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Exercising During Pregnancy


There's no need to stop exercising during pregnancy. But your health care professional should know about and approve of what you're doing.

It's especially important to speak with a physician if you didn't exercise before pregnancy, but plan to do so now.

The American Pregnancy Association offers these general guidelines:

  • Kegel exercises, swimming, walking, light dancing and yoga are generally safe, under a doctor's supervision.
  • Bicycling and using a stair climbing machine also are fairly safe, but care should be taken to prevent falls.
  • Jogging, running and aerobics are acceptable if you did these exercises regularly before pregnancy.
  • Avoid skiing, horseback riding and water skiing.
  • No matter what kind of exercise you are doing, avoid overheating. And if your heart feels like it's beating too fast (over 140 beats per minute), stop.
  • Also quit exercising if you have vaginal bleeding, dizziness, feel faint, have shortness of breath, contractions or feel nauseated.

Another recent study found that here were significantly lower heart rates among fetuses that had been exposed to maternal exercise. The heart rates among non-exposed fetuses were higher, regardless of the fetal activity or the gestational age. This study suggests that a mother who exercises may not only be imparting health benefits to her own heart, but to her developing baby’s heart as well.

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