Exercise and Pregnancy
Which types of exercise are safe during pregnancy?
Author: Richard Weil, MEd, CDE
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Viewer Question: What are some safe exercises for me to participate in while I'm pregnant?
Doctor's Response: n general, aerobic, resistance, and flexibility exercises are safe during pregnancy. Walking, swimming, water aerobics, dancing, stationary biking, weight lifting, and stretching or yoga are some of the activities that are safe for pregnant women. However, each pregnancy, and each woman, is different. So, exercise programs are individualized to assure safety. Always ask your doctor for advice before beginning any exercise program when you are pregnant. Here are some of the precautions that you should follow.
Previously sedentary: The rule of thumb used to be that it was not a good time to start exercising if you were pregnant and had been previously sedentary. That stance has changed. The American College of Gynecology now states, "If you are active, pregnancy need not cause you to alter your fitness routine," and "If you have not been active, now is a good time to start." Of course, this doesn't mean throw caution to the wind and be reckless, but it does send the strong message that exercise during pregnancy is okay for most women.