Can You Workout and Be Pregnant?

If you’re pregnant and wondering if you can still workout, the answer is yes! Just be sure to listen to your body and take things easy. Here are some tips on how to stay safe and healthy while working out during pregnancy.

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy can be beneficial for both mother and baby. It can help reduce stress and fatigue, improve posture and muscle tone, as well as reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Exercise can also help prepare you for labor, as well as help you to return to your pre-pregnancy shape much easier. Let’s look into the benefits of exercising while pregnant in more detail.

Improved circulation

Good circulation is essential for both expectant mom and baby. As the baby grows, the uterus puts increased pressure on major veins, which slows down blood flow from the lower part of the body. In some cases, this can lead to varicose veins, fatigue and swollen ankles. Exercise helps counteract this by improving mom’s circulation via the release of endorphins. Many types of exercise can help to keep mom’s veins working efficiently and reduce ankle swelling during pregnancy. Some recommended exercises are walking, swimming, yoga, cycling and using an elliptical machine. Regularly moving your body will result in a healthier delivery recovery as well!

Reduced stress

Exercise during pregnancy can significantly reduce stress levels because it releases endorphins — hormones in the body known as “feel-good” chemicals. Endorphins can improve your mood, promote more restful sleep, and reduce stress as well as depression. Exercise can also give you a sense of control, improve your self-confidence, help reduce anxieties about labor and delivery, and increase your energy level which allows you to better cope with any day-to-day stresses of being pregnant. Regular exercise during pregnancy can also benefit postpartum recovery, helping new moms to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly.

Improved posture

Regular exercise during pregnancy can help to improve posture, which is important for expecting mothers. Due to the weight of the baby and associated fluid retention, it is increasingly common for pregnant women to experience back pain, as well as mid and lower back pain. Regular physical activity helps to strengthen the deep muscles that provide support for your back and pelvis, even during the later stages of pregnancy. Improved posture may also prevent contractions of the upper body muscles due to increased body strain caused by pregnancy. Exercise also helps reduce strain on your joints and ligaments, which become more developed during pregnancy in order to support your growing bump.

Types of Exercise to Avoid During Pregnancy

Exercise is an important part of any pregnancy. It can help to improve strength, mood and overall well-being during this special time. However, there are certain types of exercise that should be avoided when pregnant. This article will discuss the different types of exercises to avoid during pregnancy, as well as the benefits of continuing to stay active.

Contact sports

During pregnancy, it is typically best to avoid contact sports as a safety precaution for both mother and baby. Contact sports are defined as any sport which involves physical contact with another player, such as football, soccer, rugby and basketball. Other professional or recreational athletic activities that have the risk of physical contact with another person such as martial arts and roller-skating should also be avoided. While it is important to stay active during your pregnancy, engaging in these types of activities can put yourself or your baby at risk of injury.

In general, it is recommended that pregnant women avoid exercising at a high intensity level while pregnant. In addition to contact sports, activities that involve strenuous jumping or jarring motions should be avoided as this could damage the baby or induce labor pains prematurely. If you’re engaging in any exercise activity that increases your heart rate significantly or has you excessively breathing hard, its best to stop immediately and consult with your doctor.

You’ll also want to be sure to avoid overheating during exercise by drinking plenty of fluids before and after your workout. Wearing layers of clothing that can be removed if necessary can help keep you from getting too hot during exercise sessions. It’s recommended to aim for low intensity workouts such as walking or yoga rather than running or cycling during pregnancy. Lastly, always listen closely to your body —never ignore warning signs from it in an effort “push yourself”. Your health and safety should always come first when exercising while carrying a child!

High-impact activities

High-impact activities and those involving sudden, jerky movements should be avoided while pregnant. High-impact activities can be detrimental to your health, as well as put an added strain on the body and put you at risk of injury while pregnant. Activities such as running, jumping, tennis, skiing or aerobics class can cause the baby to be born prematurely or cause an intrauterine restriction of fetal growth. In addition, these types of exercise increase your risk for a miscarriage and may even lead to placental abruption where the placenta detaches from the uterine wall in late pregnancy. Therefore, if you’re accustomed to high-impact activities it is best to replace it during pregnancy with low-impact exercises. Low-impact exercises include: walking, swimming (in warm water), cycling (on a stationary bike) and prenatal yoga.

Deep water exercises

Deep water exercises, such as swimming in deep water pools, should be avoided during pregnancy. Though such activities are generally considered safe for pregnant women, the risk of unpredicted body position changes can cause potential harm to the growing baby. When your feet can’t touch the bottom of the pool, your natural reflex is to put your arms up and move quickly which can disorient and cause unbalance.

In addition, the vertical compression from being deeply submerged in water can affect both mother and baby downstream blood flow, amplifying risks for pregnancy complications. For safety reasons, pregnant women who choose to exercise should stay within waist-deep waters when enjoying a swim or other related exercises.

Types of Exercise to Do During Pregnancy

Exercising while pregnant can be a great way to keep your body healthy and in shape. Exercise can also help you stay energized and reduce stress levels. There are a variety of types of exercise that pregnant women can do safely. In this section, we will discuss the types of exercise that are beneficial for pregnant women and the best ways to do them.

Low-impact cardio

Pregnant women should be active, but it’s important to ensure the exercise you choose is safe. Low-impact cardio is ideal because it can give you the aerobic benefits of increased heart rate and calorie burning without stressing your joints or increasing your risk for injury. Swimming, walking, prenatal yoga and modified kickboxing are all good examples of low-impact cardio workouts that can benefit pregnant women.

Swimming: This is a highly beneficial form of cardiovascular exercise as it uses almost all major muscle groups while reducing stress on joints and ligaments. For extra support in the water, some people use specialized swimming flotation devices to ease discomfort or pain as well as support weight bearing activities like kick boxing or ‘deep water running’.

Walking: While pregnant, up to 20 minutes of brisk walking per day can help maintain a healthy weight and increase stamina for labor and delivery days. An easy way for beginners to get into a routine is by going to a local park, beach or local walking trails with friends or family members who have similar fitness levels.

Yoga: Prenatal yoga classes focus on stretching, relaxation techniques and lightly strengthening core muscles while avoiding strain on the lower back due to pregnancy hormones softening ligaments in this area.

Modified Kickboxing: Aerobic kickboxing that incorporates light kicks and punches while jogging on the spot can provide an efficient full body workout as well as help prepare women for labor by teaching them how to use their abdominal muscles correctly whilst moving in synchronization with their breath; essential skills during labor contractions when pushing baby out!

Strength training

Strength training during pregnancy can help to ease the aches and pains that come with carrying an extra load while your body changes. Strength training can also help improve overall health and reduce the risk of back pain, incontinence and postpartum depression.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women should do exercises that focus on strengthening their core muscles as well as their legs, glutes, and back. Activities like squats, step-ups, side-lying leg lifts, back extensions and plank position can be beneficial for pregnant women to develop strength in these areas. To reduce the risk of injury, weight training should be done correctly with proper form. It is important to start slowly in order to prevent stress on the joints and muscles during each session.

Strength exercises like resistance bands or free weights should be done within your limit. Listen to your body; if you feel any pain or discomfort stop exercising immediately and rest until it subsides before continuing your workout routine again. It is best to consult with a trainer who specializes in prenatal fitness before beginning a program as pregnant women have different needs from those who are not pregnant.


Stretching is a safe and effective way to stay loose and limber during pregnancy, even if you are in the third trimester. It can be done on its own or as part of a yoga or Pilates program. Stretching can help to relax your muscles and relieve discomfort, as well as prepare them for labor. It is advisable that any stretching exercise includes upper back, lower back, neck, chest and abdominal releases; hip rotations; gentle twists; calf stretches; twists of the torso; outer thigh releases and hamstring stretches. Be sure to take breaks throughout the stretching routine and ensure you don’t over-stretch as this could cause unnecessary strain on your body.

Safety Tips for Exercising While Pregnant

Exercising during pregnancy has many benefits for both mother and baby. It can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress and fatigue, and increase energy levels. However, it is important to be aware of the safety tips necessary to ensure that both mother and baby are protected during workouts. Let’s discuss more about these safety measures.

Listen to your body

It is so important to listen to your body when exercising while pregnant. Each woman will experience the pregnancy differently, and understand her body’s limits. Listen for signs of exhaustion or overexertion. While moderate exercise has numerous benefits during pregnancy, it is important to reduce intensity if you feel strained or tired from exercise. The best way to monitor progress is by tracking your heart rate while exercising, aiming for 120-140 beats per minute. If you find yourself at a higher heart rate than this or unable to catch your breath, take a break and focus on deep breathing until your heart rate returns to a normal range. Additionally, resist doing any exercise movements that require straining or jerking muscle groups as these can lead to injury during pregnancy. Being aware of these parameters during workout sessions can help ensure that you are staying safe when exercising while pregnant!

Stay hydrated

When exercising while pregnant, it is essential to stay adequately hydrated. During a workout, it is important to drink fluids before, during, and after exercise. Pregnant women should aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of 8 ounces of fluid daily. Water is always best, but other good options include milk or sports drinks for extra electrolytes. Avoid dehydrating beverages such as coffee and soda during workouts.

Be aware of how your body feels and the amount of sweat you produce when exercising while pregnant. If you find you are getting overwhelmed or feeling faint and lightheaded, take a break and add extra fluids into your workout routine as needed. Dehydration can be dangerous for both mother and baby during pregnancy so make sure you remain vigilant about monitoring body temperature and hydration levels.

Wear supportive clothing

When exercising while pregnant, it is important to wear clothing that is supportive and allows you to move freely without feeling restricted. During pregnancy the body goes through a lot of changes and it’s essential to dress accordingly. The right clothes can help you feel more comfortable, stay cool and even protect you from injury. Choose clothes made of breathable fabrics such as cotton or bamboo so you don’t get overheated and sweaty while exercising. Look for items with adjustable waistbands or expandable hems so they can grow with your expanding belly. Consider wearing an elastic maternity band around your waist which can help prevent excess pressure in the lower abdomen which can cause discomfort during exercise. Additionally, make sure shoes have plenty of cushioning and arch support since pregnancy usually adds additional strain on the feet and ankles. Wearing the right clothes is key for staying safe and having an enjoyable workout routine during pregnancy.


In general, it is safe to work out while pregnant as long as you listen to your body and stop if you become too tired or experience any painful symptoms. Women engaging in pregnancy workouts should focus on activities that are low-impact, such as yoga, walking, and swimming. It may also be beneficial to mix up the types of activities you do each week.

When deciding whether or not to exercise during your pregnancy, it’s important to talk with your obstetrician about what type of exercise is best for you and what types of exercises should be avoided due to any medical conditions or complications you may have during your pregnancy. Additionally, some prenatal classes provide an excellent opportunity for socializing among other pregnant women and getting support from peers who can better understand the joys and challenges of going through a pregnancy.

Ultimately, it is possible to stay healthy while pregnant by engaging in physical activity; however not all exercises are safe depending on the individual needs of each mother-to-be. Seeking advice from your healthcare provider can help ensure that any exercise routine during pregnancy will benefit both mother and child without putting either at risk.

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