Exercise 30 Minutes A Day
Pregnant women who want to stay in shape might want to consider moderate forms of exercise, such as swimming, walking or stationary cycling every day.
Moderate exercise is important
"Swimming, walking and cycling offer cardiovascular benefits and are safe activities for both the woman and the unborn child," says Dr Paula Amato, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "It's almost always a good idea for pregnant women to exercise moderately for 30 minutes per day."
Amato says a woman can typically continue the same exercise routine throughout pregnancy, as long as she feels well and there are no medical or obstetrical complications.
"It's always best to consult with your doctor before starting a work-out program, particularly if you did not exercise before becoming pregnant," Amato says. "Previously inactive women and those with medical or obstetrical complications should be evaluated by their physician before recommendations for physical activity during pregnancy are made."
Amato offers the following tips for staying fit during pregnancy: Avoid contact sports that increase your risk for falls and/or abdominal trauma such as downhill skiing or horseback riding.
Maintain your usual level of activity -- don't increase it. Women with uncomplicated pregnancies can remain active during pregnancy and should modify their usual exercise routines as medically advised.
Beyond the first trimester, avoid exercises such as sit-ups that require you to lie on your back, and avoid standing for long periods of time.
Physically active women with a history of, or a risk for, pre-term labor should reduce physical activity in the second and third trimesters.
Listen to your body. Stop exercising immediately if you experience dizziness, faintness, headaches or pain.
"The most important thing that a woman can do for the health of her unborn child is to consult with her physician or health care provider before beginning an exercise routine," Amato says.