Yes, women can workout while pregnant, but it is important to remember that every body is different and each woman will experience pregnancy differently. Make sure to listen to your body, and modify any exercises or movements as needed. It is important to avoid abdominal exercises during the second trimester and possibly throughout the entire third trimester. Some other restrictions include avoiding high-impact workouts, anything that involves heavy weights, deep squats, planks or crunches with the legs extended behind you (these can put pressure on the uterus) Yes you can workout while pregnant, but not just any workout. You have to modify certain moves to ensure safety and comfort. We have a great collection of workouts that are designed to help you stay fit even in your second or third trimester
Here are exercises to do while pregnant, as well as exercises to avoid.
Do go on walks while pregnant
Exercise can sound daunting when you’re pregnant, but you might just find your stride with an invigorating walk. Plus, since it is completely free and you can start independently at your own pace, walking is a great option for pregnant women of all fitness levels.
What’s more, according to Mayo Clinic, walking is an ideal choice as “it provides moderate aerobic conditioning with minimal stress on your joints.” Better yet, it helps foster heart health while toning up your muscles, according to Parents. Liz Neporent, author of Fitness Walking for Dummies, told the magazine that exercising during pregnancy can help expecting women in their near future. “A stronger mom will have an easier time meeting the demands of motherhood,” Neporent said. She also inferred that walking can be therapeutic since it is “something you can do just for yourself before you have to focus on your baby.”
In short, walking is good for the body, mind, and soul, and is a great exercise to do while pregnant. And you might as well get used to it — you are going to be pushing a stroller down the street in no time.
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.
Do prenatal yoga to keep your body and mind healthy while pregnant
Namaste in bed? No way, mama. Get up and do some yoga. Bec Conant, a prenatal yoga teacher and doula, told Greatist that yoga’s combination of stretching and strengthening exercises makes it a wise exercise to do while pregnant. Furthermore, she noted that practicing yoga during pregnancy can help you honor your changing physique. “It’s a physical form of exercise that’s also going to bring some mindfulness and awareness into how your body is changing,” Conant said.
Additionally, Heidi Kristoffer, founder of CrossFlowX, told Greatist that yoga breathing alone makes it a worthy choice for expecting women. She suggested some specific poses to help relieve the common pains of pregnancy. To help alleviate belly weight, she likes “wide-knee child’s pose” and “cat-cow pose.” For an achy back, she advised doing simple hip-opening exercises like “ankle-to-knee pose,” a seated position similar to sitting cross-legged.
If you are new to yoga, stick with a prenatal-specific practice. Experienced yogis, however, are generally able to keep up with more advanced poses, according to Verywell Fit; however, pregnant women should tell their yoga instructors about their pregnancy and should never perform poses that make them uncomfortable. No matter the experience level you have, you are going to need that zen frame of mind when your baby comes along.
Don’t 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.
Do go swimming throughout your pregnancy
Swimming is one of the very best exercises to do while pregnant for various reasons. In addition to giving both your arms and legs a significant workout, BabyCenter notes that it is “low impact and gentle on your body.” Furthermore, as indicated by the site, being surrounded by water keeps you cool and comfortable during a workout, and can help you avoid injury. Best of all, the “buoyancy of the water lets you enjoy a feeling of weightlessness despite the extra pounds of pregnancy.” In other words, if want to feel light and free, submerge your bump — and whole body, for that matter — in a pool.
In addition to the physical benefits of swimming, there are other perks to this pregnancy activity. The American Pregnancy Association recommends relaxing or gently swimming in a pool to help alleviate edema, or the swelling of extremities during pregnancy. So get on that maternity swimsuit and show off that beautiful big belly.
Don’t do traditional leg lifts and other moves that require you to lay on your back while pregnant
Studies, including one published by The Journal of Physiology in 2017, have shown that resting flat on your back for even short periods of time can be dangerous for an expecting mom and her baby. In that precarious position, the uterus puts pressure on the inferior vena cava, potentially causing a dramatic rise in a pregnant woman’s blood pressure and/or cutting off blood supply to the fetus. That sums up why you will want to avoid traditional leg lift exercises, where you lay down and raise your legs up and down, in addition to other movements that start from a flat-on-floor position.
Still, that does not mean you have to abandon all your favorite workout moves. BabyCenter suggests propping your upper body slightly with a pillow so that you can comfortably perform some of your favorite exercises without putting pressure on the vena cava. A slight physical modification or the use of certain workout tools — like a wedge or yoga ball — can be the difference in making an ill-advised exercise a smart option for pregnant women.
Do prepare for labor by practicing squats with a yoga ball while pregnant
Squatting “helps open your pelvic outlet,” enabling the unborn baby to move down, making it a great go-to move during labor, according to Mayo Clinic. Since practice makes perfect, prepare for the delivery room by doing squats throughout your pregnancy, too. Yes, doing squats is one exercise to do while pregnant.
You can make this move a bit easier with the help of a yoga ball and the support of a wall. Simply, place a yoga ball between your back and the wall. “Slide down the wall until your knees reach a 90-degree angle, being careful to keep your heels flat on the floor,” Mayo Clinic advises. ‘If you can’t bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, simply go as low as you can…” Then get back up, and start all over again. The goal should be to get to a place where you can do about ten of these squats in a row. As per Mayo Clinic’s suggestion, you should have a spotter present to prevent falls.
Don’t perform twisting exercises while pregnant
If your pregnancy workout has you doing deep twists, quick turns, and mind-boggling backbends, you should probably reevaluate and adjust for the next few months. Twists can “strain the abdominal muscles,” according to Bliss Baby Yoga, which are already working hard to make room for your expanding uterus. Twisting can also “limit the baby’s space and can restrict blood flow to the uterus.” Shari Barkin, a pediatrician, told Yoga Journal that, in the first 13 weeks of gestation, women should avoid “inversions, twists, or jumps” because “it’s important not to jar or threaten implantation of the fetus and placenta.”
Additionally, your pregnant body experiences a surge in the hormone relaxin, which helps foster free movement and gets the body ready for the work of labor and delivery. But, as noted by Yoga International, expecting women need to ensure they do not overstretch to the point of injury since this hormonal surge makes the ligaments looser and more relaxed.
Do perform light weight training while pregnant
While you certainly should not engage in any intensive body building, you can still get your reps on while expecting. According to The Bump, most women who are used to lifting free weights can resume this activity throughout their respective nine-month journeys, but should “logically decrease the weight as pregnancy progresses to honor and respect their changing body.” Furthermore, the experts at Parents suggest opting for weight- and resistance-training machines since they help “control your range of motion.” But if you can’t make it to the gym, two to five pound dumbbells will also do the trick, and using them is a fine exercise to do while pregnant.
Toning with weights can help sculpt the body and keep you in shape during pregnancy; plus, there could be additional benefits. BabyCenter noted that there have been studies that show “weight training may help women with gestational diabetes manage their condition,” potentially eliminating the need for insulin.
Of course, whether you are weight training to stay active or to control your insulin dependence, you will want to listen to your body and take some extra precautions. BabyCenter advises women to carry free weights with care to ensure they don’t accidentally hit their belly.
Don’t participate in contact sports while pregnant
Football, soccer, ice hockey, and boxing are among the contact sports that women should not play when they are pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warns moms-to-be that any physical activity where there is the possibility of trauma or collision, or where their respective stomachs could potentially get hit by a ball, a foot, or an arm, is just too risky.
While this advice may seem obvious, the line is a bit blurred when we are talking about professional athletes. As noted by Sports MD, some pros keep competing despite a growing baby bump, including Olympic gold medal winner and volleyball superstar Kerry Walsh.
Additionally, per Parents, amateur athletes should note that the release of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy loosens up ligaments which could make you less confident on your feet while playing sports, and the change in your center of gravity — with a large belly leading your body — might further affect balance.
Do maintain your pace if you’re a regular runner while pregnant
If you’re an experienced runner or jogger, there is no reason to stop in your tracks during pregnancy. Still, even if you are a regular marathon racer, you have to listen to your body and do what feels right. According to What to Expect, you might need to slightly alter your pace. “You should be able to carry on a conversation as you stride and breathe into your diaphragm on every single breath,” What to Expect noted. “If it’s hard to suck in deeply, you may be going too fast or putting pressure on your tummy or pelvic floor.”
The online destination for expecting moms also recommends that a pregnant runner should invest in a quality pair of comfortable sneakers, a new sports bra that fully supports her growing assets, and maybe even a maternity belly belt. Furthermore, the site advises that you should “shift your focus from clocking miles to logging minutes, zeroing in on perceived effort and not maximal heart rate.”
Don’t do any exercise activities where you could fall while pregnant
Got a big trip planned to your favorite ski mountain? You might want to stick to some relaxing activities. Physical sports where you could potentially take a fall — like skiing and snowboarding — are especially risky during pregnancy. While non-pregnant people fall during these activities, too, you’re more prone to a spill when you’re pregnant with ligament-loosening relaxin coursing through your body. Your center of gravity and sense of balance also completely changes, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. So it’s best to consider sports like snowboarding as exercises to avoid while pregnant.
Parents warns that these athletic endeavors are extra dangerous after pregnant women hit the 20-week mark because “when the uterus extends past the pelvis, falling on your abdomen could cause premature labor, separation of the placenta from the baby, or a fetal injury.” Instead, the magazine suggests ski bunnies try light cross-country skiing or easy snowshoeing.
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.”
Don’t do CrossFit or other high-impact workouts while pregnant
High-impact workouts are ones defined by getting “both feet … off the ground at the same time,” according to Verywell Fit. Of course, while those who are more experienced with this type of physical training may be able to continue their rigorous routines well into pregnancy pending doctor approval, most expecting women should try to tone down the intensity and stick to low-impact exercises, such as yoga, swimming, elliptical training, stationary bike riding, and walking.
Read More: https://www.thelist.com/194407/7-exercises-to-do-while-pregnant-and-7-exercises-you-should-avoid/?utm_campaign=clip
Of course you can workout while pregnant! You just have to be smart about it. Always check with a doctor, but if it’s safe for your pregnancy, then a little light weight training and cardio is great for you and your baby.It is ok to run and do other forms of exercise while pregnant. Just don’t over do it. Make sure you stay hydrated and add a protein shake after to help your body recover from the workout. The increased blood flow when running will help your growing baby’s development.
Yes, women can fitness safely while pregnant. It’s important to listen to your body and be flexible during this time. If you are feeling tired, avoid workouts that involve high-impact activity or lift weights above your head. The other important thing is to keep track of your heart rate (you should be able to talk while exercising or between 130 and 140 beats per minute) and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Yes, it is safe for pregnant women to workout. Pregnancy can be strenuous and some women need to maintain a healthy diet and weight gain during their pregnancies, so regular workouts will accomplish both goals.
Which Exercises Can A Pregnant Woman Do
When you are pregnant, exercise is essential to keeping your body healthy and strong. However, certain exercises can be dangerous to your growing baby. Learn which exercises to avoid so that you can keep your baby safe and healthy throughout your pregnancy. Exercises during pregnancy are an essential part of staying fit, healthy and active. When you exercise during pregnancy, it helps develop a strong core and improve your posture. It also helps to reduce the risk of swelling, fatigue and back pain. The best forms of exercise to do while pregnant is anything that does not put direct pressure on the belly area. Swimming, walking and yoga can help ease the strain on your body. Avoid lifting weights or vigorous cardio during pregnancy as it could compress your abdomen and feet. As long as you stay within safe limits, keep up those gym shoes!
Experts agree, when you’re expecting, it’s important to keep moving: Pregnant women who exercise have less back pain, more energy, a better body image and, post-delivery, a faster return to their pre-pregnancy shape.
Be sure to do the moves in the order shown and, for best results, do the workout every other day. Always check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise program.
Stand parallel to the back of a sturdy chair with the hand closest to the chair resting on it, feet parallel and hip-distance apart.
With your toes and knees turned out to 45 degrees, pull your belly button up and in. Bend your knees, lowering your torso as low as possible while keeping your back straight [shown]. Straighten your legs to return to starting position. Repeat for reps.
Strengthens: Quadriceps, hamstrings and butt. Improves balance.
RELATED: Prenatal Yoga Workout
Side-Lying Inner and Outer Thigh
Lie on your right side, head supported by your forearm, right leg bent at a 45-degree angle and left leg straight. Place your opposite arm on the floor for stability. Lift left leg to about hip height and repeat for reps.
Then, bend your left knee and rest it on top of pillows for support. Straighten your right leg and lift it as high as possible for reps [shown]. Switch sides and repeat for reps.
Strengthens: Core and inner thighs.
Get down on your hands and knees, wrists directly under your shoulders. Lift your knees and straighten your legs behind you until your body forms a straight line. Don’t arch your back or let your belly sag [shown].
Hold for 1 to 2 breaths, working up to 5 breaths.
Strengthens: Core, arms and back.
Curl and Lift
Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your back straight, feet on the floor, arms at your sides. Hold a 5- to 8-pound weight in each hand, palms facing your body. Bend your elbows so your arms form a 90-degree angle [shown].
Then, keeping your elbows bent, lift the weights to shoulder height. Lower your arms to your sides, then straighten to return to starting position. Repeat for reps.
Strengthens: Biceps and shoulders.
Using a sturdy chair, place your right knee on the seat, left foot on the floor. Bend for- ward, back parallel to the floor and place your right hand on the seat. Hold a 5- to 8-pound weight in your left hand, arm extended down and in line with your shoulder, palm facing in.
Bend your left elbow up so that your arm forms a 90-degree angle [shown]. Hold, then return to starting position. Repeat for reps, then switch sides.
Strengthens: Back, biceps and triceps.
Pregnancy Workouts: Best 10 Minute Workout
Exercising during pregnancy is good for both you and your baby. You can choose from four types of physical activity – walking, stretching and toning, swimming, or strength training. Most importantly, remember that all forms of exercise can be moderated according to your fitness level and needs while pregnant. Exercises for pregnant women are important during pregnancy to help with fatigue, constipation and other common discomforts. However, you need to make sure that your exercise routine does not put too much stress on your body. Before you do any exercises for pregnant women you must talk to a physician who will be able to safely advise you what is right for you and your baby
A pregnant woman can exercise her body and mind as long as she is comfortable with the activity. In order to ensure safety, it’s important for her to consult with her doctor before starting an exercise routine so that there are no complications during pregnancy Exercises to help you stay fit and flexible during pregnancy. Pregnant women should regularly exercise to gain a variety of benefits. The key is to choose an activity that feels good and will help keep you moving through your pregnancy. This can be any activity that makes your body feel good, whether it’s walking, dancing or gardening. You might also feel like taking a swim or incorporating gentle water workouts into your routine.
Can You Still Workout When Pregnant
You can still workout when pregnant! While you may not want to keep up with your normal routine as much, it’s important to remember that your body is busy growing a baby and needs all the extra support it can get. So if you want to get pregnant, or if you are currently pregnant, there’s no better time than now to work out.
If you exercised before you became pregnant, you can continue doing the same exercise now. The aim should be to keep your current level of fitness rather than trying to reach peak fitness.
Aerobic exercise is any activity that makes your heart beat faster. This includes brisk walking, swimming and various classes that you do to music.
If you’re new to aerobic exercise, start off slowly and gradually build up to a maximum of four half-hour sessions a week.
Cycling is a great low-impact aerobic exercise. However, as your bump grows, your balance will change, which could mean you are more likely to fall off.
If you’re used to cycling, you should be safe to carry on, but if you begin to feel less stable than usual it may be best to stay off your bike or switch to a stationary bike until after your baby is born.
Using a stationary exercise bike in the gym or as part of a group session is fine.
The aim of Pilates is to improve balance, strength, flexibility and posture. It could help your body cope with carrying the extra weight of your growing baby, as well as preparing you for childbirth and recovering afterwards.
If you were a runner or jogger before you got pregnant, it’s safe and healthy to continue during your pregnancy as long as you feel okay. Your baby will not be harmed by the impact or the movement. Running is a great aerobic workout.
Strength training exercises are exercises that make your muscles stronger. They include swimming, working with weights, walking uphill and digging the garden.
It’s a good way to keep your muscles toned during pregnancy.
Exercising in water supports your bump and won’t strain your back. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up without putting extra stress on your joints and ligaments.
Aquanatal classes are popular and can be a fun way to meet other mums-to-be.
You may need to avoid breast stroke because it can cause back pain if your spine is not aligned correctly. It can also be uncomfortable for women with symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)/pelvic girdle pain (PGP).
Walking is a great basis for pregnancy fitness and you can do it for the whole nine months if you feel comfortable.
Walking is free and it’s available on your doorstep. If you’re not used to exercising, walking is a great place to start.
Yoga is an activity that focuses on mental and physical wellbeing. It uses a series of body positions (called postures) and breathing exercises. Pregnancy yoga uses relaxation and breathing techniques with postures that are adapted for pregnancy.
Can I work out at home while I’m pregnant?
If you can’t get out or you’re short of time, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home or at work that you can fit around your daily activities.
Look for pregnancy workout DVDs or try our easy home or office workout. You could always look at ways that you can be more active around the house – putting extra energy into the housework or gardening, for example.
If you work, can you use your commute to exercise by getting of the bus or train a stop early and walking the rest of the way?
What are pelvic floor exercises?
Pregnancy and birth weaken your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are located in your pelvis and go from your pubic bone at the front to the base of your spine at the back. They are shaped like a hammock and protect your bowels, womb and bladder.
Your pelvic floor muscles support these organs when you jump, sneeze or cough, lift heavy things, and push your baby out in the second stage of labour.
When you’re pregnant you should make sure you exercise the muscles of your pelvic floor. By keeping them strong you can help decrease the risk of becoming incontinent (when wee leaks out accidentally).
You can exercise them at any time of day, wherever you are, without anybody knowing you’re doing the exercises.
Where can I find pregnancy exercise classes?
It’s not always easy to find a suitable session or instructor while you are pregnant, so here are some tips on how to find one:
- Ask your midwife, GP or the receptionist at your surgery or antenatal clinic.
- Join Facebook groups or online forums specifically for mums in your local area and ask for recommendations about local classes or instructors.
- Ask the instructors at your usual class or gym if they can refer you to someone.
- Contact your local council or leisure centre and ask about local services. Even if you can’t see anything on their website, give them a call and they might know somewhere nearby that offers sessions.
- Look for posters in local maternity/baby stores or at community centres, and ask other pregnant women or mums you bump into.
- Many instructors are members of the Register of Exercise Professionals, and you can search for those who are qualified to teach pregnant women.
- Always make sure you tell your instructor about your pregnancy, including any complications or medical conditions.
If you join a general class rather than a pregnancy-specific class, ask the instructor if they are able to advise you on any exercises that you shouldn’t do or ways to adapt exercises for you. If they aren’t able to do this, you should look for a different session.
Things to be aware of
There are a few things to be aware of:
- Be careful if you are doing exercises where you could lose your balance, such as cycling, horse riding or skiing.
- Avoid contact sports where there is a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, football, judo or squash (though if you’re in a team you can still continue to do any non-contact training).
- Don’t exercise at high altitudes without acclimatising.
- Don’t exercise for more than 45 minutes at a time.
- If you have any unusual symptoms, stop exercising and contact your doctor or midwife immediately.
- Don’t let yourself get too hot – drink lots of water, don’t over-exercise (see below) and don’t exercise in a very hot, humid climate without giving your body a few days to get used to it.
- Don’t do exercises in which you lie flat on your back after 16 weeks.
Read about exercises to avoid in pregnancy.
If you take care with these points you can safely continue to stay fit through your pregnancy and beyond.
If you did not exercise before getting pregnant, it is safe and healthy to start now. Start with 15 minutes of exercise 3 times a week and increase it gradually to 30-minute sessions 4 days a week or every day.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean planned sessions – there are some ideas here for everyday activity that can help boost your health and that of your baby.
Don’t overdo it
Avoid pushing yourself too hard as this can make you overheat, which is not good for your baby. You should aim to work hard enough so that you breathe more deeply and your heart beats faster, but not so hard that you can’t pass the talk test. You should be able to hold a conversation without gasping for breath.
If you’re doing an exercise class or working out in the gym, tell the teacher or gym instructor you’re pregnant and ask their advice about checking your heart rate.
Heart rate to aim for when doing aerobic exercise in pregnancy
|Heart rate (beats/minute)
|Less than 20 years
|Over 40 years
The answer to this question is “yes you can,” and we’ll show you the best workouts that are safe for your body in pregnancy. Yes, you can still workout when pregnant. Remember, your body is designed for so much more than just being a baby manufacturer! You only get to deliver once, so use the time to be active and make your body ready for those long hours of labor. And besides the benefits on your health and overall well-being, you’ll avoid gaining too much weight in the waist area (which can cause issues during delivery).
There is never a good time to stop working out. Pregnancy is not an excuse to take more time off, because even then you need to exercise under doctor’s advice. Exercise will help you in your pregnancy, such as strengthening your heart, building up muscle tissue and balancing your weight for better body posture. Working out while pregnant is perfectly safe, but only if you’re a healthy person to begin with. It’s important to ease into a workout routine gradually and check in with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. If you have been sedentary before becoming pregnant and have no preexisting health conditions, it’s okay to start working out during pregnancy.
If you have time and energy to work out, now is the time to do some strength training on your own. This can help you feel strong and strong women are less likely to deliver prematurely.
Is It Bad To Workout While Pregnant
Working out while pregnant isn’t only OK, it is essential. Exercise has been shown to not only help you become stronger and more fit, but also to improve muscle tone and stamina, relieve stress, lift your mood and provide you with a chance to bond with your baby. While you’re pregnant, it’s also important to get off your feet as much as possible because being on them for long periods of time can cause discomfort and fatigue that could potentially harm your baby. You need energy for the many new things you will be doing after the baby comes, so keep up the routine you’ve started. Is it bad to workout while pregnant? According to most doctors, there are no contraindications for a woman who is six months pregnant or less. The cardiovascular system does not have to support a full-term baby and therefore is not overburdened. As a result of this, you can enjoy your favorite exercises as much as you did before getting pregnant.
As a woman, pregnancy represents one of the greatest physical changes you will ever experience. To support these physical changes and your growing baby, eating healthy is key, but so is staying physically active. But what’s the safest way to exercise during pregnancy ?
A Johns Hopkins maternal-fetal medicine specialist helps debunk common myths about exercise and pregnancy.
Myth #1: If you don’t usually exercise, you shouldn’t start during pregnancy.
This myth has proliferated for many years, but pregnancy is actually an ideal time to start an exercise program — even if you’ve never really exercised before. Public health guidelines for pregnant women recommend moderate exercise or activity for approximately 150 minutes per week (or 30 minutes per day, five days a week). The following are ideal exercises during pregnancy:
- Walking: Walking at a moderate pace can be a great, easy way to fulfill the recommended guidelines. If you’re walking, you should be able to walk and talk at the same time. If you can’t, you should slow down.
- Gym activities: Working out on the elliptical or doing water exercises in the pool are healthy and safe ways to stay active.
- Pilates or yoga: Pilates and yoga can be mentally and physically beneficial. However, hot yoga is not recommended because you should always stay cool and hydrated while pregnant.
The most important thing while performing these exercises is to keep it at a moderate level. Don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion.
You should be especially careful with exercises that could cause you to lose your balance, since having a fall during pregnancy can be very serious. Riding a bicycle, for example, might not be the safest form of exercise during pregnancy due to the increased fall risk. What’s most important is to find something you enjoy while staying safe. Talk to your doctor to see what works with your personal history.
Myth #2: Athletes can continue vigorous exercise throughout pregnancy without cause for concern.
If you’re 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.
Myth #3: The only value of exercise during pregnancy is to help you lose weight more easily after your baby is born.
Exercise is a huge component of postpartum weight loss. But the true value of exercise during and after pregnancy is the other incredible health benefits. Your metabolic function is dramatically improved by exercise, and your risk of developing cardiometabolic disease decreases. Even if you don’t see immediate weight loss after pregnancy, you should always continue to exercise because your body is benefiting internally.
Exercising during pregnancy can be an awesome experience. But it’s important to make sure you’re getting a safe workout plan—one that doesn’t put unnecessary strain on a growing belly. After all, your body is already fighting off the stress of pregnancy, and pushing it too hard with various exercises could trigger other complications. Studies have shown that fitness has a positive impact on both mother and baby during the pregnancy and after birth. There are no negative side effects from being fit during pregnancy. In fact, studies show that pregnant women who are physically active are more likely to deliver full term babies.
Exercise is safe during pregnancy unless you have complications, such as chronic high blood pressure and a history of early miscarriages. But talk with your doctor before you start a new exercise routine. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, your doctor may approve light noncompetitive exercise if you’re healthy, within reason (always check with your doctor). Exercises such as pilates and swim fitness are good enough for exercising during pregnancy. You can also engage in yoga and walking if you want to. If though, you are worried about the negative health effects due to your weight or pain, then it is recommended that you consult with your doctor first before doing any workouts during pregnancy.