Exercise is generally safe for pregnant women and might even make you feel better. Physical activity gives you more energy and might help relieve back pain and constipation that are common during pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy should focus more on overall wellness than weight loss, which isn’t recommended while pregnant.
Ease Into Exercise
Gentle is the way to go when it comes to exercising during pregnancy, especially if you weren’t very active before you became pregnant. Test your intensity level by trying to hold a conversation. If a conversation is difficult, ease up on your exercise intensity. Low-impact activities, such as walking, yoga and swimming, provide safe physical activity for pregnant women.
Take Safety Precautions
Proper clothing makes exercise more comfortable and easier on your body. Avoid restrictive clothing, which can make movement and breathing more difficult. If you exercise outdoors, pay attention to the weather conditions. Choose an alternative exercise location if the weather is extremely hot or cold, or if bad weather is a possibility. Hydration is also key to keeping you safe as you exercise.
Watch for Warning Signs
Your body gives you warning signs when exercise becomes dangerous for you or your baby. Strange sensations or pains, such as breathlessness, back pain, pelvic pain, dizziness or heart palpitations, are signs you need to stop exercising, according to Kids Health. More serious warning signs include vaginal bleeding, vaginal leaking, contractions, lightheaded sensations and chest pain. Contact your doctor if you experience any of these sensations.
Exercises to Avoid
Certain forms of physical activity are unsafe for pregnant women. Avoid jarring movements, jumping, bouncing or activities that require a lot of balance, such as biking. As your belly grows, you might have more difficulty keeping your balance. Falling off of a bicycle could cause serious injury to you or your baby. Other forms of activity to avoid include horseback riding, skiing, scuba diving and other high-risk exercises. For the second and third trimester, avoid exercises that require lying on your back, which can reduce blood flow.