If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it is safer to exercise than to be sedentary (not active) – women who exercise have less risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, which are both risk factors for premature labour. One study also showed that women who were previously active and stopped exercising in their first trimester had longer labour times and more interventions during delivery than those who kept exercising to the end of their pregnancy.
Staying active also:
- helps you sleep better
- reduces your likelihood of suffering from the common complaints of pregnancy, such as varicose veins, swollen feet and tiredness.
- reduces your anxiety levels.
However, if you have had a previous premature birth or if you have been told you are at higher risk than usual of premature labour, talk to your doctor or midwife before starting an exercise programme. Although exercise does not cause premature birth in itself it is possible that it could complicate an existing problem, such as a weak cervix.
No. Exercise has not been shown to cause miscarriage.
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.
It should be fine to continue with your usual class as long as you tell your teacher about your pregnancy.
Yes, you can. Yoga is a great exercise to do during pregnancy as it doesn’t put too much strain on your joints. It has also been shown to reduce anxiety and to help women stay calm in pregnancy and labour.
As you’re used to running, it’s fine to carry on during your pregnancy as long as you feel comfortable.
As long as you feel comfortable and you have no medical issues in pregnancy, you can carry on exercising right up until your baby is born.
- Juhl M, Andersen PK, Olsen J, Madsen M, Jørgensen T, Nøhr EA, Andersen AM (2008) ‘Physical exercise during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth: a study within the Danish National Birth Cohort’, American Journal of Epidemiology, 167 (7): 859–66: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18303008
- 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
- Tinloy J, Chuang CH, Zhu J, Pauli J, Kraschnewski JL, Kjerulff KH (2014) ‘Exercise during pregnancy and risk of late preterm birth, cesarean delivery, and hospitalizations’, Women’s Health Issues, 24 (1): e99–e104: doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2013.11.003: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24439953
ℹLast reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.