Pregnancy is not a time to cancel your gym membership and put your feet up for nine months. Continuing to exercise regularly during pregnancy helps combat fatigue, excess weight gain, and constipation. It can also improve your sleep and boost your mood. Workouts that incorporate cardio, resistance, and stretching exercises provide moms-to-be with the stamina, strength, and flexibility needed for labor and delivery. Staying fit during pregnancy also helps you get back in shape postpartum. Counsel with your obstetrician about which of the following may be best for you.


Swimming gets your heart pumping, works multiple muscle groups, builds endurance, and is easy on your joints. Swimming and water aerobics also help alleviate swollen hands and feet due to fluid retention.  


If you're a runner, you can continue jogging on a regular basis. But now is not the time to start a running routine if you weren't running consistently before you became pregnant. Even die-hard runners can experience fatigue during pregnancy. Switch to brisk walking as your pregnancy progresses and your energy level decreases.


Cycling is another form of gentle but effective aerobic activity for pregnant women. However, as your belly grows, you may find that it is harder to keep your balance. Switch to a stationary bike to avoid falls or accidents.


Walking is good exercise for any mom-to-be, whether you are a couch potato or gym rat. If you aren't accustomed to exercising regularly, start slowly and work up to walking briskly every day. For a more vigorous workout, bump up the intensity by walking uphill or swinging your arms.

Resistance Training

Strengthening the muscles of the pelvis, lower back, abdomen, and vagina can help prepare your body for the rigors of labor and delivery. Pelvic tilts performed on all fours and also while standing work the hips, abs, and back. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles that support the uterus and bladder and can be done every day. Try to work up to holding Kegels for 10 seconds or more.


Stretching can help ease aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Begin with 5 to 10 minutes of light cardio activity, such as walking. Stretch to mild discomfort, and stop before you feel pain. Gentle, static stretches are safest for pregnant women. Breathe deeply while stretching.  Be sure to stretch after aerobic exercise, too.  

Yoga and Pilates

You can safely continue practicing yoga and pilates, but you will need to avoid positions that put you off balance or cause discomfort. Also, refrain from lying flat on your back after the first trimester. Lying on your back puts pressure on blood vessels, which decreases blood flow to the uterus.

Safety Tips

Make sure you are taking in enough calories and drinking enough fluids, especially during exercise. Never exercise to exhaustion when you are pregnant. Don't exercise until you are in pain, either. If you are working out on the floor, take care when getting up to avoid dizziness.