Do’s and don’ts of exercising while pregnant

Guest post from Patricia Hogenes

Isn’t it an exciting time when you’re pregnant? While you are carrying, you want to think about exercise, because any fitness you build will help later on. For instance, doing bicep curls will be helpful when you are carrying the baby around the house. So what are the do’s and don’ts for pregnancy?

Do be moderate. If you exercised before the pregnancy, it is great to continue your workout routine, but just be moderate. If you used a weight workout regimen before pregnancy, it’s fine to continue that through the first trimester and even into the second. But by the third trimester, you’ll want to be cutting down on your use of weights. Here are some excellent resources with more information:

Do think of alternatives. If you were a runner before you were pregnant, but it’s now midsummer and really hot outside, maybe there is another way to get in a great aerobic routine, without facing the summer heat. Consider water aerobics. To replace the running, think about aqua walking. Just go to the community pool when the lap lanes are open and walk up and down the lap lanes. For more exertion, pick up the pace to aqua jogging. Do keep a water bottle at the end of the lane, to stay well hydrated.

Do use exercise for relaxation. With the stresses your body will be going through over the term of the pregnancy, exercise will function as a great relaxer. Your body sends out signals of calm and exuberance while you work out, and those will be transmitted to the baby, as well as making you relax more. You’ll be using that workout for double duty – keeping yourself peaceful, and helping grow a strong and happy baby.

Don’t overdo it. If you haven’t exercised much, and decide to start during pregnancy, it is perfectly fine to do that. A recommendation by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is to engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day, unless there is a complication. This is an excellent goal to strive for, but start by checking with your medical professional to make sure you’re cleared to begin exercise. Tell the doctor your plan, and make sure it will work for you. Begin with a low level of exercise, and gradually work up to higher levels over time. Don’t try to start with more than you can handle.

Don’t do really strenuous exercises. Be respectful of the changes your body is going through. Yes, it’s fine to exercise, but put some thought into the kinds of exercise which will be appropriate. For instance, there are some types of exercise that could put the belly at risk for trauma. Among those, off-road biking, horseback riding, gymnastics and downhill skiing are exercises that you might want to try later, after you’ve recovered from the pregnancy.

Don’t wait until later. With a lot of things happening in your world during the pregnancy, it would be easy to say “I do mean to work out, but I’ll just get started next week.” Putting things off is a common tendency, but during your pregnancy, time will be going fast, and it would be easy to quickly find yourself in the third trimester, not having worked out, and wishing you had. Start early, or if you’ve already been working out, don’t allow a break in your workout routine. You’ll be glad you did when it comes to the delivery, and after the child is born.

Smile when you think of your pregnancy, and how your exercise routine is making it a more powerful and positive experience.

Patricia Hogenes writes for, about kids, parenting, exercise and health. She is avid about her workouts, which have ranged from aqua jogging to marathon training to cycling. She and her husband also enjoy entertaining, and taking vacations with their kids.

What cardiovascular (CV) exercise is best and safest during pregnancy and why should I bother?!

You may well be feeling a bit pukey and/or constipated (the delights of pregnancy) if you are still in trimester 1, but hopefully that will start to getting better over the next couple of weeks. This feature is all about cardiovascular exercise. If you can face some it may well help ease those pesky pregnancy symptoms.

Cardio exercise is important for keeping your heart and lungs fit and healthy. You’ll need a good level of fitness and endurance for labour (one of the most demanding things your body will ever go through!) and looking after a new baby and the rest of the family (and yourself of course!) Why would you NOT want to improve your cardio fitness?


A headline like ‘Cardio with a bump’ is definitely going to get my attention!…..

I came across this article from Gulf news, which has some really good information about exercise in pregnancy. It is written positively from a medical perspective. The more information we can get out there like this the better – and the quicker we can start to change the taboo.

Cardio exercise is perfectly safe during pregnancy and has many benefits, some of which are outlined in the article. Your baby will not mind being jigged about! Just remember to work at a sensible rate considering your pre-pregnancy fitness levels and listen to your body.

It begins:

Glued to the remote control, chocolate ice-cream on double chocolate ice-cream, pickles with just about anything, sleeping during the day: a pregnant woman can never be judged — or so the saying goes. While growing another person inside of you, the “it’s-ok-she’s-pregnant factor” trumps any amount of judgement the world can throw your way. One exception, however, is exercise. When it come to working out while expecting, there’s still a taboo.

And goes on to say:

The all-important benefits, according to the doc

  • As with exercise recommendations for women who have any medical condition, those for pregnant women must balance the benefits and risks to mother and foetus. Dr Etakerina Kaloyanova lists a few benefits of exercising during pregnancy.
  • Alleviates some of the more uncomfortable symptoms, including back pain, insomnia, joint pain and constipation.
  • May help you better handle the mood swings common in pregnant women.
  • Helps avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy, which can lead to complications.
  • Allows development of muscle strength and stamina, making things easier when you’re ready to give birth.
  • Some studies show babies of women who exercise throughout pregnancy are more focused and better stimulated after birth.
  • Babies of women who exercised regularly throughout pregnancy cope better with any unexpected distress during the birth.

As we know there are so many benefits, we need to spread the word! x