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Exercise During Pregnancy

Woman in a swimming pool

Some women think of pregnancy as a time to relax and skip the exercise routine. In fact, unless you have serious complications with your pregnancy, it is a good time to remain active and reap the benefits of exercise for both you and your baby. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise on most days of the week unless you have pregnancy complications. If you have any questions or concerns regarding an exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor.

Benefits of exercise during pregnancy include:
• May help to relieve back pain and other discomforts
• Can help prevent excess weight gain
• Increased muscle strength and stamina
• Improved sleep
• Improved mood and energy levels
Good exercise options for pregnant women:
• Walking
• Jogging in moderation (with your doctor’s approval)
• Swimming
• Elliptical machine
• Stationary bike
• Moderate aerobic conditioning under the supervision of a trained instructor

Exercise activities to avoid:
• Contact sports
• Any sport that poses a risk of falling
• Exercise at high altitude
• Floor exercises
• Scuba diving
• Holding your breath during an activity
• Exercising in hot humid weather

Remember to:

• Eat at least one hour before exercising
• Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes
• Wear shoes designed for the type of exercise you are doing
• Drink water before, during and after exercising
• Never exercise to the point of exhaustion

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