I recently found out that I'm pregnant. Can I continue exercising safely during my pregnancy?
Exercising during pregnancy can make you feel great and help you develop the stamina needed for giving birth. Yoga, swimming, and walking are all great options, but avoid high-impact exercises that involve jumping, bouncing, lifting, or sit-ups.
Also avoid activities that can cause you to fall and injure your abdomen (like horseback riding, skiing, or contact sports). Scuba diving also should be avoided during pregnancy, since it can create gas bubbles in the blood of the developing fetus, which can be dangerous.
If you were a runner or cyclist before your pregnancy, you might be able to continue running or cycling, although you may have to modify your routine.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends at least 150 minutes (that's 2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week for "healthy women who are not already highly active or doing vigorous-intensity activity." If you were very active or did intense aerobic activities before you were pregnant, you can probably keep up with your workouts, as long as your doctor gives the OK. Keep in mind that as your due date approaches, you may need to modify your fitness regimen.
While some exercises may be safe for some pregnant woman, they may not be safe for others. Talk to your doctor about what's best for you.
Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.|
|MyPlate for Moms MyPlate for Moms tailors the USDA's food guide to suit the individual needs of pregnant and nursing women.|
|American Council on Exercise (ACE) ACE promotes active, healthy lifestyles by setting certification and education standards for fitness instructors and through ongoing public education about the importance of exercise.|
|Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs Questions regarding what you can and can't do during pregnancy abound. Knowing what could truly be harmful to your baby versus what's no real cause for concern is key to keeping your sanity throughout the 40 weeks.|
|Pregnancy & Newborn Center Advice and information for expectant and new parents.|
|Pregnancy Myths and Tales Even in these times, pregnancy continues to inspire its own set of myths and tales. Which are true and which aren't?|
|Exercising During Pregnancy Most women benefit greatly from exercising throughout their pregnancies. But during that time, you'll need to make a few adjustments to your normal exercise routine.|
|Should I Avoid Certain Types of Exercise During Pregnancy? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Medical Care During Pregnancy The sooner in pregnancy good care begins, the better for the health of both moms and their babies. Here's what to expect.|
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