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Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Choosing The Right Activity

If you are having a normal pregnancy, you can probably continue your favorite sport or workout routine, albeit with some modifications from your doctor. Pregnancy is not the time to take up a new, strenuous sport. Following are some activities that are particularly recommended during pregnancy:

Walking

Even if you are not usually an active person, you can begin a moderate walking program. Try walking at a brisk pace for 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week.

Swimming

This sport is a great activity for your body because it tones different muscles while the water supports your weight. Diving in the later months of pregnancy is not advised, and scuba diving is not recommended at any time during your pregnancy. Hot tubs and saunas should also be avoided, as should swimming in pool water that is too hot or cold.

Stationary Cycling

Stationary cycling is preferable to road biking because of weight and balance changes that occur during pregnancy. Pay attention to your posture, and don't lean over the handlebars in a way that could give you a backache.

Classes For Pregnant Women

Check your local health club or YMCA for calisthenics or yoga classes to get into shape without straining your body.

Other sports and exercise activities — such as jogging, racquet sports (tennis, racquetball and squash) and strength training — are fairly safe for well-conditioned and experienced athletes, provided they exercise caution and moderation. But pregnancy is not the time to participate in strenuous activities with an increased risk of overheating or injury.

Last updated July 1, 2009




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