pregnant african american woman exercising

A healthy baby starts with a healthy you. While your body is busy growing a new life, you can help by making exercise part of your daily routine. Here’s the scoop on exercising while expecting.

Why is it important to exercise while expecting?
Exercising during pregnancy has many benefits:
• Prepares you for labor and delivery
• Lessens back pain
• Enhances your energy and mood
• Helps you sleep better
• Prevents excess weight gain

While it’s generally advisable to exercise while expecting, it’s critical to talk to your doctor first. Together, you can determine what exercise routine works best for you.

How should I exercise?
There are many great ways to get your body moving and heart pumping when you’re pregnant:
• Walking and running
• Swimming
• Dancing and aerobics
• Yoga and stretching
• Weight training

What should I avoid?
These exercises are not recommended for pregnant women:
• Contact sports
• Sports and activities with a high risk of falling, such as skiing, surfing, and horseback riding
• Sports at high altitude

How long and how frequently should I exercise?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends exercising at least 30 minutes a day, almost daily. Listen to your body and your doctor to determine what’s best for you and your pregnancy.

What else should I know?
There are lots of great resources about exercise and pregnancy. Here are a few more important tips:
• Always warm up and cool down.
• Drink lots of water.
• Avoid overheating and overdoing it.
• Wear the right clothes and shoes.
• Listen to your body and call your doctor with any concerns.

Following these simple exercise tips will help you (and your baby) enjoy a happy, healthy pregnancy.

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