What Type Of Exercise Can I Do While Pregnant

What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy

Best Physio Positions to do Kegel Exercise for Pregnant Women

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 bicycling 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 your change in balance during pregnancy may affect rapid movements. Other activities such as jogging or running can be done in moderation. You may want to choose exercises or activities that do not require great balance or coordination, especially later in pregnancy.

Exercises You Can Do At Home When Pregnant

What a bizarre world were currently living in! For women who are pregnant, this can be a particularly emotional and stressful time. Taking some time for your own mental and physical health is very important and for most, this should include exercising. With current restrictions making daily exercise more challenging, weve put together a list of home exercises that are safe when pregnant.

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.

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Does Pregnancy Change How Your Body Responds To Exercise

During pregnancy, your body changes in many ways. When youre active, you may notice changes in your:

  • Balance. You may notice that you lose your balance more easily during pregnancy.
  • Body temperature. Your body temperature is slightly higher during pregnancy, so you start sweating sooner than you did before pregnancy.
  • Breathing. As your baby develops and your body changes, you need more oxygen. Your growing belly puts pressure on your diaphragm, a muscle that helps you breathe. You may even find yourself feeling short of breath at times.
  • Energy. Your bodys working hard to take care of your baby, so you may have less energy during pregnancy.
  • Heart rate. Your heart works harder and beats faster during pregnancy to get oxygen to your baby.
  • Joints. Your body makes more of some hormones during pregnancy. This can make the tissues that support your joints more relaxed. Try to avoid any movements that may strain or hurt your joints.

Is Exercise Safe For Everyone

What Kind Of Exercises Can I Do While Pregnant

Every pregnant woman should consult with her healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program. Your healthcare provider can give you personal exercise guidelines, based on your medical history.

If you have a medical problem, such as asthma, heart or lung disease, or high blood pressure, exercise might not be advisable for you. Exercise might also be harmful if you have an obstetric condition such as:

  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Previous premature births or history of early labor

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Do Keep Up With Kegel Exercises While Pregnant

Want to exercise at your desk, in the car, or while eating dessert? You can practice Kegel movements anytime and anywhere and nobody will be the wiser. Yes, doing Kegel exercises is one piece of advice you should listen to while pregnant. But how do you actually do it? It’s basically the same mechanism you use when “holding in” or suddenly stopping your urine stream.

To clarify, doing Kegels alone isn’t going to cut it when it comes to getting in that 30-minute cardio session. But this simple contract-and-release exercise can help to make the muscles of the pelvic floor stronger which will hopefully set you up for an easier time laboring and delivering a baby, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Plus, giving these muscles a regular workout can help “minimize two common problems during pregnancy: decreased bladder control and hemorrhoids.” Keeping up with Kegels before welcoming a baby can set you up for a smoother recovery process, according to WebMD. That is because Kegels “promote the healing of perineal tissue,” encourage those aforementioned pelvic floor muscles to “return to a healthy state, and increase urinary control.”

Make Sure Your Body Has Fuel For Your Prenatal Workouts

Typically, pregnant women need to eat around 300 extra calories per day in their second and third trimester to support their growing baby. But if exercise is part of your routine, you may need to eat additional calories to make sure you and baby are getting the fuel you need.

No matter how often you work out or the type of exercise, its really important to have a pre-workout snack or juice 15 to 30 minutes before. This boost of energy can help you have a good workout. Exercising on an empty stomach when youre pregnant can cause you to feel sluggish, dizzy or lightheaded, which can increase the risk for injury.

Are there pre-workouts for pregnancy?

Many traditional pre-workout supplements contain caffeine thats what helps give you a little energy boost. But as a result, theyre often not recommended when youre pregnant. Talk with your doctor about what they may recommend.

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Don’t Do Crunches Or Other Ab Workouts While Pregnant

Prenatal Pilates teacher Clarissa Smirnov told Self that “crunches are the worst thing possible” if you are pregnant. Smirnov explained that, while engaging the core during the first 13 weeks can feel physically possible without the presence of a big belly, doing exercises like crunches can actually make postpartum recovery a whole lot more difficult. Yes, instead of helping women bounce back faster after child birth, working your abs during pregnancy can have the opposite effect. This is due to diastasis recti, the separating of ab muscles that can potentially happen as your belly grows, according to What to Expect. It is a fairly common postpartum affliction, affecting nearly 50 percent of women.

And while you will want to avoid crunches, sit ups, and other typical six-pack-producing exercises, the experts at What to Expect suggest doing pelvic tilts to “engage your deeper transverse abdominus muscles.” In this easy exercise, lay down on your back with knees pointed upwards and your feet on the ground. Simply lift your pelvis off the floor, while pressing your lower back toward the ground. Then slowly release.

Are There Any Exercises I Should Avoid

10 Minute Labor Inducing Workout! Exercises to Prepare Your Body For Labor & Delivery

While most exercise should be fine during your pregnancy, there are a few things you should avoid:

  • lying flat on your back, particularly after 28 weeks, because the weight of your bump presses on the big blood vessels and can make you feel faint and reduce blood flow to your baby
  • contact sports where theres a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, judo, squash, tennis, football and hockey
  • horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, because theres a risk of falling
  • significant changes in pressure, as in scuba-diving, because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism
  • exercise at more than 2,000m above sea level until you have acclimatised to avoid the risk of altitude sickness
  • repetitive high-impact exercise, or exercise with lots of twists and turns, high stepping or sudden stops that cause joint discomfort
  • exercise where you get too hot since your bodys temperature is slightly higher when you are pregnant and intensive exercise may cause your core temperature to rise to an unsafe level for your baby
  • drink plenty of water, wear lightweight clothing and only exercise in cool, well-ventilated places

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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

Exercise Tips For Pregnancy

Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve health, reduce the risk of excess weight gain, and possibly make delivery easier.

Exercise can benefit a womans mental and physical health during pregnancy, and it may give the newborn a healthier start, too. Despite this, studies suggest that only about

at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity, both during and after pregnancy.

An exercise slot does not need to be lengthy. Women can, for example, exercise five times a week for 30 minutes or 10 times a week for 15 minutes.

Those who were doing more vigorous activity, such as running, before becoming pregnant can usually continue with their existing regimen, although they should check first with their doctor.

Suitable activities during pregnancy include:

  • low impact aerobics under the guidance of a certified aerobics instructor
  • special exercises to prepare for labor and delivery

These activities carry little risk of injury, benefit the entire body, and are usually safe to do until delivery.

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Where Can I Exercise

  • At home: Several exercise videos are available for pregnant women, which allow exercising in the privacy of home. These include prenatal aerobics, calisthenics, and yoga videos. Check out the local video
  • At the gym: Many gyms offer low-impact aerobics or aqua-aerobics classes for pregnant women. They will often allow limited memberships for the term of the pregnancy. If a complication develops which prevents exercise, they will often issue a credit for the time missed.
  • Also, check out local recreation centers and the YMCA. Ask if any of the instructors/trainers are certified to work with pregnant women.

Recommended reading:

Sheri Colberg, Ph.D.”The Diabetic Athlete, Prescriptions for Exercise and Sports” Human Kinetics, U.S., 2001.

Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy

What Kind Of Exercises Can I Do While Pregnant

Exercise during pregnancy offers many physical and emotional benefits. Physical activity may also help manage some symptoms of pregnancy and make you feel better, knowing youre doing something good for yourself and your baby.

Some of the benefits of regular exercise throughout your pregnancy include:

  • reduced back and pelvic pain
  • preparation for the physical demands of labour
  • fewer complications in delivery
  • prevention and management of urinary incontinence
  • improved posture
  • reduced risk of anxiety and depression
  • improved sleep and management of insomnia
  • increased ability to cope with the physical demands of motherhood.

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What Should An Exercise Program Consist Of

For total fitness, an exercise program should strengthen and condition your muscles.

Always begin by warming up for five minutes and stretching for five minutes. Include at least fifteen minutes of cardiovascular activity. Measure your heart rate at times of peak activity . Follow aerobic activity with five to ten minutes of gradually slower exercise that ends with gentle stretching.

Here are some basic exercise guidelines:

  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes as well as a good support bra.
  • Choose shoes that are designed for the type of exercise you do. Proper shoes are your best protection against injury.
  • Exercise on a flat, level surface to prevent injury.
  • Consume enough calories to meet the needs of your pregnancy as well as your exercise program.
  • Finish eating at least one hour before exercising.
  • Drink water before, during and after your workout.
  • After doing floor exercises, get up slowly and gradually to prevent dizziness.
  • Never exercise to the point of exhaustion. If you cannot talk normally while exercising, you are probably over-exerting yourself and should slow down your activity.

Perfect Shower Gift For You Or A Friend

I LOVE the What to Expect® books for their practical advice and glimpse into what to expect with a new baby. I wasnt familiar with babies before I had my own. Even after having one, I learned a lot from my second reading.

In between taking care of a toddler and becoming pregnant again, somehow you forget many of the things you learned the first time around!

I only wish I had owned copies of the What to Expect® the First Year and Eating Well When Youre Expecting back then. If you or a friend are expecting a baby, even if its not your first one, I highly recommend this series. If you are only going to buy one book, then for sure Id choose the original, What to Expect® When Youre Expecting.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Myth #: Athletes Can Continue Vigorous Exercise Throughout Pregnancy Without Cause For Concern

If youre a high-performance athlete, you can usually maintain your exercise regimen during pregnancy as long as your pregnancy is uncomplicated. However, you should talk with your health care provider and be more mindful of how you feel while exercising during pregnancy.

Women who are highly athletic may have developed the ability to push through fatigue or cramping. It is important, though, not to push yourself beyond a safe threshold, which could affect the fetus. Your physician can provide you with additional guidance to find the right balance.

General Exercise And Activity During Pregnancy

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

There are plenty of safe forms of exercise you can try during pregnancy, including the following:

  • Walking. Not everyone is an athlete, so if youâre just starting off with exercise, walking is a great way to slowly establish a routine. Itâs easy on your joints and you can do it anywhere, even inside your home. Remember that you want to get your heart rate up, so try brisk walking, adding in a few hills, or increasing the distance as you build your stamina.

  • Cycling. If you can use a stationary bike, either at home or at the gym, cycling is one of the best aerobic exercises for pregnancy. Itâs gentle on your joints while offering a moderately intense workout.

  • Swimming. As you progress in your pregnancy, you may want to give swimming a try. This exercise supports your weight in the water, so itâs easy on your muscles while giving you a thorough workout.

  • Modified yoga and modified Pilates. These are good choices for toning and stretching your muscles, improving your flexibility and balance, and promoting focused breathing. You may want to look for a class that’s designed for pregnant women, as some yoga and Pilates poses and exercises arenât safe during pregnancy. Many classes also include meditation and relaxation techniques that can help with stress and also with getting through labor.

  • Tai chi. With movements that are slower and more controlled, tai chi is great for alleviating stress-related pain. Plus, it improves flexibility, balance, energy, and muscle tone.

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    Find The Right Intensity For You

    Were all different, and we all have good and bad days. For this reason, all of these exercises can be regressed or progressed. If you dont have very much experience, take a few weeks to learn how to do the movements. Make sure you focus on the muscles that are working and squeeeeeeze as much as you can!

    As you become more confidence with the movement you can progress in a few different ways:

    • Increasing repetitions: once you get to about 15, you can think about progressing the weight, slightly
    • Increasing weight: increase the weight so that you can only complete 8 repetitions, while maintaining great form. How can you add weight when I have no gym equipment?! Here are some creative ideas:
    • Filled water bottles
    • A backpack filled with books
  • Increase time under tension: this meansslow down. Increase the amount of time it takes to complete one repetition yes, this will burn but thats what were aiming for!
  • Reduce your resting time between sets: you might reduce your rest time from 90 seconds to 60 or 30 seconds. This will also challenge your endurance!
  • Warning Signs When Exercising During Pregnancy

    If you experience any of the following during or after physical activity, stop exercising immediately and see your doctor:

    • swelling of the face, hands or feet
    • calf pain or swelling
    • deep back, pubic or pelvic pain
    • cramping in the lower abdomen
    • walking difficulties
    • an unusual change in your babys movements
    • amniotic fluid leakage
    • Tel. 8376 8888 for further information on cycling and pregnancy

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    Swimming And Water Aerobics

    Swimming and water aerobics are low impact exercises that can help keep the body toned and do not present a risk of falling.

    If a person is accustomed to swimming or doing water aerobics, their usual routine will often be safe during the first trimester of pregnancy.

    If a person is new to swimming, they may want to start by taking two or three 30-minute classes each week. Once they become more confident, they could go for 30-minute sessions a few times per week or as often as feels comfortable for them.

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