Exercise During Pregnancy - Topic Overview
Exercise is good for healthy pregnant women who are
receiving prenatal care. Try to do at least 2½ hours a week of
moderate exercise.1, 2 One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least
5 days a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more
throughout your day and week.
Exercise can improve your posture,
relieve back pain and other discomforts related to pregnancy, and prepare you
for the challenges of childbirth. Most women can begin or continue to exercise
during pregnancy. Try exercise classes designed specifically for pregnant women
or classes that offer safe variations for pregnant women. Many pregnant women
find exercising in the water, such as swimming or water aerobics, most
Moderate exercise/activity is safe for most pregnant
women. But it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an
Stay at your prepregnancy level of fitness
early stages of pregnancy, some women can continue their prepregnancy exercise
routines (including running, aerobics, biking, roller-skating, skiing, weight
lifting, or other physically strenuous activities). Other women find it
necessary to take it easy during the first weeks of pregnancy but can return to
their usual exercise after their morning sickness or extreme fatigue subsides.
While you are pregnant, listen to your body.
- When you're fatigued, take it easy, but don't
become completely inactive. Mild to moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking,
helps your mood and keeps your energy up.
- If you like regular
strenuous exercise, pay attention to your body's
signals to gradually slow down or change your routine as your pregnancy
- Remember that you can feel off balance as your body changes with pregnancy. So be extra careful when you do any exercise in which you could lose your balance.
Fuel your body
Eat a small snack or drink juice 15
to 30 minutes before you exercise. Do not exercise on an empty stomach. If you
have not eaten, your body may run low on glucose, causing your liver to release
substances known as ketones or ketoacids into your blood. Ketones are harmful
to a fetus.
Continue to eat a balanced diet. Pregnant women who
do not exercise require an additional 150 to 300 calories a day. When you
exercise during pregnancy, increase your caloric intake.