Maintaining Strenuous Exercise

You can still continue to exercise at a high level while pregnant -- just keep these safety tips in mind.

If you're a hard-core exerciser who can't imagine a week without a long-distance run or a challenging hike, you'll be relieved to know that you can continue doing the strenuous exercise that you did before getting pregnant, within reason. (Of course, get your doctor's approval.) Use good sense and remember these tips:

  • Your balance changes during pregnancy, so take extra care with activities that require balance.
  • Avoid exercising in hot weather. If you become overheated or dehydrated, you will be uncomfortable.
  • Wear supportive shoes or, if you're hiking, boots.
  • Wear a sports bra that gives your breasts ample support.
  • Drink plenty of fluids during and after exercise.
  • Take light snacks with you.
  • After the 2nd trimester, avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back.
  • Stop exercising and call your doctor if you experience calf pain or swelling, chest pain, decreased fetal movement, trouble breathing, dizziness, headache, leaking amniotic fluid, muscle weakness, contractions, or vaginal bleeding.

Avoid activities that are dangerous, including those that put you at high risk for falling or abdominal trauma: basketball, soccer, downhill skiing, horseback riding, in-line skating, ice hockey, vigorous racket sports, gymnastics, scuba diving, rock climbing, and waterskiing.

Pregnancy Workouts: Second Trimester Fitness
Pregnancy Workouts: Second Trimester Fitness

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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