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Should I Exercise While I’m Pregnant?

So many of our pregnant patients are confused about what they can and can’t do. They have a ton of questions. One of the main questions they ask me is: Can I still exercise while I’m pregnant? Will I hurt my baby if I exercise while I’m pregnant?

The answer is that you absolutely can exercise. In fact, exercise should be a major part of what your doctor prescribes so that you stay happy and healthy during your pregnancy. Exercise increases energy and balances blood sugar, and even helps you have a healthier delivery.

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise during pregnancy reduces back pain, swelling and weight gain, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, reduces the risk of C-section, improves sleep and energy and improves strength.

This is the Parsley Health Recipe for Exercise During Pregnancy:

Each day aim for 30 minutes of walking, yoga, pilates, or moderate to intense exercise.

Each week aim for:

  • Two 25 minutes of cardio that cause you to sweat and raises your heart rate such as a stationary bike elliptical or running. A gentle walk doesn’t count if you don’t sweat and your heart rate doesn’t go up
  • One hour of yoga, modifying as necessary as your belly gets bigger. The risk of inducing injury from over-stretching as your connective tissue softens due to natural chemicals during pregnancy is overblown! Be careful, but do stretch
  • Two 20 minute sessions of resistance training such as weight lifting, TRX or resistance bands

Avoid:

  • Sports that could cause a major crash or fall like unassisted rock climbing, skiing and outdoor cycling unless you are a super confident athlete to start with in one of these areas
  • Core work like crunches sit-ups, boat pose and plank pose in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters to avoid over tightening the abs and the risk of diastasis recti, the splitting of the abdomen

Get the Parsley Health pregnancy guide.

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