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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Weight Gain, Diet & Exercise > Safety of Exercise during Pregnancy

Safety of Exercise during Pregnancy

Safety of Exercise during Pregnancy

Let us take a look at the concerns of a pregnant women related to safety of exercise during pregnancy.

Is exercise safe during pregnancy?

If the pregnancy is progressing normally, the answer is yes.  Continuing any sport or mild form of exercise should not be a problem, as long as it is done in moderation. In fact, moderate exercise is good for you as well as the baby.

As long as you do not overstrain yourself, exercise can be a physically and emotionally satisfying and safe experience.  It serves to increase energy levels and alleviates problems like leg cramps, backaches, constipation and breathlessness and prepares you for labour.  It will also help in keeping you in a perfect state of health.  But before you hit the track, do get a medical clearance from your doctor, since he is most informed about your condition.  If you are in a high-risk category, he will certainly restrict your movements.

Can exercises cause any harm to the baby? (Dr. Rita Shah)

Many exercises are not safe during pregnancy.  Before undertaking any rigorous exercise, make sure that they do not put excessive strain on the uterine muscles.  Exercises conducted in the childbirth/Lamaze classes are specially planned to suit the pregnant mother.

What kind of exercises should one totally avoid?

Any exercise that involves lifting weights or imposes excessive physical exertion, such as horse riding, skiing, skin diving and backpacking, should be completely avoided.  Jogging is very hard on the spine, pelvis, hips, knees, breasts and back and should also be avoided.  Exercises that pull your abdominal muscles, like leg lifts and sit-ups, are also not advisable during pregnancy.  Further, do not try your hand at any new sport once you get pregnant; your body needs time to adjust to new movements.

After the 4th month, do not exercise while lying flat on your back, as the weight of your uterus can compress major blood vessels, and restrict circulation.  Pointing or extending your toes can also lead to cramping; it is better to flex your feet instead.

Which exercise is best?

Generally, it is believed that light form of exercise with which your body is accustomed to is right for you. However, you should talk to your doctor or midwife and let her know what you are doing. You can also join exercise classes especially designed for pregnant women. Make sure that you learn pregnancy exercises from a certified trainer.

Regular walking, gardening or doing household chores also count as exercise. But make sure that you do not do strenuous chores which involve lifting heavy weights. Walking is considered as one of the best exercises during pregnancy. Walking for 30 to 45 minutes a day is more than enough.

Which safety precautions should be taken?

Practice only those exercises which are safe to be practiced during pregnancy. You must seek your doctor’s approval before practising such exercises and practice them only under the supervision of an expert. Have a quick look at the safety precautions.
  1. When you are doing any exercise in water like swimming, make sure the temperature of the pool is not more than 26 or 28 degrees.

  2. Make sure your breathing remains normal throughout the exercise regime.

  3. Avoid holding your breath and straining yourself. This will affect your blood pressure and can also put pressure on pelvic floor as well as abdominal muscles.

  4. Always balance activity and rest during pregnancy. Listen to your body’s call and never overdo especially when it comes to exercise. Keep the exercise at moderate level.

  5. Drink plenty of water especially before, during and after the workout. Keep a bottle full of water while exercising. This will prevent you from getting dehydrated.

  6. Avoid exercising in high heat or humidity.

  7. Pay attention to your diet and get enough calories all through the day.

  8. Wear right clothes – breathable and comfortable especially while exercising. Make sure your maternity bra is comfortable and fits well.

  9. If you are not used to exercising daily, it is advisable to start with low pace and under proper guidance after consulting your doctor.

  10. Warm up before exercising. This will get your muscles and joints ready for exercising. It will also build up your heart rate slowly and reduce any kind of risks.

  11. Do not forget the cool down session. Walk on the place, stretch and relax after the exercise is over. This will help your heart beat to get back to normal gradually.

  12. Any kind of sudden improvement like getting up from floor or moving sideways should be avoided and done very carefully.

  13. Always remember, you are working out and not punishing your body. So, if you feel like stopping or going slow, listen to your body.
During pregnancy, you should completely avoid bouncing, quick change of direction and activities which might make you fall or get hurt. All kinds of adventure and vigorous sports should be completely avoided while you are pregnant.

You may also be interested in:

Pregnancy Exercises
Pregnancy Diet
Fasting during pregnancy
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selvi saravana
selvi saravana.7 years ago
im 17 weeks pregnant can u suggest any healthy excercise which should not harmful to my baby
kavita.10 years ago
as i started my pregnancy can u suggest any exercises to do as i don't want to put on any weight after my delivery.

thank you
sarika.10 years ago
travelling of 200 kms is allowed or not in 5th month
Ramya.10 years ago
during the 7th month pregnancy what kind of excises do u prefer.
which hosiptal is good in bangalore?
rama.10 years ago
can i do pranayam?
which kind of pranayam and yoga is safe and best suited and which one is aviodable?
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