Lots of soon-to-be moms have questions about staying fit during their pregnancy: Is it safe to work out? Are there any exercises I should avoid?
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that healthy pregnant women exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Benefits include increased energy, better sleep, and a reduction in back pain and bloating. Plus, staying fit during pregnancy will make it easier to get back in top shape after delivery! Check out the slide show for other quick tips:
- Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Special circumstances of your health or pregnancy might require modification or restrictions
- Exercise at a moderate level. A simple test of your exertion is the "talk test" – if you can have a conversation normally, your exertion and heart rate are within acceptable levels
- Avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back after the first trimester (or sooner if this position causes you to be dizzy or short of breath)
- Planks and pelvic tilts or standing pelvic tucks are great exercises to maintain core strength during pregnancy
- As your body changes, so does your center of balance. Avoid exercises that put you at risk for falling, such as skiing or horseback riding
- Wear a supportive bra when exercising to help protect your breasts
- Stay hydrated with plenty of water, and avoid exercise in hot, humid weather
- Stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if you experience bleeding, leaking of fluid from your vagina, feeling faint, contractions or cramping, decreased fetal movement, chest pain, or shortness of breath.