What are safe forms of exercise while pregnant?

Be sure and check with your doctor before you start any new exercise program, but typically sports or activities that are considered unsafe are those that would provide opportunity for the abdomen to be hit such as soccer, hockey and kickboxing.  Also, avoid dangerous situations such as downhill skiing and horseback riding where you might fall.  Lastly, never scuba dive during pregnancy as it can introduce gas bubbles into the baby’s circulatory system.  A general list of fun and “safe” activities include:

- Walking

- Swimming

- Stretching

- Golf

- Frisbee

- Tennis

- Floor exercises

- Yoga

- Bowling

- Stationary cycling

Remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.  Do not do any activity if it is very hot, or if there is a risk of overheating your body.  Wearing comfortable, loose fitting, cotton clothing will help keep you cool.  If you haven’t been exercising before you were pregnant be sure to start out slow.  Do not do anything that causes pain, shortness of breath or extreme fatigue.  Avoid lying on your back if it is uncomfortable, or during your 2nd & 3rd trimester if you doctor suggests you should not.  You can increase your activity level as it becomes easier, taking into account that as you get further along in your pregnancy you may need to slow down some.  For pregnant woman who eat a healthy and balanced diet, gain the appropriate weight and avoid dangerous activities there is very little concern that exercise would harm their baby.



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