10 Safe Exercises for Pregnant Women

10 Safe Exercises for Pregnant Women

Your ankles are swollen and your back aches; you cannot sleep and let us simply not talk about constipation and bloating. Being a pregnant woman, you would be thinking of a certain kind of exercise that minimizes the basic and common symptoms of your pregnancy.

Well, exercising is the best way for curing all kinds of pains and aches that you might have during pregnancy. Keep in mind that working out while you are pregnant will provide a huge benefit for you as well as your baby. Your mood will get boosted and there will be a decrease in the pregnancy symptoms and lead to faster postpartum recovery. Plus, the best part is that your baby will end up enjoying a lower BMI, fitter heart, and an extensive boost in brain health.

Here it will not matter if you are a sofa slacker or ironwoman. You would get the best benefits if you are active while you are pregnant. It is safe to exercise while you are pregnant if your practitioner provides the green light.

Working Out While Expecting Is Good

Of course, maintaining a regular exercise routine while you are pregnant will help you to become healthy and feel best. No doubt, regularly exercising while you are pregnant will help in improving your posture. Also, it decreases the most common discomfort like fatigue and backaches.

Various studies are showing that physical activities will help in avoiding gestational diabetes that is commonly developed during pregnancy, relieves stress, and helps in creating more stamina for delivery and labour. Now if you were physically active before you have become pregnant, then you must continue doing serious exercises in moderation. Never try to exercise right at your former stamina. You need to do with what you are comfortable with. Go for low impact aerobics rather than the high impact ones.

Also, if you are an athlete who is pregnant, then you must strictly follow the instructions of your obstetrician.

Exercise Regularly Even If You Have Never Done

Some of you might not have exercised regularly previously. Well, now it is the best time to start exercising while you are pregnant. Do it only after you consult your doctor. Most importantly, never try new and strenuous activities. It is better if you opt for walking which is the safest way while you are pregnant.

Studies show that pregnant women should at least walk for 30 minutes or they should do a moderate amount of exercise each day if not all the days of the week. The only thing that must stop you from doing exercise is if you have any medical condition or pregnancy complications.

Who Must Not Exercise While Being Pregnant?

If you are suffering from any kind of medical issue like heart disease, asthma, and diabetes, then you should not exercise. Besides, exercising is critical and life-threatening if you are suffering from pregnancy-related conditions like low placenta, spotting and bleeding, weak cervix, recurrent or threatened miscarriage, history of early labour or previous premature births, etc.

Types of Exercises Safe While You Are Pregnant

Most of the exercises are safe to do during your pregnancy. However, you need to exercise with caution and never try to overdo it. Here the most productive and safest exercising activities are brisk walking, swimming, indoor stationary cycling, low-impact aerobics, etc. Here such activities will carry a bit of risk in terms of injury, thereby benefiting your whole body and this can continue until birth.

Racquetball and tennis are some of the safest activities, however, the changes in the balance will simply affect pregnancy and will affect the rapid movement. You can try other major activities like jogging which can be done in moderation, and this is something you need to do before you are pregnant. Frankly, you need to go for activities and exercises that will not need any kind of balance and coordination. This is common during later pregnancy.

What Are Exercise You Must Avoid While You Are Pregnant?

Now there are certain activities and exercises that are harmful especially when you are pregnant. Some of them are –

  • Holding Breath During Exercising
  • Activities involving falling like horseback riding and skiing
  • Contact sports like football, softball, volleyball, and basketball
  • Any kind of exercise that might lead to mild abdominal trauma like rapid changes in direction or jarring motions.
  • Deep knee bends, double leg raises, full sit-ups, straight-leg toe touches, etc.
  • Activities requiring activities like hopping, jumping, bouncing, skipping, running, etc.
  • Waist-twisting movements like standing
  • Bouncing while stretching
  • Exercising during humid and hot weather
  • Heavy exercising followed by long periods of no amount of activity.

Pregnancy Changes Affecting Your Exercising Regime

As we all know physical changes during pregnancy will lead to extra demand on your body. There are various changes that your body will get accustomed to, so just try to listen to your body and make sure to adjust the exercise routines and activities if necessary.

As you are creating a baby, internal changes are happening, and these would require you to consume more oxygen and energy. Furthermore, hormones produced during your pregnancy will ligaments supporting the joints to stretch, and this will increase the risk of getting injured.

Also, the uneven distribution of the weight and extra weight will shift the centre of your gravity. The extra weight will even put huge stress on your muscles and joints, especially in the lower back and pelvic areas. Hence, this will easily make you lose your balance.

Dangerous Conditions and Warning For Pregnant Women

You need to avoid exercising and consult your doctor when you are suffering from the below conditions –

  • Feeling chest pain
  • Having a headache
  • Having pelvic pain, abdominal pain, or constant contractions
  • Feeling dizzy, fainting, light-headed, and nauseous
  • Noticing a decrease or absences in foetal movement
  • Having vaginal bleeding
  • Feeling clammy or cold
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Having a sudden gush of fluid flowing from the vagina or a trickle of fluid leaking at a steady rate
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden swelling in hands, ankles, calf pain, face, etc
  • Suffering from muscle weakness
  • Difficulty in walking

Doing Best Cardio Exercises While Being Pregnant

As soon as you have got the green signal from your doctor to exercise, you can do various kinds of cardiovascular exercises that help in increasing blood circulation, endurance, and muscle tone. Some of the major exercises are –


Water aerobics and swimming would be the perfect workout during your pregnancy. Well, the major reason is that in the water, you will be weighing less compared to what you are weighing less on the land. Therefore, you will easily feel agile and lighter.

Besides, a dip in the pool will help in relieving sciatic pain, nausea, and puffy ankle. Most importantly, the baby is floating with you, this will be gentle on loosening joints and even the ligaments of your body.

However, you need to be careful while you are walking on the slippery side of the pool and try to slide or step in the water rather than just jumping or diving into it. Frankly, the baby growing inside you cannot handle the bubbles that would get formed inside your body when altitude changes especially under the pressure of the water.

Furthermore, as the pregnancy progresses, the centre of gravity will be simply off. Here it means that the impact of the diving will not be something worth the potential risk you want to take.


Keep in mind that there is no other easy exercise that can easily fit your busy schedule compared to waking while you are pregnant. This is a great workout that you can simply continue to follow doing until it is the time of your delivery.

The best part is that you will not require using any kind of special equipment or gym memberships for participating. All you would need is some best sneakers.


Do you want to run faster? If you are an experienced runner, you can stay on track while you are pregnant, only if your doctor is fine. Make sure that you stick to your terrain level or use a treadmill and never try to overdo it. Sometimes loose ligaments and joints in the pregnancy stage will make jogging harder on your knees and they would lead to higher injury.

Stair Climbers or Ellipticals

Another great exercise is stair climbers and elliptical. In this exercise, you must adjust your speed and tension and incline to the level that is comfortable for you. Just keep in mind that as the pregnancy is progressing, you will have a harder time resisting. Try to make sure that you pay extensive attention to where you are stepping to avoid all kinds of stumbles.

Aerobic Classes and Group Dance

Dance workout classes and low-impact aerobics like Zumba are the best ways to increase your heart rate. Also, it is the best way for the endorphins to flow, especially if you are a newbie in exercising.

Slowly, as your abdomen expands, try to avoid doing any activities that need careful balance. Being an experienced athlete, just make sure to listen to your body and try to avoid movements involving high impact and jumping. It is important you should never exercise right to the point of exhaustion.

Since your abdomen is expanding, try to avoid any activity that would need a careful amount of balance. In case you are an experienced athlete, just listen to your body and make sure to avoid high impact or jumping movements.

Especially avoid exercising to the point of exhaustion. Now if you are new to exercising, just go for the water version of aerobics.

Indoor Cycling

You might be spinning for a major part in the last six months before getting pregnant. In such a case, you can continue indoor cycling if you try to tone down the workout and get favourable tips from your doctor.

Of course, indoor cycling is a great exercise, as it allows you to constantly pedal right at your own pace. Hence, there is no risk of putting any kind of pressure on your ankle or falling.

If you have an instructor, make sure that he or she is aware that you are pregnant. Also, sit out sprints, especially if you are feeling exhausted and overheated. Make sure to adjusts the handlebars for ensuring that you are not leaning forward and more of upright. This will help in avoiding pressure to be placed on your lower back.


If your doctor allows and being a kickboxer (i.e. only if you are an experienced one), you can continue your training or fighting in the ring. Of course, you might find that you are not that much graceful or doing great kicks as you were while you were pregnant, still, this is surely a slow start.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Workouts

One thing you must keep in mind is that high-intensity interval training is not for all expecting women. These workouts are more of hardcore and it would get your heart rate right up. Also, you must keep taking periodic rests after certain workouts.

Frankly, it is a too intense workout for anyone who is expecting for the first time. You can make certain modifications after consulting your instructor and doctor.


One of the best exercises to increase your muscle tone is lifting weights. Since you are pregnant, it is better to go for a lower weight than usual. Plus, it would be better to switch to machines as it would reduce the range of motions, thereby limiting the chances of getting injured.

Yoga and Pilates

Most women who are expecting go for Pilates and yoga as they help in strengthening your core. It also lengthens your muscles using low or no impact methods. Even yoga can be great for moms as it helps in flexibility, relaxation, deep breathing, and more focus.

Wrapping Up

It is a great joy to be mother, and your happiness can be even more if you are able to continue doing exercising and maintain the previous body shape that you had before getting pregnant. Besides, that exercise can be great while giving birth as it helps in easing your pain and provides a required comfort during childbirth.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.