What Should Exercises For Pregnant Women Include

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Exercise during pregnancy benefits both you and your unborn child. Here are the best and safest exercises you can do while pregnant.

You’re having back pain, ankle swelling, insomnia, and let’s not even bring up bloating and constipation! If only there was something you could do to lessen the typical pregnancy symptoms It turns out there is: one of the best remedies for the aches and pains of the expecting set is exercise.

The benefits of exercising while pregnant extend to both you and your unborn child. You’ll feel happier, experience fewer pregnancy symptoms, and recover from childbirth more quickly. And your child might benefit from a healthier heart, BMI, and brain development.

Additionally, it doesn’t matter if you were a couch potato or an iron woman up until this point. You can still benefit from getting active during pregnancy. Additionally, exercise is completely safe as long as you follow a few pregnancy-specific modifications and obtain your doctor’s approval before beginning any new or recurring workout routine.

So lace up those running shoes and get moving, but first read these instructions and discover some of the best pregnancy workouts and exercises.

If you have further questions, contact your ob-gyn.

Dont have an ob-gyn? Search for doctors near you.

Last updated: March 2022

Last reviewed: December 2021

Copyright 2023 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information. The public’s education is intended to be aided by this information. It offers current information and opinions related to womens health. It’s not meant to serve as a declaration of the accepted level of care. It does not cover all recommended medical procedures or care strategies. It does not take the place of medical advice. Read ACOG’s complete disclaimer.

Ellipticals, stair climbers, treadmills and rowing machines

Pregnancy is a good time to use ellipticals, stair climbers, treadmills, and rowing machines. Set the tension, incline, and speed to a comfortable level for you. Remember that as your pregnancy goes on, you might find it harder to overcome resistance (or not; pay attention to your body). You must pay closer attention to where you step on treadmills and stair climbers to prevent falls.

Low-impact aerobics and dance workout classes like Zumba are a great way to increase your heart rate and get the endorphins flowing if you’re a newbie exerciser. As your abdomen expands, avoid any activities that require careful balance. If you’re an experienced athlete, listen to your body, avoid jumping or high-impact movements, and never exercise to the point of exhaustion. If you’re new to exercise, opt for the water version of aerobics, which is ideal for the expecting set.

You should be able to continue spinning if you did it for at least six months prior to becoming pregnant as long as you scale back your workout and get the go-ahead from your practitioners. Since you can pedal at your own pace without falling or putting pressure on your ankle and knee joints, indoor cycling can be a great form of exercise.

Make sure your instructor is aware of your impending arrival, and refrain from sprinting if you begin to feel too hot or worn out. In order to prevent straining your lower back, adjust the handlebars as well so that you are sitting up straight and not leaning forward. When climbing hills, sit down because it is too strenuous for expectant mothers to stand. Take a break from spinning if it becomes tiresome until the baby is born.

Many expert expecting kickboxers can continue to get their kicks in the ring with the approval of a professional. Start out slowly because you might discover that you’re not quite as agile or quick as you were before becoming pregnant. Leave two lengths of space between you and other kickboxers, announce your pregnancy to the class, or enroll in a class designed specifically for expectant mothers to avoid unintentionally getting punched in the stomach.

High-intensity interval training definitely isn’t for every expecting woman. The workouts are simply too intense to start when you’re expecting because they involve harder moves to raise your heart rate followed by periods of rest.

However, classes can be safe with modifications from your instructor (avoid jumping, jarring movements, and quick changes in direction, and choose lower weights than you might normally pick up), if you’ve been doing HIIT for a while and have received the all-clear from your practitioner. Drink plenty of water, stop if you feel out of breath or exhausted, and exercise with caution if it involves balance.

It’s not a good idea to start a new sport right now, but if you’re an accomplished athlete, you should be able to continue the following outdoor activities with a doctor’s okay and a few adjustments:

  • Hiking: Avoid uneven terrain (especially later in pregnancy, when your belly can block your view of pebbles in your path), high altitudes and slippery conditions.
  • Biking: If youre an avid outdoor cycler, talk to your doctor about whether its safe to continue biking outside after getting pregnant (and if, at some point, you should stop). The extra weight of your baby belly can affect your balance, and you don’t want to risk toppling over when baby is on board. Wear a helmet, skip bumpy surfaces and avoid wet pavement and roads with tight curves.
  • Ice skating, horseback riding and in-line skating: You can probably keep these activities up early in pregnancy as long as you have your practitioners green light, but you’ll have to give them up later on due to balance issues.
  • Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing: These are both fine as long as you’re extra careful about tripping. Just know that downhill skiing and snowboarding are off-limits for now because the risk of a serious fall or collision is too great.
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