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Is It Safe To Exercise While Pregnant?

Last updated Dec. 8, 2018

Exercising during pregnancy has a lot of health benefits. It helps to prepare the body for labor and childbirth. Though it beneficial for a pregnant woman, there are certain rules that need to be kept in mind when one is pregnant and want to exercise.


Exercising during pregnancy has a lot of health benefits. It helps to prepare the body for labor and childbirth. Though it beneficial for a pregnant woman, there are certain rules that need to be kept in mind when one is pregnant and want to exercise.

The safety of exercising when one is pregnant completely depends on factors such as when is the workout started and if there are pregnancy-related complications. If the individual is used to exercising regularly, then they can continue with their program with certain modifications as advised by their physician.

However, if the individual is just starting to exercise, they must be very careful. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that at least 2½ hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week for women who are not active, or are not into any high-intensity exercises. 

According to research cited in a publication of the National Institutes of Health and Friends of the National library of Medicine, there are five steps that would ensure safety in pregnant women who exercise.

  • Choosing moderate activities like walking, water aerobics, swimming, yoga and similar ones are safe during pregnancy.
  • One must immediately stop the exercises if they feel tired, and one must never exercise to the point where they are gasping for breath.
  • Consumption of water in large quantities is very important while exercising, especially during pregnancy.
  • The clothes worn by the pregnant women while exercising must fit them well and protect their breasts.
  • If one feels any abnormal signs in the body, like feeling sick in the stomach, experiencing back pain, or some other symptoms, they must immediately stop performing the exercise.

It is important that one visits their healthcare provider before starting exercises, if they are pregnant. One might need to limit their exercises, or the physician might recommend that it is unsafe for exercising if the person has pregnancy-induced hypertension, early contractions, vaginal bleeding, or premature rupture of the membranes. One also needs to stop exercising if they find signs in their body that are unusual. These may include symptoms such as dizziness, increased shortness of breath, headache, uneven or fast heartbeat, chest pain, uterine contractions that occur even after rest, vaginal bleeding, fluid leaks from the vagina, and decreased fetal movement. 

While most forms of exercise are safe, there are some that involve certain types of positions and movements that may be uncomfortable or hurt the baby and the mother. Thus, it is important to choose exercises that are safe in order to stay fit and safe during pregnancy. Doing any one physical activity during pregnancy is highly recommended as it would prepare the body for labor and delivery. Though, there is no safe limit on exercising while pregnant, it is important to note that one visits their general physician or gynecologist before starting to exercise, while pregnant. The doctors would be able to guide if it is safe to exercise during pregnancy.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Dec. 8, 2018
Last updated: Dec. 8, 2018