Exercise has many benefits during pregnancy. Regular exercise can reduce or prevent back pain, prevent excessive weight gain, and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Looking for an activity to try?
Here are our five favorite fitness activities during pregnancy.
The only equipment you’ll need is a good pair of shoes and a water bottle. If you’ve exercised before your pregnancy, this is a great, easy way to maintain fitness. And if you haven’t been exercising regularly, walking is a great place to start.
Make sure to bring a water bottle. During your third trimester, you may also want to wear a support belt.
Is it ok to run while pregnant? The short answer is yes. Running during pregnancy can decrease back pain, increase sleep quality, and help prevent depression. Running can also help spur an easier, faster labor, and help you recover faster after delivery.
You may slow down dramatically as your baby grows and your center of gravity changes. But as long as you take it easy, and listen to your body, a 30 minute run is usually safe during pregnancy, and if you’re used to running for longer, this may be fine too. Just make sure that you hydrate, and also plan for the fact that you may need to adjust your routes to go by a bathroom.
If you’re not a runner, pregnancy may not be the best time to start. Swimming, walking, or another aerobic activity may be a better option.
Many women enjoy swimming during pregnancy. In addition to its aerobic benefits, swimming is easy on your growing body. You’ll feel almost weightless gliding along the pool. Many women who start out walking or jogging switch to swimming in the third trimester of their pregnancy since the water helps support their weight.
Since you’re in the water, it can be easy to forget to stay hydrated, so make sure to bring a water bottle. Avoid hot tubs and saunas during your pregnancy - raising your body temperature over 102 can be dangerous for baby.
Prenatal yoga is a great way to improve your core strength and flexibility. You’ll also gain emotional benefits like increased calm.
If you join a class specifically for expectant mothers, prenatal yoga can also be a great way to meet other moms-to-be and share experiences.
5. Aerobics for Pregnancy
A prenatal aerobic class is another great way to keep up with your cardio during pregnancy.
If you’re currently in a class, like dance or zumba, you may be able to continue with a few modifications to your movements. Let your instructor know that you’re pregnant, and they should be able to help you find a plan that works for you. If you exercise at home, make sure you choose activities that are low-impact.
How do I know if exercise is safe for me and my baby?
According to Dr. Leslee Jaeger, “Thirty minutes of moderate exercise on most or all days of the week is recommended for women without obstetrical or medical complications. "Moderate" exercise means that you should be able to carry on a normal conversation.”
During pregnancy, you should avoid activities with a high risk of falling or abdominal trauma, exercise at high altitudes, and scuba diving. Pregnancy with twins or other multiples, or other complications, may also limit the exercise you're able to do.
If you have questions about specific activities, ask your provider.
Looking for more practical advice for your pregnancy?
Check out our healthy pregancy guide for more information.