Pregnancy Exercise Guidelines

Pregnant woman exercising and holds her belly

Now that you have a little one on the way, your everyday routine will likely change. From diet to sleeping habits, you must approach everything from a new angle: What is best for me and the baby? One of those changes may be your workout regimen. Here is everything you need to know about exercising when pregnant:

The basics

Physical activity in all stages of life is beneficial. It can reduce the risk of obesity and improve cardio-respiratory health. Women who maintain healthy lifestyles (good diet, regular exercise, not smoking) are encouraged to continue this throughout the course of their pregnancy. Pregnant women are encouraged to partake in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a couple of times a week. Those who do not have healthy lifestyles should take pregnancy as an opportunity to adopt a healthier lifestyle to improve their own health and the baby’s.

Safe exercises

Not all physical activity is safe for pregnant women. Here are some exercises that are OK for you:

  • Walking: Going for a quick stroll around the neighborhood is an easy way to get your daily dose of cardio. It doesn’t have much of impact on your feet, knees and ankles (which are susceptible to swelling during these nine months).
  • Swimming: Exercising in water is great for everyone of all ages, pregnant or not! In a pool, you’re safe from potential falls. Plus, the water will make you feel weightless even though you have a growing baby inside your stomach.
  • Yoga: During pregnancy, your body is constantly changing, and that makes it difficult to find balance and be flexible. By the time you reach month six you might not even be able to see your toes, let alone touch them. That’s where practicing yoga can help. It can strengthen your muscles, relax your mind and even help with your breathing – all of which can come in handy during labor.
  • Weight lifting: Once your little one arrives, you’re going to experience more physically demanding activities than you’re used to (including, but not limited to, picking up and putting down a growing baby). Gaining strength in your muscles before the baby’s birth can be very helpful.

Be sure to consult with your physician before adopting any exercise regimen, especially if you have pregnancy complications. If you already have a cardiovascular routine, clear it with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you and the baby.

Tips for expecting mothers:

  1. Listen to your body. If anything you perform hurts, stop immediately.
  2. Be sure to eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids along with an exercise plan
  3. Never push yourself too hard. Remember that everything you do and eat affects the baby.
  4. Find the right gym shoes – a pair with enough cushion and arch support.
  5. Be sure to stretch before and after all exercises to prevent injuries.
  6. Know when to stop. Most women aren’t supposed to be on their feet much by their third trimester. Check with your doctor.