The Secrets to Exercising Safely While Pregnant

If you’re pregnant, it is important to stay healthy, and a great way is through exercise. Staying fit throughout your pregnancy can minimize a lot of common pregnancy-related pain, boost mood and energy levels and prevent excessive weight gain. But it can be confusing to know what activities and moves are safe for you and your baby.

If you’re pregnant, check with your doctor before starting any exercise routing. Even if you’ve always been active, there are considerations with your changing body (things like contact sports or excessive bounding are out). That said, you will likely have a lot of options available to you:

  • Running and walking: For most expectant mothers who aren’t experiencing complications, activities like jogging and using cardio machines remain safe options throughout pregnancy. That said, your heart works harder during pregnancy, so keep an eye on your pulse. Wear a heartrate monitor and talk to your doctor about how high is too high. Walking offers a low-impact option that keeps your cardiovascular state up but at a low intensity.
  • Yoga: Yoga is all about gentle stretching, steady breathing and balance work—things that are beneficial to a pregnant woman. Self-love and gratitude are also vital to yoga practices, which can boost your mood and happiness. That said, certain positions like extreme hip bends and twists should be avoided. Let your yoga instructor know you’re pregnant or sign up for a prenatal class, which will only feature safe movements. And while hot yoga has benefits, now is not the time for you to exercise in a heated or humid environment.
  • Swimming: Nothing beats feeling weightless when you’re pregnant, which is why swimming is such a great exercise. It also carries little risk of injury and is easy on your joints.
  • Weight lifting: Don’t shy away from the dumbbells—especially if you’ve did strength training before you were pregnant. One thing to keep in mind is that your joints are looser when pregnant, so stick to machines if you’re nervous about range of motion. The other key: Avoid lifting heavy weights overhead, since you can end up curving your lower spine too much.

Your doctor is the best reference for any questions on keeping fit while pregnant, but the opportunities are abundant and can help keep you and your baby healthy. If you liked this blog post, you may also be interested in:

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Photo credit: Jason Bachman

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