Exercises To Do While Pregnant

By: proctor - July 9, 2013
Expecting a baby? Congratulations! You may have noticed by now that your body is going through a lot of changes. Some days you may feel too tired, especially in your first trimester, to get off the couch and get some exercise. But on those days where you can at least put on some shoes and go for a walk, do it! It is good for your baby and good for you, especially since you will need lots of strength and stamina to be a mom.

WebMD has a good list of exercises that are safe to do while you are pregnant. Read the highlights here, or read the pregnancy exercises list on their website.

Swimming- One of the best exercises is swimming. It's gentle on your joints and relieves swollen ankles. And you'll feel light as a beach ball no matter how big your baby bump. Check with your health care provider before starting or continuing exercise in pregnancy.

Yoga- Yoga strengthens core muscles, eases back pain, and helps you relax. And research shows that it may make labor shorter and more comfortable. Try a prenatal class, which is gentler and focuses on relaxation -- good prep for labor. Avoid the "hot yoga," Bikram, and after your first trimester, don't lie on your back. If something doesn't feel right, check with a fitness expert.

Indoor Cycling- Take a load off your legs! Cycling on a stationary bike is generally safe even if you're just starting an exercise program. Spinning is a good way to boost your heart rate without stressing your joints. As your belly grows, you can raise the handle-bars for greater comfort.

Strength Training- Light strength training can help you stay toned before and after delivery. If you were lifting weights before you got pregnant, chances are you can keep going as long as you go easy. Avoid heavy weights or routines where you have to lie flat on your back. If you weren't strength training before you got pregnant, find another exercise for now.

Walking- Whether you're on a trail or a treadmill, walking can safely help tone your muscles and improve your mood. It's also something most women can do right up to delivery. If you're just starting, try walking a semi-swift mile three days a week. Increase your time and speed a little each week, and build in hills as you get stronger.

Low-Impact Aerobics- Aerobics keep your heart and lungs strong, tone your body all over, and give you a burst of endorphins, a feel-good brain chemical. If you are an avid exerciser, the key is to lower the intensity of your workout to fit your changing body. If you're a beginner, look for a low-impact aerobics class taught by a certified aerobics teacher.

Kegel Exercises- The beauty of Kegel exercises is that you can do them anytime, anywhere, without anyone knowing. Kegels strengthen the muscles that help hold up your uterus, bladder, and bowels, which helps labor and delivery. To do them, squeeze your pelvic muscles as if you're trying to stop urinating or passing gas. Hold for five seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times, five times a day.

About the Submitter


I have been an ACE certified personal trainer since 2000 who has trained over 3000 hours. I specialize in pre- and post-natal fitness, stretching, running, and weight loss. Yoga is also a passion for me and a way of life. I received my Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification in India and love to share the calmness, strength, and openness that yoga offers to people of all ages and abilities.

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