Pregnancy Workout Guide • Prenatal Workout Guide

Summary: Keeping up with a regular workout routine can improve and maintain a pregnant woman’s overall health, increase energy levels, decrease discomfort, and even benefit her baby. However, it is important to approach exercise during pregnancy safely and appropriately. Here is a guide on how to exercise during pregnancy.

1. Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy offers numerous benefits to both the mother and growing baby. It can help to regulate blood pressure, prevent gestational diabetes, reduce back pain, promote healthy weight gain, and improve mood. In addition to these physical benefits, exercising can also prepare the body for labor and delivery, as well as postpartum recovery.

Bear in mind that the type of workout you do will depend on your fitness level before pregnancy and any complications you might have during pregnancy. You need to gradually increase the intensity of your workout, aiming to cover 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. Brisk walking, stationary cycling, yoga and swimming are generally safer exercises on pregnancy. Strength training is an option too, but with lighter weights than before since exerting too much pressure on your abdominals may cause injuries.

Also, keep yourself hydrated and eat properly before and after the workout. Warm-up, cool-down, and stretching exercises are necessary in pregnancy workout, so make sure to include them into your plan.

2. Precautions to Take Before Starting an Exercise Regimen During Pregnancy

Before beginning an exercise regimen, pregnant women should consult with their healthcare providers. There are certain conditions under which exercise during pregnancy may not be advisable, such as preterm labor, placenta previa, or incompetent cervix. A doctor can help you determine which physical activities are appropriate based on your personal health circumstances.

Another precaution to take is to listen to your body during the workout. Make adjustments as necessary or stop entirely if you experience any discomfort, pain, or dizziness. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear to avoid risks of accidents. If you are working out outside, beware of high temperatures since overheating may be harmful to the fetus.

It’s also important to note that you should not lie flat on your back for an extended period of time once you approach the second trimester. Otherwise, it will restrict blood flow and cause dizziness.

3. Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy

While most forms of physical activity are safe during pregnancy, there are types of exercises that should be avoided. High-impact and contact sports such as basketball and soccer pose a high risk of injury or trauma on both you and the baby. Activities requiring frequent jerking movement such as hopping or bouncing are also to be avoided. Scuba diving should as well, since it can cause decompression sickness and other potentially fatal conditions.

Other activities such as horseback riding, skiing, and bicycling may be safe in the early stages of pregnancy, but care should be taken and should be reconsidered as the pregnancy progresses. Hot yoga and exercise in a hot, humid environment should be avoided as well since they risk dehydration and ovhesheating. In essence, refer to what your doctor suggests on which ones may suit you best based on your medical history.

Fitness routine should not induce excess strain on your body. Workouts that require sudden changes in direction or positionality are not recommended either, in order to prevent accidents or falls.

4. Modifications to Make Throughout Pregnancy

As the pregnancy advances, certain modifications should be made to one’s regular workout routine. Pregnant women should avoid overexertion and consistently avoid pushing it too hard. If you get too fatigued or have more aches and pains, it may be necessary to cut back on the frequency and/or intensity of your exercise routine.

As the belly grows, many women find it harder to perform certain exercises. In such cases, changes in position and decrease of intensity are needed to continue with the routine. In addition, movements that recommend lying flat on one’s stomach should be avoided. Furthermore, as the weight of the baby increases, it’s advisable to reduce duration and amount of jumping movement.

You should also pay attention to your breathing during workouts. As your uterus expands, it presses against your diaphragm, making it more difficult to take deep breaths. Doing so can cause lightheadedness or dizziness. Take shallow breaths, and don’t hold your breath while working on an exercise.

5. Employing Proper Exercise Form During Pregnancy

Proper form is crucial in reducing the risk of injury and maximising the effectiveness of exercise. While correct positioning and movements depend on the exercise, pregnant women should always maintain good posture with shoulders down and relaxed and chest lifted. They should also avoid arching their back especially when standing up or moving around.

Some tips to take into consideration: When performing resistance training, keep the motions slow and controlled and avoid sudden jerks. With strength-building activities, be particularly mindful of stretching the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Make sure to lower your body’s centre of gravity by bending at the knees (and not waist) when picking up weights or bending to stretch. Lastly, doing kegel exercises, like pelvic floor muscle strengthening, will aid both in bladder control and lifting the baby during pregnancy.

By practicing proper form, pregnant women can lower the risk of injuries, especially to the abdomen, lower back area and pelvic muscles.


Barring complications and following proper guidelines, exercise during pregnancy is highly recommended. Pregnant women who maintain a regular workout routine can experience benefits for themselves and their babies and return more quickly to their pre-pregnancy health levels after delivery. Make sure to check with healthcare provider first, and then stay within safe workout limits. By keeping up with the exercises, you will decrease discomfort, increase energy levels, and improve your overall heath status by preparing for birth and postpartum recovery.

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