What Kinds of Exercises are Safe During Pregnancy?
Exercise has incredible benefits, reducing your risk for diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
But just because you’re expecting doesn’t mean you have to stop. Exercise is also great for baby as well, and a moderate workout can be a good option during pregnancy, provided you follow some basic guidelines to keep you and your child safe.
If you’re wondering “can I exercise while pregnant?” we’ve got all the answers you need, including tips and examples of exercises that are both safe and effective.
Can I Exercise While Pregnant?
Yes, you can, but you may have to adjust your routine and the type of exercises you do.
What Kinds of Exercises are Safe During Pregnancy?
Low-impact exercises that also have cardiovascular benefits are perfect. Walking, swimming, low-impact aerobics and stationary biking can be good choices. Pilates and yoga are also good, although you may need to adjust your regular routine. One important note: You should NOT do hot yoga while pregnant.
Remember that it’s still important to remain hydrated and avoid becoming overheated.
If you’re an avid runner or athlete, speak with us about how you may need to modify your regular workout in a way that can safely maximize its benefits.
What If I’ve Never Had an Exercise Routine Before?
First, we want to applaud you. We’re glad you’re starting an exercise routine to help take control of your health. It has benefits that will reach far beyond your pregnancy months, and we hope it is a habit you’ll continue long after the baby is born.
In fact, we believe you’ll find that exercise is a great stress release as you face the wonderful challenges of motherhood.
Second, the key to beginning an exercise routine starts with communication. We want to work with you to develop a plan that is both safe and effective. There may be some exercises that are more appropriate than others.
We want to remind you:
- Stay hydrated –this is a good principle whether you’re exercising or not
- Take frequent breaks if you feel you need them
- Wear a supportive bra
- Wear loose-fitting clothing
- Don’t get overheated
The key is to listen to your body. There may be certain exercises that are more challenging than others. Take your time. Remember—no one expects you to become a “weekend warrior” overnight. Even mild, low-impact exercise provides incredible benefits for both you and baby.
When Should A Pregnant Woman Stop Exercising?
There are certain cases when you shouldn’t exercise during pregnancy.
Some of these include:
- Any signs of preterm labor
- Being pregnant with multiple births such as twins or triplets. We’ll have a discussion with you on whether or not exercise is appropriate for you.
- Cervical insufficiency. This is a condition where your cervix will dilate too early, which can lead to a miscarriage or premature birth. We’ll work with you to diagnose cervical insufficiency and provide assistance.
- Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure during pregnancy. Typically, this will go away after you give birth.
Placenta previa, which occurs if your placenta is low in the uterus. In certain situations, the placenta may even cover all or part of the cervix. This can cause complications later on in pregnancy and may even contribute to bleeding and other issues.
- Severe anemia, which is when you have an abnormally low amount of red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen throughout your body.
Even if you don’t have any of these conditions, there are certain signs that indicate that you should put your workout on pause. Stop exercising and contact us if you experience:
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Shortness of breath before exercising
- Any vaginal bleeding
- Chest pain
- Muscle problems, such as weakness
- Uterine contractions
- Swelling or pain in the calf
- Any fluid coming from the vagina
Ideally, we’ll work with you from the very beginning, working with you to determine whether or not exercise is safe for you and what would be the best exercises for this stage in your pregnancy.
Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy
Do not participate in any contact sport such as basketball or soccer. In addition, avoid any sport where there is a high risk of falling, such as water or downhill skiing, gymnastics or horseback riding.
Want more information on how to safely exercise during pregnancy? Check out the useful guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Associates in Women’s Healthcare Is Ready to Help You With a Pregnancy Exercise Routine
Exercise has plenty of benefits for both mom and baby, and we want to ensure that you’ll get the healthiest start possible. This is why we encourage you to speak with us even before you start trying to get pregnant.
We believe that preconception planning is beneficial because we can discuss ways to optimize your health and determine a plan of care that will be tailored to fit your individual situation.
For decades, we have been women providing health care to women. See why we’re concerned not just with your gynecological health, but your overall wellness. Schedule an appointment with us today.