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The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain.

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby. Physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes mellitus, relieve stress and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.

Facts to know before you start exercises during pregnancy:

Who should not exercise during pregnancy?

What exercises are safe?

What exercises should be avoided?


How soon you can exercise after delivery?

If you were physically active before pregnancy, you should be able to continue your activity in moderation. If you have never exercised regularly before, you can safely begin during pregnancy under guidance. Walking is considered as most safe to initiate when pregnant.

30 minutes or more of moderate exercise in a day is recommended unless you have a medical or pregnancy related complications.

Exercise tips when you are pregnant

  • Wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes & as well as a good support bra.
  • Choose shoes designed for type of exercise you do for your best protection against injury.
  • Always exercise on flat or level surface to prevent injury.
  • Drink water before, during and after your workout.
  • Consume enough calories to meet the need of your pregnancy and exercise program as well.
  • Finish eating at least one hour before starting exercise.
  • After finishing exercising get up slowly and gradually.
  • Never exercise to the point of exhaustion, slow down your activity if you can’t talk normally while exercising.

Who should not exercise during pregnancy?

Exercises may not be advisable in patients with heart disease, asthma and some pregnancy related conditions like:

Bleeding or spotting per vagina

Pain abdomen

Low lying placenta

Weak cervix

Previous history of premature births

What exercises are safe during pregnancy?

The safest and most productive activities are brisk walking, swimming, indoor stationary cycling and low impact aerobics, as these have very little risk to injury and benefit entire body.

What exercises should be avoided?

Exercises that can be harmful during pregnancy are:

  • Breath holding exercises
  • Contact sports such as football, Volleyball.
  • Exercise which includes rapid motion or change in direction and waist twisting.
  • Any activity that require jumping, hopping, running or bouncing.
  • Deep knee bends or full sit ups
  • Exercise in hot and humid weather


Stop exercising and immediately consult to your obstetrician if you

  • Feel chest pain, shortness of breath or irregular heart rate
  • Have a headache or feel faint, dizzy or light-headedness
  • Abdominal pain or uterine contractions
  • Decreased or absent fetal movements
  • Have vaginal bleeding
  • Have sudden gush/ trickle of fluid from vagina

How soon you can exercise after delivery?

Mostly women can safely perform a low impact activity 1 or 2 weeks after a vaginal birth (or after 3-4 weeks after caeserean birth). Follow your health care provider’s recommendations.

Dr. Vandana Binwal, Sr. Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Swastik Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur.

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