Up next in How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy (21 videos)
Find out what you can do to have a healthy pregnancy -- and a healthy baby -- with the advice in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Time to dedicate to regular exercise
- Plenty of fluids
- A good sports bra
- Common sense
If you’re already a fitness buff, continue your routine as long as you feel up to it. However, there are a few activities you should avoid no matter how athletic you are: downhill skiing, contact sports, and scuba diving.
If you’re a fitness first-timer, try walking, swimming, yoga, aerobics, and/or light weight training.
Start out slow. Walking for a mile at a brisk pace three times a week will lay a strong foundation for more rigorous exercise, later in your pregnancy or afterward.
Take five minutes to warm up before you exercise, and five minutes to cool down after.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts. Extra fluids are vital during pregnancy.
Support your newly voluptuous—and probably sore!—breasts with a good-fitting sports bra. Wear shoes designed for the activity you do.
Tone that tummy
Tone that tummy! Strong abs make for an easier delivery, and will bounce back more quickly post-partum.
Strengthen birthing muscles
Strengthen your birthing muscles – yep, those – with Kegels. Simply squeeze and release as if you’re stopping and starting the flow of urine. Twenty reps five times a day is a good goal.
Consider a mommy-to-be class
Consider taking an exercise class that’s tailored for moms-to-be. Then you won’t have to think about whether what you’re doing is safe or not (as long as the instructor is qualified). And you’ll have other women around to motivate you.
Don’t overdo it
Whatever you do, don’t overdo it. Stop any activity if you feel dizzy, short of breath, start having contractions or vaginal bleeding, or if your legs swell up.
Don’t feel guilty
Don’t feel guilty if you reach a point where you just can’t do it anymore—especially toward the end of your pregnancy. Go ahead and relax: That little baby is going to keep you on your toes soon enough.