Make sure you warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards and drink plenty of water. You should aim to stay as fit as you were rather than over-exerting yourself or trying to achieve peak fitness. Use the ‘talk test’ to make sure you’re not overdoing it – you shouldn’t be so out of breath that you can’t hold a conversation.
Once your bump starts to show, running may become uncomfortable. This is partly due to the hormone relaxin, which loosens your ligaments and means that there’s less support for your knees, ankles and back.
You might also feel uncomfortable because of pressure on your pelvic floor, so it’s important to exercise your pelvic floor muscles regularly. After the pregnancy you may also like to return to running and a strong pelvic floor will be helpful in allowing you to get back to running comfortably after the birth.
As your pregnancy develops, your breasts could become tender and heavy, so wear a good, supportive sports bra.
As your bump gets bigger, you might find it’s more comfortable to change to low-impact exercise, such as walking or swimming, but be guided by what feels comfortable for you - some women find that they are happy running right up until their due date.
If you’re an elite athlete, get specialist advice – the aim of exercise in pregnancy should be to stay fit rather than break records!
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.
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 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.
- 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.