is easy on your body and joints.
  • Squatting may be beneficial for preparing your body for labor. Squats can help open your pelvis, making it easier for your baby to descend
  • Pelvic tilts help strengthen your abdomen muscles and help alleviate back pain caused by pregnancy

For more information on exercising while pregnant, consult your doctor. They can help you determine the best exercises for your body and pregnancy. Share your favorite prenatal exercises with us on @Facebook and @Twitter.