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Exercise During Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, exercising will help keep your body strong and your baby healthy.

Exercising has lots of benefits, such as keeping your heart healthy and your energy up. It can boost your mood and help you sleep better. It can help relieve back pain, constipation and swelling. It can help prevent or manage gestational diabetes.

And it may even help you have an easier time with labor and delivery.

But if you’re like many expecting moms, you may be feeling too tired lately to exercise. Pregnancy fatigue can be a huge struggle — especially during the first trimester and last month of pregnancy. For an energy boost, consider doing exercises that won’t leave you dragging.

Great exercises for pregnant women include walking, swimming, certain aerobics and yoga classes, as well as cycling on a stationary bike. Many communities offer prenatal exercise classes especially for pregnant women, such as water aerobics.

Get Healthy, Live Well offers Prenatal Yoga classes that meet weekly for a total of six one-hour-long sessions. The cost of the six-week class is $35. Space is limited, and registration is required. Visit tanner.org/yoga to register today.

Before starting a new exercise program, work with your healthcare provider to plan a safe workout routine for you because some activities aren’t recommended during pregnancy.

You should avoid horseback riding, water skiing, scuba diving, downhill skiing, contact sports and any exercise that can cause a serious fall. Activities that cause unsafe overheating, such as hot yoga or hot Pilates, also are not safe. Also, be sure to avoid strenuous exercise in hot weather.

Stop exercising if you feel overheated and don't exercise while lying on your back after the third month of pregnancy — this can decrease blood flow to the baby.

If you’re finding it difficult to find time to fit exercise into your schedule, you can work in getting more physical activity as you go about your day. Choose parking spots farther away from where you need to go, take a lunchtime walk with a friend or take the stairs instead of the elevator to get in some extra walking.

For more information on exercise during pregnancy, visit Tanner’s Health Library.

Maternity Care

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