Tips for Working Out When You're Pregnant

Tips for Working Out When You're Pregnant

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults get at least 150 hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week – and this includes pregnant women. Exercise can help reduce your risk of pregnancy complications and ease the discomfort and fatigue of carrying a baby.

Whether you’re already an avid athlete or want to get fit for pregnancy, labor, delivery, and motherhood, here are some tips to guide your workouts during the next nine months. Of course, you should always check with us at FemmPro OB/GYN whether exercise during pregnancy is safe for you. 

What types of exercise are best?

If you regularly exercise before pregnancy, you can plan to maintain your current fitness level with modifications as needed. We can help you determine when modifications are necessary.

If you’re starting a workout program, do so gradually. Now is not the time to take on a new, strenuous activity. Some of the most safe and low-impact options include swimming, riding a stationary bike, and walking. 

What types of workouts should I avoid?

Certain exercises should be avoided as they may pose a risk to you or your growing baby. These ones can greatly increase your blood pressure or body temperature or raise your risk of experiencing a fall. Horseback riding, downhill skiing, hot yoga, and scuba diving are examples of activities to avoid. Sports and workouts that involve contact are also a bad idea; you don’t want to suffer a blow to your abdomen.

Who shouldn’t exercise during pregnancy?

The vast majority of women benefit from exercising during pregnancy. But, if you have unusual bleeding or spotting, a weak cervix, hypertension, or placenta previa, we may ask you to lay low for part or all of your pregnancy. Some preexisting heart and lung conditions may also mean exercise is not recommended during your pregnancy.

What modifications should I take during workouts?

During your first trimester, you can generally exercise as usual – with our approval, of course. But if you have days where morning sickness or fatigue keeps you from your workout, it’s OK to give yourself a break. Now is the time to listen to your body.

As you reach the second trimester, avoid any exercises that have you lie flat on your back on a hard surface. This includes crunches and some yoga poses. Lying flat on your back while pregnant can compress the large blood vessel that returns blood from your lower body to your heart. 

Also, be aware of your body’s increased flexibility as your pregnancy progresses. You produce more of the hormone relaxin to prepare you for childbirth. This hormone makes other joints more bendy than usual and puts you at greater risk of injury. Avoid high-impact activity that involves jumping or quick changes in direction.

During the third trimester, you may find your growing belly and changes in hormones make exercise feel harder than ever. Scale your intensity back and continue to listen to the signals your body is sending you. Don’t push yourself to increase your current fitness level. Exercise during your pregnancy intends to help you feel more energetic and experience less discomfort, not to contribute to it.

Stay properly hydrated during your pregnancy by drinking 8-10 glasses of water, more on exercise days. 

Trust the expert providers at FemmPro OB/GYN in Garden City, New York & North Massapequa, New York, to give you the best pregnancy care. This includes guidance when it comes to pregnancy activities and other lifestyle questions. If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, call one of our offices today or use the online tool to set up an appointment. 

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