Exercise While Gestating

We all know that exercise is good for us.  We have been preached to by our high school gym teacher, our Grandmother and our fitness crazed friend.  We have been told to exercise at least 30 minutes, at least 3 times a week. OK, got it. Then we get pregnant and we FREAK out and worry that we should cease all movement because it might be bad for the baby.  Well, once pregnant there are plenty of things to freak out about, but exercise is not one of them!

Exercise guidelines while pregnant are pretty simple.  If you did the activity prior to pregnancy you can most likely continue safely, while pregnant, unless of course you were a MMA fighter, horse back rider or in the roller derby league!  Contact sports are a no-no, you don’t want an elbow to the belly and any activity where you might fall you will want to stay away from.

As far as how often you should exercise while pregnant, the guidelines are pretty much the same, 30 minutes, at least 3 times a week.  I know for myself it was very difficult to exercise much my first trimester because I was so tired and just the thought of moving around made me want to vomit (literally).  So listen to your body it will tell you if you are working too hard.  A good test to make sure you are working in the right “zone” is the talk test.  If you are able to carry on a conversation with someone then you are working at a very low-level, if you have to take a deep breath every few words you are working at a very high level, and if you are able to say a sentence but need to take a couple of breaths between each, you are working at a good, ideal pace.

My favorite exercises while pregnant are:  prenatal yoga (I have some videos I use), walking, light weight lifting (while watching T.V.) and anything in the water (it makes you feel light as air).

If you were not an exerciser before becoming pregnant don’t worry you can still reap the benefits.  Start slow, with something like walking or water aerobics, and work up to more difficult things that you would like to try.

Remember you are about to embark on your bodies version of a marathon–BIRTH!  It will be much easier if you did some training.


*All of the information I have given is for low risk pregnancies.  For more in-depth information regarding exercise safety during pregnancy read this webmd article on pregnancy and talk with your health care provider.


  1. Amen! I agree with you fully! I would suggest to every woman (pregnant or not) to add a bit of weight training/muscle building or toning to your workout routine. I have always been an avid walker/hiker/biker. While pregnant with my first child I walked almost daily — even 1.5 miles in early labor! Before becoming pregnant with my second child I joined Curves to get some focused muscle toning added to my exercising — I walked 3-5 times per week and wend to Curves 2 time per week. I did this throughout my second pregnancy and started up again when my baby was 2 months old. My pregnancy and delivery was easier and more comfortable and I recovered my non-pregnancy shape faster b/c of the focused muscle toning. I joined Curves because I knew I needed a specific time/place to do muscle toning (because I wouldn’t don it on my own at home) that’s just what works for me — it could also be done at home.