Important Exercise Guidelines for a Healthy Pregnancy

Photo Credit: Adam Borkowski

Who Doesn’t Want a Healthy Pregnancy?

If you want a healthy pregnancy, you have to add some exercise into your daily routine. Keeping a regular fitness routine throughout all nine months of pregnancy can keep you feeling great, and it will really get your body in shape for labor and delivery. You’ll also be able to bounce back to your pre-pregnancy weight much faster. Who really wants to keep that extra pregnancy weight any longer than they have to? Follow these exercise guidelines for a healthy pregnancy:

pregnancy exercise
  • If you haven’t exercised before, and you are just starting out, you don’t want to jump the gun and accidentally hurt yourself. Start out carefully. Beginners may want to take a prenatal class that’s designed for expectant mothers. Prenatal yoga, prenatal water aerobics, and prenatal Pilates are all great exercise routines to try out.
  • The most important exercise guideline for a healthy pregnancy is that you have to keep well hydrated and take frequent breaks. You don’t want to overexert yourself or get dehydrated. You also don’t want to exercise to the point that you’re over-exhausted. If you are feeling super tired, or short of breath, you need to stop working out immediately. This is a sign that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen. If you can’t breathe, your baby isn’t getting his supply of oxygen either!
  • After the first trimester, don’t perform any exercises on your back. This compresses the vena cava – a major blood vessel that transport blood from your legs back to the heart. Lying on your back in the second and third trimester can make you very dizzy, so you will want to avoid this uncomfortable sensation.
  • Another exercise guideline for a healthy pregnancy that you need to follow – avoid exercising if you are experiencing any complications at all. If you are spotting, have a history of miscarriage or preterm births, or you have a preexisting medical condition that complicates your pregnancy, avoid working out. Exercising may be harmful in these situations.
  • The safest exercises for a healthy pregnancy include swimming, brisk walking, low impact aerobics, and indoor stationary cycling. Stay away from contact sports or any activity that increases your risk of falling.
  • When you’re working out, you should always wear loose-fitting comfortable clothes and shoes that have good support for your feet and ankles.
  • You should always stretch before and after you work out.
  • Be more aware of your balance when you exercise. As you gain more weight, your center of gravity is going to shift, so you may feel clumsier and less balanced on your feet. Always be extra careful when you exercise to avoid falling.

When you’re exercising during pregnancy, you should pay attention to your body and its signals. Be aware of what your body is telling you. If you’re starting to feel way too tired, or feeling a little unusual, that’s probably a sign that you need to stop working out. Another helpful exercise guideline for a healthy pregnancy – stop exercising and contact your doctor immediately if you notice any chest pain, abdominal pain, contractions, vaginal bleeding, difficulty walking, muscle weakness, or anything else that feels off.

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