Pregnancy Exercise

pregnancy exercise

Exercise during Pregnancy – is it safe? The excitement (or sheer panic) you felt when you saw those two blue or pink lines appear is likely something you’ll never forget. And now that you’re pregnant, you might be wondering what needs to change and what can stay the same.

The good news? Staying active tops the list of things to keep for the next 9 months.

And whether you’re looking to continue your current workout routine or start a new one, we’ve got you covered. From cardio and strength training to stretching and core exercises, here’s everything you need to know about staying fit during your pregnancy.

Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

Talk to your health care provider about exercising during pregnancy. For most pregnant women, exercising is safe and healthy for you and your baby.

If you and your pregnancy are healthy, exercise won’t increase your risk of having a miscarriage, a premature baby or a baby born with low birthweight.

How much exercise do you need during pregnancy?

Healthy pregnant women need at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Aerobic activities make you breathe faster and deeply and make your heart beat faster. Moderate-intensity means you’re active enough to sweat and increase your heart rate.

You don’t have to do all 2½ hours at once. Instead, break it up through the week. For example, do 30 minutes of exercise on most or all days. If this sounds like a lot, split up the 30 minutes by doing something active for 10 minutes 3 times each day.

Why is physical activity during pregnancy good for you?
  • Keep your mind and body healthy. Physical activity can help you feel good and give you extra energy. It also makes your heart, lungs and blood vessels strong and helps you stay fit.
  • Help you gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy.
  • Help reduce your risk of having a cesarean birth (also called c-section). Cesarean birth is surgery in which your baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus.
  • Prepare your body for labor and birth. Activities such as prenatal yoga and Pilates can help you practice breathing, meditation and other calming methods that may help you manage labor pain. Regular exercise can help give you energy and strength to get through labor.
What kinds of activities are safe during pregnancy?
  • Low-impact aerobics classes. During low-impact aerobics, you always have one foot on the ground or equipment. Examples of low-impact aerobics include walking, riding a stationary bike and using an elliptical machine. Low-impact aerobics don’t put as much strain on your body that high-impact aerobics do. During high-impact aerobics, both feet leave the ground at the same time. Examples include running, jumping rope and doing jumping jacks. Tell your instructor that you’re pregnant so that they can help you modify your workout, if needed.
  • Strength training. Strength training can help you build muscle and make your bones strong. It’s safe to work out with weights as long as they’re not too heavy. Ask your provider about how much you can lift.
  • Walking. Taking a brisk walk is a great workout that doesn’t strain your joints and muscles. If you’re new to exercise, this is a great activity.
  • Swimming and water workouts. The water supports the weight of your growing baby and moving against the water helps keep your heart rate up. It’s also easy on your joints and muscles. If you have low back pain when you do other activities, try swimming.
  • Riding a stationary bike. This is safer than riding a regular bicycle during pregnancy. You’re less likely to fall off a stationary bike than a regular bike, even as your belly grows.

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