What is the Best Way to Exercise During Pregnancy?

B. Miller

The best way to exercise during pregnancy is often to keep up with the exercise plan that one had before becoming pregnant, with some modifications for safety. Of course, it is important for any pregnant woman to check with her doctor first before beginning an exercise plan during pregnancy; a doctor will also be able to discuss any specific concerns that she should keep in mind. Otherwise, the best way to exercise during pregnancy is often a combination of gentle aerobic exercise, as well as exercises that focus on developing core strength.

Some yoga classes cater to pregnant wormen.
Some yoga classes cater to pregnant wormen.

Exercise during pregnancy is beneficial in a number of ways. It often improves energy levels throughout the day, and makes it easier to sleep at night. In addition, it can help to prevent common muscular pains during pregnancy, such as back pain or tightness in the legs. It can also help one to stay at a healthy weight, keeping in mind of course that it is natural and necessary to gain weight during pregnancy. When exercising during pregnancy, it is important to stay hydrated, keep the blood sugar up by eating a small meal ahead of time, and to stop and rest if one feels tired or dizzy at any point.

Swimming is recommended for pregnant women because it puts no pressure on the joints.
Swimming is recommended for pregnant women because it puts no pressure on the joints.

Low-impact exercises such as walking or swimming are often some of the best ways to exercise during pregnancy. These help to get the blood moving for aerobic benefits, and are generally safe to do throughout the entire pregnancy, unless a doctor advises otherwise. Pre-natal aerobics can be beneficial as well; one may choose to take a class at a fitness center, or simply purchase an aerobics DVD that is intended for use throughout pregnancy.

It's important to stay hydrated when exercising during pregnancy.
It's important to stay hydrated when exercising during pregnancy.

Stretching is another good type of exercise during pregnancy, because it helps to increase core strength, improve balance and posture, and can even make the birthing process simpler. Pre-natal Pilates and yoga are two very popular stretching and strength classes. A combination of aerobic exercise a few days a week and a stretching or strength training exercise on the other days is a great way to stay in shape, gain flexibility, and feel better throughout pregnancy.

Pregnant women should keep their weight gain within a healthy target range.
Pregnant women should keep their weight gain within a healthy target range.

Exercise during pregnancy should not cause any stress to the pregnant woman or the baby. High-impact exercises such as running or jumping should be avoided. In addition, it is recommended that pregnant women should not lay flat on the back, because it can restrict blood flow to the baby, and the routine will will likely need to be scaled back in the last trimester. Use common sense when exercising during pregnancy, do not overwork the body, and visit a doctor with any concerns.

Walking and other low-impact activities are excellent exercise options for pregnant women.
Walking and other low-impact activities are excellent exercise options for pregnant women.
Any pregnant woman should check with her doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
Any pregnant woman should check with her doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
Exercise during pregnancy can make it easier to sleep at night.
Exercise during pregnancy can make it easier to sleep at night.
Exercise could help a pregnant women avoid back pain.
Exercise could help a pregnant women avoid back pain.

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