Can I Workout While Pregnant

Stay Hydrated And Avoid Overheating

10-Minute Pregnancy Abs Workout (Safe For ALL Trimesters, No Equipment)

Pregnant women should generally be drinking around eight to 10 glasses of water per day. And if youre exercising, youre going to need more.

This means drinking fluids not just during exercise, but before and after, too. And if you start to feel too hot or dehydrated during a workout, take a break.

Benefits Of Weight Lifting While Pregnant

Weight training during pregnancy can be a great partner to other types of moderate exercise, like walking or swimming. Lifting weights strengthens muscles throughout the entire body and can help you feel better on the inside and out.

Researchers looked at a variety of studies on weight-bearing exercise and pregnant women and published their findings in the Strength and Conditioning Journal. Although the research is a bit older , it still applies and is comprehensive.

Researchers found that benefits include:

Overall, researchers have found that exercise has the power to make pregnancy and delivery a bit easier with fewer complications.

Your Changing Body And Exercise

Weight gain and altered posture are two obvious physical changes that happen during pregnancy. Other changes are less visible.

Cardiac changes

To meet the increasing demand for blood supply to your growing baby, your heart enlarges and also pumps faster. This means you are already doing an aerobic workout just by being pregnant. It also means that you should moderate the intensity of your exercise as there is a smaller range between your resting heart rate and the safe maximum heart rate.

Circulation changes

The volume of your blood increases as your baby grows. A softening of the walls of your veins and the weight of your uterus in later pregnancy can affect the flow of blood to your heart, allowing it to pool in your legs. Calf raises and walking on the spot while you are exercising in a standing position will encourage the flow of blood back to your heart and help to prevent light-headedness. Support stockings can also help if you are prone to feeling light-headed or if you have varicose veins.

After 16 weeks of pregnancy, it is best to avoid exercises lying on your back as the weight of the baby can press on major blood vessels returning blood to the heart and also cause you to feel light-headed or nauseous. It is also recommended to sleep on your side in the second half of your pregnancy. If you wake to find yourself on your back, trust that your body has woken you in order to move to a better sleeping position.

Getting too hot

Joint changes

To protect your joints:

Also Check: How To Guess Boy Or Girl During Pregnancy

Stretching Exercises For Pregnancy

Stretching exercises make the muscles limber and warm, which can be especially helpful when you’re pregnant. Here are some simple stretches you can do before or after exercise:

  • Neck rotation. Relax your neck and shoulders. Drop your head forward. Slowly rotate your head to your right shoulder, back to the middle, and over the left shoulder. Complete four slow rotations in each direction.
  • Shoulder rotation. Bring your shoulders forward and then rotate them up toward your ears and back down. Do four rotations in each direction.
  • Swim. Place your arms at your sides. Bring your right arm up and extend your body forward and twist to the side, as if swimming the crawl stroke. Follow with your left arm. Do the sequence 10 times.
  • Thigh shift. Stand with one foot about 2 feet in front of the other, toes pointed in the same direction. Lean forward, supporting your weight on the forward thigh. Change sides and repeat. Do four on each side.
  • Leg shake. Sit with your legs and feet extended. Move the legs up and down in a gentle shaking motion.
  • Ankle rotation. Sit with your legs extended and keep your toes relaxed. Rotate your feet, making large circles. Use your whole foot and ankle. Rotate four times on the right and four times on the left.

What Exercises Should I Avoid When I’m Pregnant

Staying active while you

The official advice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reads like a personal trainer’s pep talk: Aim for 30 minutes of some sort of physical activity at least five days of the week , all the way through your pregnancy.

If that sounds daunting, keep in mind that even five mini-workouts sprinkled throughout the day are just as beneficial as 30 minutes straight on the elliptical.

There are plenty of exercises that are great for pregnant women. In fact, most physical activity is perfectly safe during pregnancy. However there are a few exercises youll want to avoid.

Read Also: Can I Get Pregnant On The Patch

Dont Do Hot Yoga While Pregnant

While simple yoga movements and stretches can be beneficial for expecting moms, practicing them in extreme temperatures is certainly not. That is why doctors and experts advise against doing Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, a practice that jacks up the studio heat to a whopping 105 degrees, according to Shape.

A study published in Canadian Family Physician in 2014 noted that, while there are no existing studies that center around the practice of hot yoga during pregnancy, high heat levels could lead to hyperthermia, which is associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects and possibly of other malformations among fetuses.

Livestrong also argues that excessive sweating could be dangerous to pregnant women as fluid losses increase your heart rate and decrease blood volume, potentially causing fetal stress. Furthermore, as women experience joint laxity caused by the hormones during pregnancy, the intense heat might enable her to stretch too far or push her physical boundaries, potentially causing injury. In short, consider hot yoga one of the exercises to avoid while pregnant.

Can You Have A Successful Pregnancy With High Blood Pressure

Gestational hypertension is fairly common, occurring in about 10% of pregnancies, and medical professionals are used to catching and treating it early. Even though high blood pressure during pregnancy can cause complications, most women monitored and treated have successful pregnancies and deliveries, Dr. Duke says. With a combination of frequent and early checks, health-promoting behaviors, and medication if necessary, you can have a successful pregnancy with high blood pressure.

Recommended Reading: Can You Donate Eggs While Pregnant

What Is The Pelvic Floor

You may have heard about the importance of pelvic floor health during and after pregnancy. “The pelvic floor is a group of skeletal muscles at the base of the pelvis, that forms a bowl-shaped structure connecting our sit bones, our tailbone, and our pubic bone. In other words, it covers the entire bottom of our pelvis,” explains Dr. Amy Hoover, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Clinical Advisory Board Member at P.volve. The pelvic floor is also a vital part of core musculature Dr. Hoover shares, working with the diaphragm, abdominal and back muscles to help control the pressure system in the body as you move and function throughout your day.

Strengthening the pelvic floor during pregnancy is important as the demand of core stability increases as your baby grows and your joints become slightly more lax. “The mechanics of how we move change rapidly during pregnancy due to increased weight and stretching of the abdominal wall, as well as changes in our center of gravity” says Dr. Hoover. “Strengthening the pelvic floor during pregnancy may also help reduce the risk for urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse both during pregnancy and postpartum.” Since the pelvic floor muscles are stretched to several times their resting length during vaginal delivery, the more strength you can build during pregnancy means a better recovery after delivery.

When You Shouldnt Exercise At All During Pregnancy

Can I Exercise During Pregnancy?

Exercising during pregnancy does the average pregnant mom and her baby good. However certain conditions can make exercise during pregnancy risky. Talk to your doctor about whether you should avoid exercise if you have:

Always get the green light from your doctor before beginning any exercise program during pregnancy.

If your practitioner has restricted exercise for you during part or all of your pregnancy, ask if there are any workouts you can work in to help you stay in shape, even if you’re on modified bed rest.

You May Like: Which Day Is High Chance To Get Pregnant

What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy

Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as you exercise with caution and do not overdo it.

The safest and most productive activities are swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary cycling, step or elliptical machines, and low-impact aerobics . These activities carry little risk of injury, benefit your entire body, and can be continued until birth.

Tennis and racquetball are generally safe activities, but changes in balance during pregnancy may affect rapid movements. Other activities such as jogging can be done in moderation, especially if you were doing them before your pregnancy. You may want to choose exercises or activities that do not require great balance or coordination, especially later in pregnancy.

When Can You Start Exercising Again After Giving Birth

If you have a c-section or a complications during birth, you may need to wait longer to start exercising after birth. Your provider can help you determine when your body is ready for exercise.

If you were active during pregnancy, its easier to get back into exercise after your baby is born. Just start slowly. If you feel pain or have other problems during exercise, stop doing the activity and talk to your provider.

Last reviewed: September, 2020

You May Like: What Can You Use For Back Pain While Pregnant

Dancing Working Out At The Gym Cycling Or Running

If youre used to cardiovascular exercise, it can be great to continue it during pregnancy. Continuing to run during pregnancy is fine. Evidence suggests it does not affect gestational age or birth weight centile .

Just dont start running when pregnant if you didnt run before try walking or swimming. Running can affect your knees and pelvic floor even if youre not pregnant but pregnancy hormone relaxin makes you more injury prone than before.

Safe Exercise During Pregnancy

What Exercise Machines Can I Use While Pregnant?

When it comes to the question of whether intense workouts are safe during pregnancy, the expert consensus flies in the face of those social media shamers. As long as she consults with her doctor and gets clearance, theres no reason that a healthy womanone who isnt deemed high riskcant continue the same type of workout she was doing prior to getting pregnant, says Raul Artal, MD, editor for The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Clinical Updates in Womens Health Care.

Even the popular training regimens that may seem extreme to some, like long-distance running, cross-training and indoor cycling, are safe for pregnant women to continue, Artal saysbut only if theyve already been doing them regularly pre-pregnancy and theyre under the supervision of their physician.

Of course, not every type of activity is deemed safe. According to ACOGs latest guidelines, expectant women shouldnt participate in contact sports like kickboxing and karate, or activities in which you could inadvertently get hit with a ball, such as soccer or softball. Youll also want to avoid the potentially hard falls you could take when skiing, snowboarding or horseback riding, and you should definitely skip scuba diving .

Recommended Reading: How Rare Is It To Get Pregnant On Birth Control

How Do You Approach Nutrition During Pregnancy Is There Anything You Try To Avoid

I approach nutrition during pregnancy similarly to the way I approach nutrition when Im not pregnant. I try to consume at least three servings of veggies per day, two servings of fruit and very few carbs. I also try to drink 64 oz of water. I do allow myself up to 16 oz of caffeine each day, which I usually get from a morning cup of coffee.

Abdominal Exercises And Pregnancy

Strong abdominal muscles support your spine. The internal core and pelvic floor abdominal muscles act as a natural corset to protect the pelvis and lumbar spine. During pregnancy, it is common for women to experience the condition known as diastasis recti abdominis a painless splitting of the abdominal muscle at the midline, also known as abdominal separation. Traditional sit-ups or crunches may worsen this condition, and can be ineffective during pregnancy.Appropriate core stability exercises are recommended during pregnancy to strengthen the muscles of the abdomen. For example:

  • Concentrate on drawing your belly button towards your spine.
  • Breathe out while pulling in your belly.
  • Hold the position and count to 10. Relax and breathe in.
  • Repeat 10 times, as many times a day as you are able.
  • You can perform this exercise sitting, standing or on your hands and knees.

Also Check: What Are The Ovulation Days To Get Pregnant

How To Get Started Working Out While Pregnant

You dont need fancy equipment or a gym membership to adopt a more physically active lifestyle. Walking is the easiest thing to start with. Recruit a friend or co-worker to go with you and make it a social activity. Also, after the delivery, you can put your baby in a stroller and continue your walking routine.

Experiment with different activities to see what you like. Download a yoga video or try a spin class. Find something you enjoy, because if you dont like it, you wont continue it. Whatever you end up doing, remember these tips:

  • Talk with your physician about your exercise plan.
  • Stay cool and well-hydrated.

Activities to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Activities with a high risk of falling
  • Hot yoga or hot Pilates

We dont want to deal in absolutes. For example, not all outdoor cycling is unsafe. If you are going out for a leisurely ride on a bike path and your growing belly hasnt caused your center of gravity to shift too much yet it should be fine. Its when youre going off-road or trying to be a daredevil when it becomes dangerous to you and your baby.

If you experience any of these symptoms during physical activity, stop what youre doing and talk with your physician:

  • Vaginal bleeding

Exercises For A Fitter Pregnancy

Can You Do Ab Exercises While Pregnant?

If you are pregnant, try to fit the exercises listed in this section into your daily routine. These types of exercise will strengthen your muscles to help you carry the extra weight of pregnancy. They’ll also make your joints stronger, improve circulation, ease backache, and generally help you feel well.

Recommended Reading: How Weeks Pregnant Am I

Who Should Not Exercise During Pregnancy

If you have a medical problem, such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, exercise may not be advisable. Exercise may also be harmful if you have a pregnancy-related condition such as:

  • Bleeding or spotting

Talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. They can also give you personal exercise guidelines, based on your medical history.

Swimming And Water Aerobics

The pool is your friend during pregnancy. The water is soothing, the exercise is low-impact, and you wont fall over. Water exercise expert Sara Haley has a helpful series of prenatal exercises that focus on building core strength.

If youre already doing water exercise, theres no need to change your routine. As in all exercise, avoid twisting your middle too much, and pay attention to your energy limits. If you get tired, its not time to push yourself its time to get out of the pool. If youre starting water exercise during pregnancy, ask a swim coach or trainer at your pool about safe routines.

Recommended Reading: What To Expect When You Are Pregnant

Exercises To Do In The First Trimester Of Pregnancy

The first three months of pregnancy can be a wild ride of emotions. From elation and pure joy to concern, worry, and even fear as you begin to realize that youre responsible for nourishing, growing, and keeping this tiny soon-to-be human being safe and healthy.

As long as youre not considered a high-risk pregnancy, physical therapist Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, says you can continue with your regular exercise routine in the first trimester.

The foundation of a well-rounded prenatal fitness routine should include at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity each week and 2 to 3 days of strength training exercises that target the major muscle groups.

It should also focus on specific exercises that help make pregnancy easier and prepare you for labor and childbirth.

One area of importance, says Jeffcoat, is to work on body awareness to prepare for changes in your posture. Doing an exercise like the pelvic curl is a great way to begin working on spinal mobility and strengthening the abdominal muscles that will support your belly as it grows, she says.

Is Exercising During Pregnancy Safe


Some women ask me if there is a reason why they shouldnt exercise during pregnancy or worry it may harm their baby. I reassure them that for uncomplicated pregnancies, there hasnt been any research to indicate that physical activity during pregnancy causes miscarriage, poor fetal growth, or premature delivery.

There is a very small number of women for whom vigorous physical activity may not be recommended. They may have pre-existing problems with blood flow to the uterus, conditions such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, or hypertension.

Recommended Reading: How Well Does The Pill Prevent Pregnancy

What Exercises Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy

There are certain exercises and activities that can be harmful if performed during pregnancy. They include:

  • Holding your breath during any activity.
  • Activities where falling is likely .
  • Contact sports such as softball, football, basketball, and volleyball.
  • Any exercise that may cause even mild abdominal trauma such as activities that include jarring motions or rapid changes in direction.
  • Activities that require extensive jumping, hopping, skipping, bouncing, or running.
  • Deep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises, and straight-leg toe touches.
  • Heavy exercise spurts followed by long periods of no activity.
  • Exercise in hot, humid weather.

Related Posts

Recent Stories