Continuing a regular exercise routine during pregnancy can help you feel your best, stay healthy, improve your posture and reduce common discomforts, such as fatigue and backaches. Staying active even helps prevent gestational diabetes, builds the stamina needed for labor and delivery and relieves stress. If you were using your fitness grips and working out regularly before your pregnancy, continue using your gym gloves in moderation. Stick with a routine that is comfortable for you instead of trying to work out at your former level. Go for low impact aerobics, for example, instead of high impact. If exercise was not a regular part of your life before you became pregnant, now is a great time to start. Being fit is a major bonus when it comes to labor and delivery, and staying active will help you throughout your pregnancy. Before you start an exercise program, consult with your health care provider and avoid jumping into new strenuous activities.
What exercises are safe?Most exercises are safe as long as you use caution and don’t overdo it. The best activities for pregnant women include low-impact aerobics, brisk walking, swimming, step or elliptical machines and indoor stationary cycling because these activities benefit the whole body and carry little risk of injury. Strength training is also safe during pregnancy, so don’t be afraid to grab your gym gloves and continue to tone your muscles.
What exercises should be avoided?The following activities and exercises should be avoided while pregnant:
- Exercising in hot, humid weather
- Bouncing while stretching
- Heavy spurts of exercise followed by long periods of no activity
- Activities in which falling is likely, like horseback riding or skiing
- Activities that require extensive running, jumping, bouncing, hopping or skipping
- Exercises that require rapid changes in direction or jarring motions
- Contact sports, including volleyball, softball, basketball and football