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What You Need to Know About Pregnancy and Exercise

Whether you are an avid exerciser already or just want to start getting in shape before your baby arrives, working out while pregnant presents some challenges. You want to make sure not to do anything that would hurt you, or your baby. You also want to keep fit and healthy. Here are five things you should know about pregnancy and exercise:

  1. Exercising can make your pregnancy easier. Exercise can lessen the discomfort of pregnancy by making your body stronger and better able to deal with the pressures pregnancy places upon it. It can also help in recovery- a healthier body can recover from pregnancy more quickly.
  2. Even a little exercise goes a long way. Even if you only exercise a little such as walking for 30 minutes a day, light aerobics, light weightlifting, yoga or swimming, it can make a big impact on your body. A little exercise can do wonders for improving your mood and easing the discomfort of pregnancy.
  3. Exercises that places stress on the back or abdomen should be avoided. While most exercise is okay for pregnant women, avoid exercise that involves lying flat on your back or belly. Ask your instructor for alternative exercises if you are working out with a trainer or in a class. Other exercises to avoid include contact sports, horseback riding and anything else that might cause a sudden impact or fall, potentially harming your baby.
  4. Take precautions for other health concerns. While exercising is usually good while pregnant, if you have other health issues or any pregnancy complications, make sure you talk to your doctor before engaging in any kind of exercise routine.
  5. Make a plan with your doctor. Before engaging in any kind of exercise plan while pregnant, talk to your OB/GYN about exercise. They will be able to give the best advice, and come up with a workout plan that is best for you. Talk to IU Health Women's Health today about this and other questions related to your pregnancy.

According to Ashley Perkins, DO with IU Health, “Exercise is part of a healthy pregnancy, but trust your body. Even if you’ve done something 100 times before, STOP if you experience discomfort, pain or are unable to talk through the exercise.”

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