What are Some Pregnancy Exercises?

Margo Upson
Margo Upson

There are a lot of great reasons to exercise while pregnant. It can ease the aches and pains of pregnancy, and make labor and birth easier. Exercise can also decrease the chances of pregnancy complications. Having a pregnancy exercise program makes it easier to keep exercising after the baby is born, and can be the start of a healthy lifestyle for your family.

Maternity exercise pants.
Maternity exercise pants.

Walking is one of the best pregnancy exercises. It provides a cardiovascular workout, and is safe throughout the whole nine months of pregnancy. During the last few weeks of the pregnancy, walking can even help the baby move down to the birth canal, helping to begin labor.

Stay hydrated, especially when exercising.
Stay hydrated, especially when exercising.

Swimming provides a low-impact workout that is wonderful for pregnant woman. It uses both large and small muscle groups, and provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. The feeling of weightlessness in the water is great for pregnant women, and swimming carries almost no risk of injury.

Exercising during pregnancy can ease aches and pains, and make labor easier.
Exercising during pregnancy can ease aches and pains, and make labor easier.

One of the most popular pregnancy exercises is yoga. Prenatal yoga classes are becoming more widely available in the United States, and are a fantastic way to meet other expectant mothers. Yoga can help you to learn how to breathe deep and relax, which will be very helpful during labor. The stretching exercises help to relieve aches and pains, and improve circulation. When paired with one of the other pregnancy exercises, such as walking, yoga can be a great way to stay in shape.

Swimming can alleviate back pain in pregnant women.
Swimming can alleviate back pain in pregnant women.

There are several other pregnancy exercises that are safe to do. One of these pregnancy exercises is low-impact aerobics. Another exercise is weight training, but just be careful not to lift more than your doctor advises. Stretching is another exercise great for pregnant women. It can relieve sore and tense muscles, and keep your body flexible, which can help to make labor easier.

Prenatal yoga only allows for gentle poses and exercises.
Prenatal yoga only allows for gentle poses and exercises.

Remember to check with your doctor before starting any exercises during your pregnancy, for any restrictions you may have. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, and be sure to keep hydrated. Listen to your body: know your limits and don’t push yourself too far. Warm up before beginning an exercise, and don’t allow yourself to become overheated.

Yoga can help you to learn how to breathe deep and relax, which will be very helpful during labor.
Yoga can help you to learn how to breathe deep and relax, which will be very helpful during labor.

Pregnancy exercises can help prevent complications, by keeping off extra weight and improving circulation. Reducing your risk of complications, and keeping healthy, can have a positive effect your labor and birth experience. By exercising throughout your pregnancy, you will be doing more than just improving your health -- you will be giving your child a better chance at a healthy future.

Pregnant women need to eat a nutrient-packed diet, particularly when exercising.
Pregnant women need to eat a nutrient-packed diet, particularly when exercising.
Prenatal yoga helps improve breathing and relaxation.
Prenatal yoga helps improve breathing and relaxation.
Walking is an easy way to exercise during pregnancy.
Walking is an easy way to exercise during pregnancy.
Low-impact activities provide healthy exercise options for pregnant women.
Low-impact activities provide healthy exercise options for pregnant women.
A woman should check with her doctor before starting any exercises during pregnancy.
A woman should check with her doctor before starting any exercises during pregnancy.
Margo Upson
Margo Upson

Margo has a varied academic background, which has involved everything from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education. These wide-ranging interests make her an ideal wiseGEEK writer, as she always enjoys becoming an expert on new and unfamiliar topics.

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