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Pregnancy is known for its cravings, its aches, and its joyous moments as you feel your little one working on their black belt every once in a while! You may think that pregnancy is the perfect time to kick your feet up and relax. However, that’s actually not going to benefit you or your baby. In fact, pregnancy is one of the best times to get physically active and prioritize your health, even if you haven’t taken that leap before.

Let’s talk about the importance of fitness during pregnancy!

Should you exercise while pregnant?

Pregnant women should absolutely remain physically active throughout their pregnancy unless told otherwise by a doctor. Pregnancy is known to cause aches and pains in various parts of the body. A lot of these pains are caused by the pregnancy itself, but they are exacerbated by lack of movement and exercise.

Exercise has shown to have the following benefits for pregnant women:

  • Prevent unnecessary weight gain
  • Improve your sleep
  • Increase your good moods and stabilize your energy levels
  • Reduce joint and muscle pains
  • Decrease bloating and alleviate constipation

Keep in mind that when you’re pregnant, you probably shouldn’t be doing any activity that is too crazy. Maybe stay away from the acrobatics and strenuous hikes, pending how far along you are. You should start working out in short increments such as 10-15 minutes. This is to see how your body reacts to the movement and what you like and don’t like. Just because you liked biking pre-pregnancy, doesn’t mean you (or baby) will like it 3 months in!

What activities should you avoid when pregnant?

There are several activities that expecting moms should avoid as they could cause damage to the baby. They may also just be too difficult to do in a pregnant state!

  • Scuba diving: This can lead to decompression sickness in mom and baby
  • Any activity that could lead to you hitting water with excessive force such as jumping off of a high-dive or even water skiing
  • Any fitness exercise where you have to lay on your back as this can cause the baby to slip backwards
  • Heavy contact sports. This can include hockey, football, basketball, etc.

What should I watch out for during exercise when pregnant?

Your body will always tell when something is wrong. You just have to be listening! It’s critical to the health of you and your baby that you pay attention. Watch out for these signs that something may be wrong during or after working out:

  • Headaches on any part of the head
  • Dizziness for any length of time
  • Pain in the chest or lingering shortness of breath
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Swelling of or pain in the calf muscles
  • Painful urinating
  • Contractions
  • An inability to stay balanced or abnormal muscle weakness

Final Thoughts

Caring for your baby is always a top priority for expecting mothers, but it’s equally as important to take care of yourself. Regular exercise is both okay and encouraged during pregnancy. However, you should always check with your doctor first just to be safe! Start small with increments of only a few minutes and remember to listen to your body! Enjoy your pregnancy, but don’t forget to take care of your body in the process!