Pregnancy and Exercise

If you were had an exercising regimen before your pregnancy then you should be able to continue the same exercising program during your pregnancy. If you were not exercising before you were pregnant, it is is a good idea to begin some type of exercise program. In either case, make sure to consult with your doctor to make sure which exercises are best for you during your pregnancy.

A Simple Guide to Pregnancy and Exercise:

  • Invest in good shoes. Ankle and arch support is important to keep you stable.
  • Exercise on flat surfaces. Make sure to minimize your chances of falling.
  • Start slow. Do not over exert yourself, especially if you are just starting an exercise program during your pregnancy.
  • Always stretch. Make sure you are limber before you start exercising and loosen your muscles afterwards.
  • Drink a lot of water. Fluids are essential to a healthy workout.
  • Listen to your body. It will tell you when to lighten up.
  • Do not over exert yourself. Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion.
  • Rest when needed. It is OK to take a break during exercise, especially when you are pregnant.
  • Do not get too hot. Make sure you exercise in a cool place.
  • Take care of your back. Do not lift anything over your head.
  • Do not lay on your back, especially during the second and third trimesters. Laying on your back decreases blood flow to the womb.

Exercises that are recommended during pregnancy:

  • Aerobics
  • Bicycling
  • Jogging
  • Kegel Exercises
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Yoga

Avoid these exercises during pregnancy:

  • Activities that require balance
  • Activities that disrupt your breathing
  • Activities that require you to lay on your back
  • Contact Sports
  • Diving
  • Horseback Riding
  • Snow Skiing
  • Surfing
  • Water Skiing

Some other things to consider about Pregnancy and Exercise:

It can’t be stressed enough to drinking a lot of water. Fluids are absolutely essential. Make sure that you have good support, this includes wearing the right clothes and shoes. Pay attention to your breathing. Getting a steady flow of oxygen is important. Be careful not to hyperventilate. Make sure to keep you heart rate to no more than 140 beats per minute.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop exercising immediately:

  • dizziness
  • faintness
  • heat exhaustion
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • vaginal bleeding (go to the doctor)

For additional information on Pregnancy and Exercise, please visit the American Pregnancy Association.