Pregnancy Home > Exercise During Pregnancy
Get physically active for your health and the health of your baby by using the following tips:
- Go for a walk around the block or through a shopping mall with your spouse or a friend.
- Sign up for a prenatal yoga, water aerobics, or fitness class. Make sure you let the instructor know that you are pregnant before beginning.
- Rent or buy an exercise video for pregnant women. Look for videos at your local library, video store, healthcare provider's office, hospital, or maternity clothing store.
- At your gym, community center, YMCA, or YWCA, sign up for a session with a fitness trainer who knows about physical activity during pregnancy.
- Get up and move around at least once an hour if you sit in a chair most of the day; get up and move around during commercials when watching TV.
Following healthy eating and physical activity habits after your baby is born may help you return to a healthy weight more quickly, provide you with good nutrition (which you especially need if you are breastfeeding), and give you the energy you need. You can also be a good role model for your growing child. After your baby is born:
- Continue eating well. Eat a variety of foods from the five food groups. If you are not breastfeeding, you will need about 300 fewer calories per day than you did while you were pregnant.
- If you are breastfeeding, you will need to eat about 300 more calories a day than you did while you were pregnant. Breastfeeding may help you return to a healthy weight more easily because it requires a great deal of energy. Breastfeeding can also protect your baby from illnesses, such as ear infections, colds, and allergies, and may help lower your risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
- When you feel able and your healthcare provider says it is safe, slowly get back to your routine of regular, moderate physical activity. Wait for four to six weeks after you have your baby to begin attempting higher levels of physical activity. Engaging in physical activity that is too hard too soon after delivery can delay your healing process. Regular, moderate physical activity will not affect your milk supply if you are breastfeeding.
- Return to a healthy weight gradually. Lose no more than one pound per week through a sound eating plan and regular physical activity after you deliver your baby.