Can You Exercise While Pregnant? And What Precautions Should You Take?

Exercising during pregnancy is good for the health of the pregnant, while at the same time it facilitates proper development of the baby thus helping in its healthy growth. Doctors recommend some special exercises for the women to reduce the common discomforts of pregnancy like bad posture, weight gain, backaches or fatigue.

Pregnant women who work out regularly are known to be stress free and gain confidence. It keeps the pregnant woman physically strong so that she is fit enough to handle labor and childbirth without much difficulty. Further, exercising moderately throughout the pregnancy can keep gestational diabetics at bay.

Precautions to be taken

Though exercising during pregnancy comes with great benefits, it is absolutely important to consult the gynecologist or obstetrician and work out with extra caution, as physical strain and trauma during pregnancy can lead to severe health complications in both the pregnant woman and the baby to be born. Activities which cause sudden impact on the body like jumping, horseback riding, or mountain biking should be avoided. Be safe from falls as it could lead to miscarriage, harm the baby or cause placental abruption.


Dehydration while exercising can lead to contractions which can cause miscarriage, preterm labor or premature delivery of the baby. Therefore it is important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water if you plan to exercise during pregnancy.

Avoid exercises that require you lay flat on back as the abdominal and fetal weight can press against the internal organs and spine leading to upheavals in blood pressure.

It is important to keep down the temperature levels during exercising while pregnant. If you are getting breathless, then it is time to slow down or stop as the lower levels of oxygen in the body can alter the function of the genes leading to congenital birth defects in the baby. This is not the time to start on new exercises that will keep fit or allow you to lose weight but just to keep yourself active and fit with moderate exercises.

Exercises that are safe during pregnancy

Walking is the best and safest exercise for a pregnant woman throughout the nine months. Those who are into running and jogging can continue with the exercise but without stressing the body. Swimming provides exercise for all the muscles in the body while at the same time it increases the functioning of heart and lungs. The buoyancy of the water provides relief to the pregnant woman, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. Many attend facilities for pregnant women where they can exercise while standing in water so that their extra weight will not bear down on their joints or cause swelling in the legs.

Some yoga positions are not only safe but an excellent workout during pregnancy. The body is more pliable and fit for stretching during pregnancy due to the secretion of the hormone called Relaxin. One has to be careful not to push too hard during the stretches be gentle keeping in mind the tiny baby growing in the womb. Yoga also provides relaxation for the mind through meditations. Moderate or low impact aerobics is also known to be very helpful exercise during pregnancy along with Pilates and light dance which does not include rough movements.