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Is it Safe to Exercise While Pregnant?

exercise while pregnant
Written by Stephanie McClane

As an expecting mother, you’ve got a lot on your plate right now. From setting up a nursery to eating the right foods, pregnancy presents a lot of stressful situations.

One of those worries may be on how you can keep your regular exercise regimen going while you are pregnant. Gaining weight is something you can’t avoid, but we all want to remain healthy even with the inevitable weight gain.

Some of us may have been told that to exercise while pregnant is far too dangerous. No expecting mother wants to introduce any kind of risk to their unborn child. But is the risk really true?

Let’s find out.

Exercising While Pregnant: Yes or No?

The short answer? A resounding yes.

Maintaining exercise while pregnant is great for both your physical health and also for your mental health. It can help you feel more energetic and less stressed as your body continues to change. It lessens the impact of the extra pregnancy weight from harming your joints.

It can even make it easier to get your body back to pre-pregnancy fitness a lot sooner.

Exercising during your pregnancy can be beneficial. This is true even if a regular exercise regimen wasn’t a part of your routine beforehand.

The only thing is that you have to be a little more mindful of how you approach every workout session.

In order to make certain that you and your baby stay safe, here are some pointers to keep every exercise session risk-free.

Importance of Low-Impact Exercise

One of the best ways to ensure that your exercise is safe is to make certain that it is low-impact. This means that the exercise puts little stress on your joints (such as your knees or ankles) while still giving you a good workout at the same time.

There are many different exercises you can do that will keep you from harming any swollen joints that have flared up during your pregnancy.

Walking is one of the most accessible and cheapest exercises any person can do, pregnant or not. Anyone can walk around the block once a day. Swimming is another good choice.

There are also groups you can join that are specifically geared towards giving you a great workout in a low-impact and safe way.

Contact Your Health Care Provider

Before beginning to exercise while pregnant, it’s always a good idea to get into contact with your doctor.

While exercising itself doesn’t present any problems in a general sense, this may not be true to your specific situation.

Once you have an idea of your desired exercise regimen, bring it up with your doctor for them to look it over. They’ll be able to point out if a particular exercise isn’t a good match for your personal health. They may even have some pointers that will make your exercising better overall.

Stay Hydrated

This is an important rule for everyone but can be even more important for pregnant women. Especially if you suffer from morning sickness.

Always try to drink a lot of water before you exercise, during the exercise, and even after you’ve exercised. Not only does this keep your muscles and joints limber, it also helps to stop you from feeling dizzy or cramping up.

Exercise while pregnant can dehydrate you quickly, as can vomiting from morning sickness. Always keep a bottle of water nearby to keep your body hydrated and healthy.

Always Warm Up and Cool Down

Slowly easing your body in and out of an exercise keeps you from having to deal with the pain from strained muscles. It also makes the workout go far more smoothly as you’ve prepared your body for the activity.

It’s a good idea to pinpoint a kind of warm-up that focuses on the main group of muscles you’ll be exercising during your workout.

For example, let’s say you want to use a quick walk as your main exercise. Simply start out at a slow pace for about 10 minutes before pushing yourself to go a little faster.

Then, as you’re about to finish, slow down that pace once again for another 10 minutes so that your body has time to cool down from the workout.

Doing some easy stretches is another way to keep your muscles from getting too strained during your workout.

Exercise in Regulated Places

It’s not a good idea to exercise in a place that is far too warm and humid. On the other hand, it’s also not good to exercise in a place that is far too cold.

If you’re wanting to exercise while pregnant during the middle of winter or summer, make sure that you take precautions.

Maybe during an especially cold or humid day, it would be better to find some exercises to do inside. This lessens the risk that you’ll harm yourself from become dizzy or slipping on ice during your workout due to outside extremes.

Don’t Push Yourself Too Far

At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do is to simply listen to what your body is telling you. If you find that you’re hurting from your exercises, or if you feel as though your pushing too hard, then lessen your regimen.

The best thing to do is to start off small and work your way up. Gradually make small adjustments that still give you a good workout but keeps you from overworking yourself.

Exercise While Pregnant to Benefit Yourself and Your Baby

The benefits of exercising during your pregnancy don’t just stop with your own physical and mental health. These benefits extend to the little one who is along for the exercise ride with you.

As long as you take the proper precautions, exercising is not only safe, it’s important. Giving you and your baby the best kind of pregnancy possible makes both of your lives easier in the long run.

So get on out there and start exercising. Your body and your baby will be grateful.

Looking for some specific exercises? Don’t forget to check out these exercises that can help things go more smoothly on your delivery day.

About the author

Stephanie McClane

Hi, I’m Stephanie. I graduated college with a business degree and a minor in biology. I met my husband at a business convention and was happily marriage and pregnant within the first two years after saying the words “ I do”.

Jennifer is the eldest of the three. Being pregnant with her, my first, I researched everything pregnancy related and read nearly every book. Giving birth to Anthony and Matty seemed more natural and less stressful the third time around.

I’m happy to share what knowledge I have gathered and learn new things from other mothers. From morning sickness to Anencephaly, or potty training to thumb sucking, I have books and resource guides to share.