Should I Work Out When I'm Pregnant?
Updated: May 18, 2022
Your back aches, your ankles are swollen and you can't sleep (let's not even talk about the bloating and constipation!). If only there were something you could do to minimize the common symptoms of pregnancy. Turns out, there is: exercise is one of the most effective cures for the aches and pains of the expecting set.
Working out while pregnant offers lots of benefits for you and your baby. You'll get a boost in mood, a decrease in many pregnancy symptoms, and a quicker postpartum recovery. And your baby may enjoy a fitter heart, lower BMI, and boost in brain health.
What's more, it doesn’t matter if you were an ironwoman or a sofa slacker until now. You can still benefit from getting active during pregnancy. Exercise is also perfectly safe, as long as you get the okay from your practitioner before hitting any new or familiar workout routine and follow a few pregnancy-specific modifications.
So lace up those sneakers and get going! But before you do, read these guidelines and learn about some of the best pregnancy exercises and workouts.
How much should I exercise during pregnancy?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests that expecting moms get at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day, most (if not all) days of the week.
What counts toward that 30 minutes? As far as your heart and general health are concerned, three 10-minute walks sprinkled throughout the day are just as beneficial as 30 minutes on the treadmill or bike at the gym. For that matter, even non-exercise activity — like 15 minutes of vacuuming and 15 minutes of light yard work — counts toward your daily goal.
Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?
While it’s true that now isn’t the time to learn to water ski or enter a horse-jumping competition, most women can still enjoy most fitness activities. In fact, many exercises that are off-limits during pregnancy (like mountain biking or downhill skiing) are ones you’d probably have a hard time doing with a basketball-sized tummy anyway.