Healthy Exercising: Suitable Physical Activities For Pregnant Women

October 22, 2012


Everyone knows that exercise is good for the body. But what if you’re pregnant? Does this change the constructive nature of exercise to a potentially dangerous activity?

Pregnant woman exercisingWell, that really just depends. There are many factors that go into answering this question, such as how often you exercised before you became pregnant and what kind of exercises your body is accustomed to doing.

If you follow certain guidelines, exercising during pregnancy may be more than safe — it may be extremely beneficial.

Regular exercise during pregnancy can have a positive impact on physical and emotional well-being. Your physical activity may help to reduce constipation and swelling, and could even prevent gestational diabetes. Exercise during this time in your life can also lead to an improvement in mood. Furthermore, women who exercise while they are pregnant are generally able to lose their pregnancy weight at a faster rate after delivery. Physical activity also prepares you for the big day because being in labor is like running a marathon – the more endurance you have, the easier it will be!

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests exercising for at least 30 minutes a day. Non-exercisers should focus on walking and swimming. If you’re a runner, you may continue to go on your normal run if it is approved by your obstetrician. When lifting weights, you should use lighter weights and do more reps, and remember to avoid holding your breath.

These exercise guidelines have been the subject of studies that looked at the effects on the fetus and mother immediately after exercise, during labor and even later in the child’s growth. As a result, we know the guidelines are backed by sound medical research.

Physical activity during pregnancy is only safe if done correctly. This means that you should avoid all contact sports and any jumping or jarring movements. After the first trimester, keep away from exercises that require you to lie on your back for more than a few minutes at a time. Make sure that you are staying properly hydrated and are receiving an adequate amount of calories (which you can calculate at If you have any vaginal bleeding, leakage of fluid, contractions, chest pain or decreased fetal movement, stop your regular exercises and contact your obstetrician right away.

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