If you are pregnant or planning to be, you have likely started to do research, not only on what to expect but also the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy – and wow, this list can get quite long! Let’s take a moment to simply focus on one pregnancy topic, exercise.
First and foremost, exercise is not dangerous during pregnancy in most cases. In fact, some research does suggest that more active pregnant women have fewer complications during pregnancy.
Exercising While Pregnant
Every Body is Unique
Every person is unique, and therefore, all pregnancies are not the same. It is important to remember that you are unique from others. This means that something that worked for your mother or sister will not necessarily be right for you.
Keep Your Normal Routine
If you are a runner, keep running while pregnant if it feels comfortable. However, if you haven’t run for a decade, now is not the time to start. Generally, it is advised to simply keep your regular routine, but it’s always best to talk to your doctor about your daily norm and if you need to modify it due to pregnancy.
If you are looking to begin a new exercise regimen for the health of yourself and your baby, always consult your doctor for the best way to do so safely.
Avoid Exhaustion and High-Intensity Activities
While exercising, you should be able to easily hold a conversation. If you find you are more out of breath and talking is difficult, you may need to pull back on the intensity. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after.
Warm-up and Cool Down
Always aim to include a short warm-up and cool-down during every workout. A good goal is 30 minutes of physical activity daily. You can think of this time as including at least five minutes to warm up and at least five minutes to cool down, leaving you 20 minutes focused on the actual workout.
Exercises to Avoid
Generally, exercises falling into the following categories should be avoided. However, referring to what we stated above, this is not always the case and you should consult your doctor.
- Lying flat on your back for extended periods of time
- Contact sports
- Gymnastics – presents a higher risk of falling
- High impact
- Sudden bursts of movements
- Heat and humidity
- Bouncing or jumping
- Long-duration activities without rest
- Lying on your stomach
- Exercise at high altitudes
- Scuba diving
Safe Exercises During Pregnancy
- Swimming and other water workouts
- Riding stationary bike
- Yoga and Pilates – be sure to let your instructor know you are pregnant and need options
- Low impact aerobics
- Strength training with light to moderate weights
While these exercises are typically safe during pregnancy, you should always talk to your doctor first. They know you and your growing baby. They can make the best recommendations on what exercises you should and should not include.
If you are looking for more resources on pregnancy, here are a few more articles you may like: