Pregnancy exercises – What is safe?

As women we are torn between whether or not to exercise during pregnancy. But the fact is that even if you have never exercised in your life, you can still exercise during your pregnancy. To be on the safer side you can consult a health care provider first. You must remember that pregnancy is not the appropriate time to do vigorous exercise or lose weight but a means to be healthy and active. Provided you do not belong to any high risk category and do not have any complications in your pregnancy, you can go for an exercise regimen at a mild level.

If you are a beginner, do not jump into a hectic exercise regimen but instead start slowly. Begin with a 10 minute exercise and then gradually build up your stamina for a 30 minute exercise. Do not over exert yourself but exercise in moderation. A rule of thumb which you can follow is to continue exercising up till the point till you can carry on a conversation without feeling breathless.

Exercising during pregnancy is not a means to reduce weight but rather to maintain a healthy life. Hence do not cut down on your calorie intake. A pregnant woman must consume at least 300 calories each day. Have the right foods and drink sufficient amount of liquids so that you do not get dehydrated. If you are working out in hot weather, carry a sun hat with you and wear loose clothing. Remember to wear sunblock as the skin is more sensitive during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant and new to exercising, you can consider the following exercise options:

  • Walking – This activity is most favored by pregnant women as it is easy, safe and also improves the cardiovascular health. This is in fact the best exercise to start off with, if you have never exercised before.
  • Swimming – This is another great exercise which uses the entire body and doesn’t place that much of strain on the joints.
  • Prenatal yoga – Prenatal yoga helps relieve tension and keeps the body strong and flexible.
  • Pregnant women should however avoid high-intensity sports such as skiing, snowboarding, scuba diving and horse riding. Certain experts feel that it is not safe to go for bike rides during the second and third semester as there are more chances of falling because of the increased weight.

Pregnancy is also not the right time to go running, though it’s all right if you had been jogging regularly before getting pregnant. You just need to change your jogging routine a bit. It is better if you speak to your doctor about it before you begin jogging regularly.

If you are pregnant you must always be alert and be on the lookout for certain warning signs during exercising. Some of the symptoms to watch out for are dizziness, contractions, chest pain, muscle weakness, decreased fetal movement and vaginal bleeding. If you encounter any of these symptoms, we suggest stop immediately and consult your doctor right away.


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