For women with regular exercise routines, or for women who want to start exercising during their pregnancy in order to stay healthy and active, a common concern is: Can I work out while pregnant? Is it safe? 

In the past, women were discouraged from exercising during pregnancy. For previous generations of women, pregnancy was a time for “taking it easy,” lying down and keeping your feet up – especially as you entered your third trimester. Women were told to avoid activities from jogging even to simply driving a car.

However, as medicine has advanced, doctors no longer recommend that women avoid exercise – in fact, it’s often encouraged.

Advice to keep away from physical activity while pregnant is frankly outdated and no longer applicable to most women. Exercise, as a great form of stress relief, helps keep us physically healthy, but also mentally healthy.  Working out while pregnant offers many benefits for your pregnancy and delivery as well. For instance, when a woman’s abdominal core and pelvic floor are strengthened, her labor may be eased by these muscles being strong and active.

Pregnant women are advised to speak with their doctor regarding physical fitness and plans for exercise. Your level of activity may change as your pregnancy progresses, or the method in which you work out may need to change. Think high- vs. low-impact activities. Additionally, pregnancy can vary greatly from woman to woman, and women with high-risk pregnancies may need to exercise special caution. Your doctor can help you form a list of activities that will satisfy your workout routine, but also keep mom and baby safe.

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life, but it does not mean that the moment pregnancy is confirmed you need to rest up for the next nine months. Confining yourself to no physical activity during this time can be unhealthy for your mind and body. If you are interested in learning more about pregnancy, we invite you to visit some of our most popular blog posts on the topic: