How Should My Exercise Routine Change Throughout Pregnancy?

Not only CAN you exercise during pregnancy, exercise is actually one of the healthiest things for you and your baby during pregnancy.  A regular exercise routine can help keep you fit, help to prepare your body for giving birth, and even give you a head start on losing that post-pregnancy weight.  However, your exercise routine should change some as you go through your pregnancy.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, you should continue any old exercise routine almost unmodified.  If your exercise routine was especially strenuous, however, you’ll want to tone it down some.  You might decide to change or cut back on your routine somewhat if pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness, fatigue, or sore breasts are interfering with your exercise routine.

During the second trimester of pregnancy, you will probably feel a lot better than you did during your first trimester, and you will probably feel better than you will during your third trimester.  This is probably the best time to increase the duration or the intensity of your exercise routine.  Still, you want to make sure that your exercise routine is not too strenuous, and that it doesn’t involve any activity that could cause physical harm to your abdominal area.  During the second semester, you’ll probably need a new sports bra, because your old one probably doesn’t fit quite right anymore.

In the latter part of pregnancy, the third trimester, your exercise routine will probably go through the most change.  During the third trimester you should change your exercise routine to include low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, and cycling.  In addition to another new sports bra, you might need to change your exercise routine by adding a belly brace or a support belt.  You will also want to avoid exercises that include jarring motions, such as bouncing and jumping, during the third trimester.

While you won’t always feel like exercising throughout pregnancy, research does show that women who keep up on their exercise routine throughout pregnancy are much more likely to have a prolonged recovery time after delivery.  In addition, women who keep up an exercise routine throughout pregnancy are less likely to have a premature birth.

Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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