Quick Tips on Working Out

Exercise Guidelines in Pregnancy:

If you have been following a regular exercise program prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to maintain that program to some degree throughout your pregnancy. Exercise does not increase your risk for miscarriage.

  • If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.
  • Listen to your body. Your body will naturally give you signals that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you perform.
  • Never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. This is a sign that your baby and your body cannot get the oxygen supply it needs.
  • Wear comfortable exercise footwear that gives strong ankle and arch support.
  • Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids during exercise.
  • Avoid exercise in extremely hot weather.
  • Avoid rocky terrain or unstable ground when running or cycling. Your joints are more lax in pregnancy and ankle sprains and other injuries may occur.
  • Contact sports should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Weight training should emphasize improving tone especially in the upper body and abdominal area. Avoid lifting weights above your head and using weights that strain the lower back muscles.
  • During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves laying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to your womb.
  • Include relaxation and stretching both before and after your exercise program.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.

“Exercise During Pregnancy,” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 1998.
“Exercise,” The University of Michigan Health System. smartmoms.org. 2002.
“Pregnancy and Exercise: What You Can Do for a Healthy Pregnancy,” The American Academy of Family Physicians. familydoctor.org. 2002.

Last updated: 12/2006