Spending too much time sitting down without being active can be harmful to your health and your baby’s health. It can lead to too much weight gain, loss of fitness, increased risk of getting gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia and higher likelihood of general pregnancy aches and pains.
If you didn’t exercise before becoming pregnant there are lots of different things you can do to be more active into your everyday life. Exercising during pregnancy is likely to give you more energy, help you sleep better and improve your mood.
However you choose to get active, you’re more likely to stick with it if you do something you enjoy.
1. Walk instead of taking the bus, or get off a stop early
It may sound obvious but if there's a regular journey that you do by bus, think about walking instead, or getting off a few stops early.
2. Get out and about during your lunch break
Start with a quick stroll and build up to a brisk walk. A break from your desk will be good for you.
3. Climb the stairs instead of getting the lift
Climbing the stairs is a great activity for toning your leg and stomach muscles. If you're on a very high floor though, try getting out of the lift a few floors early instead.
4. Exercise your arms with everyday activities
Prepare your arm muscles for the workout they will get when your baby arrives (but don’t lift anything too heavy). When picking up things like shopping bags, remember to bend at the knees, keep your tummy muscles held in and your back straight.
5. If you have other children, walk them to school, nursery or toddler group if it’s not too far
Walking is great way to exercise during pregnancy - it has no impact on your joints, doesn't need any special equipment and you can slow down as your bump gets bigger. Adding walking to part of your normal routine will turn it into an activity that happens without you having to think about it.
6. If you’re doing the housework, switch on some music and put lots of energy into it
Housework can be really boring. Make it less of a chore by listening to some music and viewing it as part of your activity programme. Hopefully it will make it seem more enjoyable and useful, but we can’t make any promises.
7. Take the dog for an extra walk
If you have one that is.
8. Do some gardening
Cutting the grass, weeding and planting are all good ways of getting some exercise with the added boost of vitamin D from the sunshine.
9. Have a dance to your favourite music
It’s fun and it’s a low-impact way to exercise.
10. Take up some easy organised exercise
If you didn’t exercise much before getting pregnant, it is still safe and healthy to start now. Begin with 15 minutes of exercise 3 times a week and increase it gradually to 30-minute sessions 4 days a week or every day if you can.
Aerobic exercise is a good way to boost your fitness. You could also try swimming, power-walking, pregnancy yoga or indoor cycling (or outdoor cycling if you take care not to lose your balance). Whatever works for you.
Find out more about the types of exercise you can do in pregnancy.
And one more tip for luck
Find an app that will support your efforts.
Try these fitness apps that have been approved by the NHS. Look for one that could be suitable in pregnancy.
Stuck at your desk feeling uncomfortable and achy? Have a go at our simple pregnancy excises - you don’t even need to leave your desk.
Many people find it helps to set exercise goals to help them stay fit during pregnancy.
Most types of exercise are fine even if you are overweight. Being active during your pregnancy is safe and healthy for you and your baby.
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), also known as pelvic girdle pain (PGP), is a fairly common pregnancy condition. It is caused by the way pelvic joints move during pregnancy. It can make exercise more difficult but there are things you can do.
Yes it is. In fact, if your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it is safer to exercise than not to as it brings down the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
Frequently asked questions about exercise in pregnancy, including what exercises to try and which ones to avoid.
- RCOG (2006). Exercise in Pregnancy: Statement No. 4, London, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/statements/statement-no-4.pdf.
RCOG (2017). Physical activity for pregnant women (infographic). https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/622335/CMO_physical_activity_pregnant_women_infographic.pdf.
- RCOG (2006). Recreational exercise and pregnancy: information for you. https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/recreational-exercise-and-pregnancy.pdf.
ℹLast reviewed on July 31st, 2018. Next review date July 31st, 2021.
By Nakshi Debbarma (not verified) on 12 May 2019 - 11:11
I like music
By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Jul 2018 - 13:07
Depending on your model of care where you live, you may not have any hospital appointments. As long as you have booked with a midwife and attending regular antenatal appointments and there are no concerns then this is fine. If you are worried about anything then do speak with your midwife or doctor.
By Vera (not verified) on 9 Jul 2018 - 18:57
Am six month pregnant and i have not been to hospitil be
By Mary Acheampong (not verified) on 14 Oct 2016 - 16:26
drinking alot of water is very good when pregnant