Should I Exercise During Pregnancy?


Pregnancy comes with a myriad of changes in your body, and along with them a million new questions: what should I eat? Is it safe to sleep on my back? Can I keep up my same exercise routine? For that last question at least, we have an answer: staying active during pregnancy is healthy for both mom and the baby growing inside. Learn about the benefits of exercising during your pregnancy and some tips on how to keep a good routine up.

Benefits of exercise:

  • Promotes healthy weight gain

  • Decreases back pain

  • Gives you more energy

  • Eases constipation

  • Relieves stress

  • Lowers risk of gestational diabetes

  • Improves endurance and strength

  • Speeds up recovery after giving birth

Things to keep in mind about exercising during pregnancy:

It’s important to talk to your doctor before you start any new exercise routines while pregnant, especially if you have any serious medical conditions or complications. If you were very active prior to your pregnancy, you could typically proceed with caution. Keep these things in mind though:

  • As hormones change, your joints become looser. Balance can shift and become tougher as pregnancy progresses

  • In late pregnancy, compression of your diaphragm can make breathing difficult

  • Try to get 30 minutes of exercise each day. Try out these activities:

o   Brisk walking

o   Swimming

o   Prenatal yoga or Pilates

o   Low-impact aerobics

o   Stationary biking

  • Warm up and cool down

  • Stay hydrated. During pregnancy, you need half your weight in ounces of water plus 20 more!

  • Stay on flat, level surfaces to avoid injury

  • Wear comfortable shoes fit for the type of exercise you choose. Feet can swell during pregnancy, so make sure your shoes aren’t too tight

  • Avoid activities that make you lie on your back for too long

If you experience pain, dizziness, cramping, or any other concerns, get in touch with your doctor ASAP. As your body changes during your pregnancy, you might encounter pain or discomfort in your feet or ankles during exercise. Check in with a board-certified podiatrist to make sure your feet are in good shape.

Here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC, our podiatrist, Dr. David R. Sullivan, has years of experience treating foot and ankle issues from all stages of life. If you are dealing with a pregnancy-related foot or ankle issue, give us a call. You can reach our conveniently located Westfield, IN office, serving both Boone and Hamilton County, at 317-896-6655.