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If you’re newly pregnant, one of the first questions that you might have is, “is it safe for me to exercise while pregnant?” Fortunately, the answer for most women is a resounding “yes.” In fact, exercise has tons of benefits for both you and your baby, but as with anything else related to your pregnancy, you’ll want to get the approval from your doctor first.

If you’ve been exercising all along, chances are good that you can continue doing the same thing you’re doing now, but there are exceptions to this rule.


Exercising Basics for Pregnant Women

Contrary to what some people believe, pregnancy exercises will not lead to a miscarriage, especially if you either stick with low-impact exercises or only exercises that you’re used to doing. At the beginning of your pregnancy, your doctor will take blood work and maybe even do an ultrasound, so they’ll know exactly how healthy you are and if they should be concerned about anything.

If you and the baby are both deemed healthy, you can start exercising right away, but if you’re new to exercise, you should start out slow and build up to more intense workouts. Throughout your pregnancy, you need to let your doctor know if your workout routine changes in any way. After all, exercise is good for pregnant women, but just how good will depend on whether or not anything changes during your pregnancy.


What If You’re a Newbie to Exercise?

If you’ve never exercised before and you want to start after you find out you're pregnant, you can start by choosing a low-impact type of exercise and exercise only 5 to 10 minutes per day until your aerobic capacity is built up a little more. Every 6 to 10 days, you can add another five minutes until you’ve built up to roughly 30 minutes of exercise per day.

So, what exercises are considered safe workouts during pregnancy? Doctors recommend something aerobic, preferably low-impact, which can include exercises such as:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Dancing
  • Using an elliptical
  • Climbing stairs
  • Swimming
  • Cycling

Of course, if you’re used to doing something a little more strenuous, such as jogging or running, you can go ahead and continue your routine as long as you have your doctor’s approval. Whatever your body is already used to doing is usually acceptable and won’t harm either you or the baby. That being said, it’s still a good idea to make sure that the doctor always knows what you’re doing just to be on the safe side.


The Many Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant

We all know how beneficial exercise can be, but it’s especially advantageous when you’re pregnant. When you exercise during pregnancy, some of the many benefits include:

  • Much more restful sleep
  • Reduced risk of certain pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes and hypertension caused by the pregnancy
  • Easier to maintain your weight and lose weight after the baby is born
  • Much less anxiety and stress
  • Faster childbirth
  • An improved mood
  • Lower risk of back pain and constipation

In fact, many studies have even proven that for women who exercise regularly throughout their pregnancy, there is less of a chance of them having a C-section because their muscles are fitter and stronger. If you build up to 30 minutes of exercise per day for four to five days per week, you’ll benefit both physically and emotionally, and so will your baby.


Dos and Don’ts When Exercising While Pregnant

Of course, even if you okay your prenatal fitness plan with your doctor, there are still some dos and don’ts to keep in mind. These include:


  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Don’t allow yourself to overheat
  • Be aware of your heart rate at all times
  • Stay well hydrated both before and after the workout
  • Wear supportive shoes

You should also listen to your body and if it’s telling you that you need to reduce the length or the intensity of your exercises, listen to it! There’s nothing wrong with exercising less often or going back to less-intense exercises, either short-term or long-term.


  • Participate in high-impact exercises
  • Choose exercises the cause stress on your torso of pelvis, such as horseback riding
  • Choose any type of contact sport
  • Participate in exercises in which you might fall, such as aerial sports or gymnastics

Also keep in mind that exercises that may cause you to overheat or raise either your heart rate or your breathing to high levels should be avoided. If you’re finished exercising and you can’t talk at a regular pace because you’re breathing too fast, it’s time to take it down a notch. It’s always better for your exercise routine to be too lax rather than too intense.

In addition, if you’re finished exercising and you are dehydrated, feel nauseated or lightheaded, have a bad headache, or you feel like you’re overheating, this means that you’ve taken it to a dangerous level. If you build up slowly over time to a reasonable exercise routine, this likely won’t happen, but if it does, you need to slow it down a bit. You can always build back up later if your health improves.



Exercising while pregnant, even in the first trimester, is acceptable as long as it’s low-impact exercises and you have your doctor’s approval. If you’ve never exercised before, you can start out with 5 to 10 minutes of exercise per day and build up slowly to 30 minutes or so per day. Never let yourself get overheated or dehydrated, and always stick with exercises that are low-impact, non-contact, and easy on your pelvic area and torso.

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