Can I exercise in pregnancy

Pregnancy exercises to help mums stay fit and healthy

In Pregnancy

At a glance

Exercise can improve energy, sleep and moods            

Prenatal yoga is a great exercise to prepare for labour

 

Choose exercises that are gentle on your joints, such as swimming

Talk to your doctor first and tell your fitness instructor you are pregnant or choose a specific antenatal class instead

Pregnancy can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. So exercise might be the last thing on your mind. But regular, gentle exercise during pregnancy is a great way to improve your energy.

It also helps you get a good night’s sleep, prevents worry and depression, and it builds up your stamina for labour. Eating healthily, avoiding gaining too much weight, and staying fit can help prevent excess weight gain in pregnancy and help you get back into shape after the birth.  

Pregnant woman doing yoga

What exercises to do when pregnant 

Regular gentle exercise during your pregnancy can help you keep fit, get a good night’s sleep and build up your stamina for labour.

  • Start off slowly and build up if you're able to. Aim for about 30 minutes of gentle exercise each day

  • Choose activities that are easy on your joints, like swimming, pregnancy yoga or pregnancy aqua-aerobics

  • Or build activities into your daily routine, such as walking and taking the stairs instead of using the lift

  • It’s never too early to start pelvic floor exercises. To strengthen your pelvic floor, sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles 10 to 15 times in a row – like you’re trying to stop yourself from passing wind or peeing

  • Light core strengthening exercises can help ease backache, and a stronger core can be helpful for labour

Important tips to stay safe and well whilst exercising in pregnancy

Pregnant woman holding belly with swimming pool in the background

  • Drink plenty of water before and after your workout

  • If you’re not used to regular exercise, speak to your GP or midwife first

  • If you go to a gym, tell your fitness instructor that you are pregnant so that they can provide a suitable programme for you 

  • Choose activities that are easy on your joints

  • Don’t push yourself too hard. Stop if you experience any pain, discomfort or dizziness. You should still be able to have a conversation as you exercise

  • Stretch gently before and after

  • Don’t exercise in heated rooms - for example Bikram Yoga, or Hot Yoga are practiced in very hot rooms so are unadvised

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Important advice to mothers

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. SMA® Nutrition fully supports this and continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your healthcare professional.

 

 

 

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