The Real Deal on Working Out While Pregnant

By Genevieve Cunningham

Pregnancy is certainly an exciting time in life, but it’s also terrifying. Besides having to worry with whether the baby is healthy, what you can and can’t eat, and the various rules that come with the territory, most also worry a bit about themselves. And rightfully so! Everything is changing, and it can be intimidating. Some of the scariest changes are the ones happening to your own body. You’ll likely want to do all that you can to preserve your body and make the transition into motherhood as easy as possible. One of the best ways to do this is with exercise, but even this tip comes with its own set of worries. To find out the real deal about exercising while expecting, check out this basic guide.

The DO List

  • Do Talk to Your Doctor - The first thing that you should do is speak to your doctor about what is safe for you specifically. They’ll be able to look at your history and lifestyle and give catered recommendations. When in doubt, stay safe and ask the doctor!

  • Do Stretch - Keep your muscles and ligaments loose and limber with regular stretching. Since hormones are likely making your joints a little loose, do this slowly and don’t push too far.

  • Do Fit in Cardio - Labor is a lot of work. It can be incredibly beneficial to perform cardio (walking, jogging, swimming, etc.) at least three times a week to keep your endurance levels up.

  • Do Lift Weights - If this sounds scary, don’t worry. You don’t have to lift like an Olympian. Just use moderate handheld weights to keep your muscles toned. Even 3- to 5-pound dumbbells will be beneficial. This will keep your body strong and also make the postpartum recovery process a lot easier.

The DON’T List

  • Don't Start Something Strenuous - If you haven’t really been working out before pregnancy, now is not the time to start a CrossFit routine. Your workout should be similar or slightly less than what you did before. And if you were completely inactive, go slowly with simple walking.

  • Don't Avoid Exercise - Now is a great time to be active. It brings benefits to your baby, keeps you feeling better, and makes bouncing back afterward more possible. Get up and get moving.

  • Don't Ignore Warning Signs - It’s important to pay attention to any warning signs that your body may be sending you. If you experience any pain, contractions, spotting, light-headedness, or dizziness, take it easy and seek the advice of your doctor.

Working out while pregnant is generally a great idea with more benefits than you could imagine. It might feel difficult, but your post baby self will thank you for the hard work. Just use these tips as a basic guide, but always seek the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional. With the right advice and the right workout, you may enjoy these nine months and be more prepared than ever before.

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