Safe and Beneficial Exercises To Do During Pregnancy

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So you’re pregnant! Congrats! You’ve probably started to realize that many things in your life have changed in order to compensate for your changing body, and your baby’s needs. Many women completely cut out activities and working out, in fear that it could negatively affect their baby. While some women have health issues that do prevent them from exercising, many don’t. And for those who don’t have health concerns, exercising during pregnancy can have many benefits!

You may already know that exercising in pregnancy is beneficial, but you may not know what exercises your body can handle during this period of time. So to help you out, we’ve come up with a list of some amazing exercises and activities for pregnant women!

Disclaimer: Please check with your physician to ensure that you are cleared to do any workout or activity. Please do not try any of these activities or exercises until consulting with a physician.

 

Prenatal Yoga

A prenatal yoga class

We all know that yoga already has many benefits. However, prenatal yoga offers pregnant women a different set of benefits that may not be as well-known. For instance, as Mayo Clinic discusses, prenatal yoga can :

  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increase the strength, flexibility, and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
  • Decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath

These benefits can be intriguing to many pregnant women. Sleep can be extremely hard to come by in the third trimester, so the benefit of improving sleep can be appealing to any mom struggling to get sleep during those later months. Stress and anxiety are huge struggles that can plague pregnancies, and yoga provides a natural, productive way to relieve those issues. Morning sickness is also a terrible pregnancy symptom for many women, but yoga could help decrease that side-effect.

Barre

A woman doing a Barre exercise while pregnant | Fit Pregnancy

Barre is an exercise that has recently gained popularity. Barre is a blend of ballet, pilates, and yoga, which combine to bring strength training to those who use this form of exercise. Some classes also use weights, so be sure to use a lower weight than you usually do, or none at all. Here are some of the benefits that Baby Chick lists:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Better balance
  • Improved posture
  • Muscular strength
  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Simultaneous targeting of major body groups
  • Weight loss
  • Reduction of cellulite
  • Stronger bones
  • An increased mind/body connection and awareness

Some of these benefits are the same as prenatal yoga, but many of these are unique to barre, like reduction of cellulite. Better balance is one which stands out, as many women find balance to be a difficulty with their newly-formed baby bumps. Weight loss may also be another benefit that will entice pregnant moms to give it a try. While weight increase is normal and healthy in pregnancy, there are some women who find it difficult to control their weight gain. This exercise would be an amazing option for women in those situations.

Walking


A woman walking during pregnancy | The Analytical Mommy

Walking is an amazing option, as there’s no money needed to partake in the activity! Here are some benefits that Parents listed:

  • It may help you have a shorter, easier labor.
  • It burns calories, which helps prevent excess weight gain.
  • It keeps your body fit, which offers protection from gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
  • It eases constipation.
  • Anyone can do it.

Many women try taking long walks toward the end of their pregnancy, as it can help prepare their body for what’s to come. Walking burns calories (the amount varies by the intensity of the walk), which can help maintain weight gain. Another huge benefit is that it can help protect you from gestational diabetes and preeclampsia which are stressful and scary pregnancy-related illnesses. It also eases constipation, which you may need a little help with (which is totally normal).

Running

A woman running while pregnant | Runner’s World

Running is an exercise that many may think is dangerous to do during pregnancy. However, it’s actually quite healthy and beneficial. Here are some of the benefits listed by Runner’s World:

  • Relieves anxiety and stress
  • Gets body ready for delivery
  • Reduces risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia

There are some precautions that you should take while running. Keep a reasonable pace, stop when necessary, and be aware of the nearest bathroom, as you may need to relieve your bladder more often than normal!

Swimming

A woman swimming while pregnant | Health Save Blog

Swimming is an amazing way to escape the heat of spring or summer, but did you know that it’s also an amazing exercise during pregnancy? Swimming is often used in physical rehabilitation for various injuries, due to its amazing toning benefits, while also providing a low-impact exercise. Fortunately, pregnant women can also enjoy the benefits that this low-impact exercise provides. Here are some benefits that Health Save Blog discusses:

  • Cardiovascular benefits
  • Builds endurance
  • Counteracts back strain
  • Burn calories
  • Sleep better
  • Less fatigue

Some of these benefits are pretty amazing, but many pregnant women may find the back strain counteraction to be the most appealing benefit of all. Back strain is completely normal in pregnancy as your belly grows. Swimming is one of the few options available to relieve that strain. Swimming strengthens the muscles necessary to offset the strain from a growing belly. How cool?!

Dancing

A woman dancing during pregnancy | Elle

From Zumba to professional dance classes, dancing is a very real option for exercise during pregnancy. Modifications may be necessary in some areas, but you’ll find that dancing can be an fun activity while pregnant. Here are some of the benefits posted on Health Line:

  • Reduce backaches.
  • Reduce bloating.
  • Improve your energy and mood.
  • Prevent excessive weight gain.

One of the major benefits that dancing provides is mood improvement. Dancing is an art form that can bring happiness and joy to those who partake in the activity. The music and movement combine to provide an amazing outlet for stress and anxiety. Be sure to be mindful of the movements, and not push your body too hard!

Stretching

Stretching has many benefits. It can help you stay fit, relaxed, and assist you in relieving aches and pains that accompany pregnancy. Stretching can be very beneficial in pregnancy, but it’s important not to push your body too hard, as your joints and ligaments are looser during this time. Here are some positions that Health Line suggests you do during pregnancy:

  • Cat-cow
  • Modified half-pigeon
  • Child’s pose
  • Bridge
  • Lunge

Make sure you’re extremely cautious while stretching, and don’t force your body into positions. Take it slow and easy, as your body may not be capable of achieving the same positions you were able to do before.


Exercising during pregnancy can be very beneficial for moms. It’s suggested in most pregnancies, and can even make delivery an easier experience. There are plenty of options for pregnant moms, but it’s important to remember to listen to your body. You won’t be able to exercise at the same level you did pre-pregnancy, so it’s necessary to keep realistic expectations. Take it slow and easy, and listen to your body!

Again, please do not try any of these exercises until consulting with your physician.

Be sure to get a gender prediction on our site based on the theory/theories of your choice! Make the wait fun!