Physical activity is important for everyone, including healthy pregnant women. Regular exercise during pregnancy can help you have a more comfortable pregnancy.
If you weren’t active before your pregnancy, it’s not too late to start.
Before you begin...Talk to your doctor about getting active during your pregnancy. As long as you don’t have any pregnancy-related problems, your doctor will encourage you to be physically active.
Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activities
- If you weren’t exercising before, start slowly. Spread your activity out over the week.
- Choose activities that make your heart beat faster, like walking fast, dancing, or raking leaves. You should still be able to talk during these activities.
- Be sure to drink extra water before, during, and after your exercise.
- Take a break if you get short of breath or feel uncomfortable.
Follow these tips when you do strengthening exercises
- Do more repetitions (lifts) with light weights. If you don’t have light weights, use cans of food. Don’t strain to lift heavy weights.
- Make sure you aren’t holding your breath while you exercise. Breathe out as you lift something, and breathe in as you relax.
- Avoid lifting weights above your head and exercises that could strain your lower back.
- Do Kegel (“kay-gul”) exercises. This is when you squeeze the muscles in and around your vagina. Ask your doctor or midwife to tell you the right way to do Kegel exercises.
Avoid high-risk activities
- Avoid exercising while lying on your back after the first trimester (12 weeks).
- Stay away from activities that increase your risk of falling, like downhill skiing or horseback riding.
- Avoid playing sports where you could get hit in the stomach, like basketball or soccer.