Exercise Considerations During Pregnancy

March 20, 2014




Exercise is necessary to help maintain your fitness and promote a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy places a lot of demands on your body and can have an impact on your daily activities. There are several guidelines to follow when it comes to exercising when you’re pregnant.


You must first gain clearance from your doctor in order to exercise. There are certain complications that you may experience during your pregnancy that could be exacerbated from your normal exercise routine.


It is important to continue with exercises that you are familiar with. On the contrary, research has also shown that you can start exercising during pregnancy even if you had not exercised prior to your pregnancy. You want to avoid exercises and activities that could cause you to fall or contact sports that could harm you or your baby. You can exercise up until delivery as long as you have been cleared by your doctor.


Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy including more laxity in your joints. Greater laxity in your joints can make you more prone to injury. Pregnancy can hinder your balance and weaken your abdominal muscles making your normal exercise routine more harmful to your body. Along with a weakening to your abdominal muscles, your low back arches which may cause potential low back pain.


Consult with a professional, such as a physical therapist or a pregnancy-certified trainer, to see if your exercise program is appropriate for you. Some exercises may need to be modified to accommodate the changes your body may be going through, such as fatigue and weight gain. You want to avoid certain positions such as arching your back and lying on your back for more than one minute.


The safest exercises during pregnancy include walking, swimming and core stabilization exercises. If you take part in aerobic exercise, it is necessary to exercise at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes three to five days per week. A level of moderate intensity is equivalent to a brisk walk or a slow jog at 3-4mph. A physical therapist or a trainer can also provide you with a specific strengthening and stabilization program to protect your joints and is specific to any deficits in strength that you may be lacking.


If you have any questions, please consult our physical therapist that is certified in training Pregnant and Post-partum patients at 212-362-4742.