If you have been following a regular exercise program prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to maintain that program to some degree throughout your pregnancy. Exercise does not increase the risk for miscarriage in a normal low risk pregnancy. The important thing is to discuss these pregnancy exercise guidelines with your health care provider and set up the right routine for you.
Pregnancy Exercise Guidelines
- If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving
your health during your pregnancy, you should start very slowly
and be careful not to over exert yourself. Consider a prenatal yoga class
that is specifically designed for pregnant women. Shop Yoga for home
- Listen to your body. Your body will naturally give you signals
that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you are performing.
- Never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness.
This is a sign that your baby and your body cannot get the oxygen
supply they need.
- Wear comfortable exercise footwear that gives strong ankle and
- Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids during exercise.
- Avoid exercise in extremely hot weather.
- Avoid rocky terrain or unstable ground when running or cycling.
Your joints are more lax in pregnancy, and ankle sprains and other
injuries may occur.
- Contact sports should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Weight training should emphasize improving tone, especially
in the upper body and abdominal area. Avoid lifting weights above
your head and using weights that strain the lower back muscles.
- During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that
involves lying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow
to the uterus.
- Include relaxation and stretching before and after your exercise
- Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables
and complex carbohydrates.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
Planning Your Pregnancy and Birth Third Ed.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Ch. 5.
American Academy of Family Physicians, http://familydoctor.org/
Last Updated: 01/2013