Staying active has great benefits:
- It reduces your likelihood of pregnancy problems, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.
- It reduces the likelihood of common pregnancy aches and pains.
- It helps you sleep better.
- It reduces anxiety levels in pregnancy.
If you did not exercise before getting pregnant, it is still absolutely safe and healthy to start now. Start with 15 minutes of continuous exercise three times a week and increase it gradually to 30-minute sessions four days a week or every day. It’s best not to take up running or other high-impact activities now that you’re pregnant – your joints won’t be used to it.
Think about gentler aerobic exercise – this is a good way to boost your fitness. You could try swimming, power-walking, pregnancy yoga or indoor cycling.
You might prefer to exercise at home. If so, look for pregnancy-specific exercise DVDs.
Everyday activities that can help boost your pregnancy fitness level
If you don’t like the thought of planned exercise, think about how you can avoid sitting down too much during the day. Try these easy ideas for being more active as you go about your day.
- Walk instead of taking the bus or get off a stop early.
- Walk to the shops
- Head to the park in your lunch break – start with a stroll and build up to a brisk walk.
- Climb the stairs instead of getting the lift, or get out of the lift one floor early and walk the last bit.
- When you’re shopping, carrying the bags will exercise your arms. If you bend to pick them up, keep your tummy muscles held in and your back straight.
- If you have other children, walk them to school, nursery or toddler group if it’s not too far.
- Play with your older children in the park or garden.
- If you’re doing the housework, switch on some music and put lots of energy into it for a good workout.
- Take the dog for an extra walk.
- Do some gardening – cutting the grass, weeding and planting are all good ways of getting some exercise.
- Have a dance to your favourite music. It’s fun and it’s a low-impact way to exercise.
- Try this easy home workout
Not in itself. In fact, women with uncomplicated pregnancies who exercise have been shown to have a reduced risk of premature birth.
No. Exercise has not been shown to cause miscarriage.
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.
- Paisley TS, Joy EA, Price RJ Jr. (2003) ‘Exercise during pregnancy: a practical approach’, Current Sports Medicine Reports 2 (6): 325–30:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14583162
- 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
ℹLast reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.