Exercising During Pregnancy: What Workouts Are Safe?

Exercising During Pregnancy: What Workouts Are Safe?

Exercising during pregnancy provides many benefits for your mental and physical wellness. Exercise reduces anxiety, boosts your mood and mental clarity, and helps reduce your risk of several pregnancy-related conditions, including gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Staying active also helps you maintain a healthy weight and helps your body prepare for labor. 

But not all workouts are safe during pregnancy, and some can do more harm than good. That’s why Dr. Gene Krishingner, Jr. and our team here at OB/GYN Care Orlando, located in Oviedo, Florida, encourage you to refrain from starting any new exercise routine unless you’ve been cleared to do so. Some conditions, such as placenta previa, may impact what exercises you can perform safely.

In the meantime, here is a quick guide to what workouts are generally regarded as safe during pregnancy.

Should you exercise during pregnancy?

Yes! Provided you are medically cleared to work out, you can (and should!) exercise. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women get 150 minutes of exercise per week.

You may find that your workout preferences change throughout pregnancy. 

First trimester

You may feel nauseous and fatigued during your first trimester, and that’s normal. You may not have much energy to do your daily routine, let alone work out. Remember that activity doesn’t have to be intense to be beneficial. Even just walking and stretching can be good for your body. In fact, walking can help release endorphins that can help counteract both fatigue and morning sickness.

Here is a list of some of the safe options for your first trimester:

Most women exercising before getting pregnant can continue (with some modifications). For example, if you are an avid runner, you can continue to run during your first trimester, but you may need to take more breaks and drink more water than before you were pregnant.

Second trimester

During your second trimester, you may notice that your energy increases and your nausea fades. Many women also have more energy to exercise during this trimester. Walking continues to be one of the best exercises.

With your renewed energy, you might try:

The various stretches can help ease some of the aches and pains during the second semester as your growing body starts to put pressure on your joints. If you were running in the first trimester, you may start to find that it becomes uncomfortable. Always listen to your body and walk when jogging is no longer comfortable.

Third trimester

During the third trimester, exercise becomes more difficult, but it’s still important. Walking continues to be incredibly beneficial, especially as a way to help tone your body for labor. Other third trimester exercise ideas include pelvic floor work, prenatal yoga, and swimming. Swimming (and even just floating) is very relaxing as it takes the pressure off your joints. 

Where should you exercise?

The sky’s the limit! There are many app-based programs now that provide week-by-week exercise guidance based on how far along you are in your pregnancy. You can take these apps to the gym or perform them right in your home. Each has its own benefits. Getting out of the house is refreshing (and provides access to gym equipment), but if you’re feeling nauseous, staying close to home is a nice option.

Prefer to work out with a group? There are many recreational centers and yoga centers here in Florida, and many of them offer prenatal classes.

Safety tips for exercising during pregnancy

Regardless of which trimester you’re in, it’s important to exercise safely. 

Not sure where to start? Our compassionate team guides you with all things pregnancy from what to eat (and what to avoid), when to schedule tests, and when and how much to exercise. To learn more about what workouts are safe for you, schedule an appointment at our Oviedo, Florida, office. You can also give us a call at 321-304-6249.

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