Q & A Library
Safe Exercise While Pregnant?
Two weeks after I joined a gym, I found out that I'm pregnant. What kind of exercise would you recommend?
Answer (Published 9/20/2004)
Reviewed on 3/09/2010
Congratulations on your pregnancy! I'm assuming that since you just joined a gym you haven't been working out on a regular basis. Exercise during pregnancy is definitely recommended as long as you're healthy and your physician approves. It can make you feel better physically and emotionally, help with weight control and speed your recovery after the baby is born. Pregnant women who are accustomed to working out generally can continue with their regular exercise programs, providing that they have no health problems. However, even early in pregnancy women may find that they tire more easily during exercise than they did previously.
Fitness expert, Dan Bornstein recommends walking and yoga as the two most appropriate exercises for pregnant women who aren't accustomed to working out. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends stationary cycling and aquatic exercises in a swimming pool as good non-weight-bearing exercises during pregnancy. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking or low-impact aerobics classes are also beneficial, as long as they are comfortable (bike riding outdoors isn't a good idea since pregnancy-related changes in weight distribution, balance and coordination increase the risk of falling).
Here are some other recommendations from the ACSM:
Use common sense, but try to keep moving during your pregnancy. You'll probably feel better as a result.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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