Safe Pregnancy Exercises

Safe Pregnancy Exercises for each trimester

When you include safe pregnancy exercises into your workout you will have peace of mind. It’s vital you know you are doing the right thing for both yourself and baby.

I want you to avoid unsafe exercises as they can cause harm to your growing baby.

As always, please consult your doctor about which exercises you should avoid based on your individual current health status and specific needs.

Is It Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?

It is important that you discuss exercise with your Obstetrician during your early prenatal visits. They can provide advice with regards to your individual needs.

What if You Were Previously Inactive?

Then you should be evaluated before recommendations for physical activity during pregnancy are made.

Once you have been given approval to exercise, then you can participate in workouts that are delivered by a qualified prenatal exercise specialist.

Pregnancy is Not the Time to Set New ‘Personal bests.’

Or push your body to the limits in terms of intensity. If you push too hard, this may cause harm to you or your baby.

You should also select pregnancy workouts that involve movements and activities that will minimise the risk of loss of balance. Avoid high-impact movements. And exercises that do not cause trauma to the joints and ligaments.

Safe pregnancy exercise for mother and baby
Safe pregnancy exercise for mother and baby

Pregnancy Workouts May:

1. Improve your posture and reduce back painBack pain is a common and definitely debilitating symptom when pregnant. Accepting that you have to deal with back pain is not required.

Participating in weekly prenatal exercise plan that provides you with core exercises can help you to strengthen your core and hence prevent, or reduce back pain.

2. Help prevent, or treat, gestational diabetesMaintaining a health weight when pregnant is important for not only you, but also your baby. Exercise along with a healthy diet can help you prevent certain ailments.

3. Lower your risk of certain pregnancy-related complications. Being excessively overweight can cause various pregnancy complications from pre-eclampsia to higher birth weight.

4. Promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy. 

5. Improve your overall general fitness. Exercise makes you feel better. It boosts your energy levels in the long run. And it keeps you moving.

6. Strengthen your heart and blood vessels.

7. Help your body recover faster after childbirth. One of the biggest benefits I hear about exercising in pregnancy from clients is that they enjoy a speedier recovery post childbirth.

The pelvic floor exercises help to reduce the severity of unwanted leakage. Heal diastasis recti. Which all lead to greater body confidence.

8. Better prepare you physically for childbirth. I focus on providing my clients with specific exercises, movement, positions and breathing techniques they can use during labour.

Exercising During Pregnancy

Precautions to Take When Exercising During Pregnancy

1. Avoid standing still or lying flat on your back as much as possible.

2. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.

3. Wear a sports bra that provides lots of support.

4. Wear comfortable workout shoes.

5. Avoid becoming overheated and don’t exercise outside in hot weather.

6. Exercise in a temperature-controlled room.

7. Never exercise to the point of breathlessness.

8. Listen to your body and rest when required.

What Are Some Safe Pregnancy Exercises?

1. Prenatal Yoga – Yoga is recommended during pregnancy. But only with a qualified prenatal yoga instructor! There are some postures that must be avoided so a general yoga class is not ideal.

2. Prenatal Pilates

3. Walking – Walking is a great way to get out and exercise. Grab a friend and enjoy the social benefits as well. There is no need to walk for too long. And try and avoid hills.

4. Swimming – Swimming is a favourite for many women. Even better, try an aqua class such as PregAqua. The benefits of exercising in the water are well documented.

5. Modified strength training. Strength training is recommended. Heavy lifting that causes you to strain is not. Performing lifts that cause you to hold your breath should be avoided.

And remember, lying on your back is not recommended especially late in pregnancy.

6. Stationary bike riding – A spin class designed for pregnant women can be a good option. riding a road bike poses several problems especially when it comes to balance.

Safe Pregnancy Exercises

What Exercises Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?

1. All contact sports

2. Basketball

3. Hot Yoga

4. Skiing

5. Soccer

6. Off-road cycling

7. Horseback riding

Warning Signs to Stop Exercising When Pregnant
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Vaginal bleeding.
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Calf pain or swelling.
  • Shortness of breath before starting exercise.
When Can I Start Exercising After Pregnancy?

You should be able to participate in an approved postnatal exercise program soon after the baby is born. But only if you had a healthy pregnancy and a normal vaginal delivery.

If you had a caesarean delivery, or other complications, you will need to speak to your Obstetrician. They will guide you on when it is safe for you to begin exercising again.

Exercise After Childbirth Can:

1. Help you gain trust again in your body to function properly.

2. Boost energy levels as you recover from childbirth.

3. Be useful in preventing postnatal depression.

4. Strengthen core & Help heal diastasis recti.

5. Strengthen pelvic floor + stop leakage.

6. Relieves stress.


Exercise is good for you as you progress through each trimester. But only if your pregnancy workouts consist of safe exercises or activities.

As always, speak to your doctor before starting any new program. Every woman is different. Every pregnancy is different.

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  1. Great tips. I guess I have never really paid that much attention to what i should and shouldn’t be doing.

    I have found exercising to be really helpful. I regularly go to yoga. As i get into my second trimester i can feel myself having to modify my workouts.

    • Listening to your body is the most important thing. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Always better to be on the side of caution. So wonderful you are enjoying your exercise Davida! Yoga is certainly one of my favourite forms of exercise, and so beautiful for women going through the pregnancy journey.


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