Exercise During Pregnancy

Staying active during pregnancy is encouraged and healthy for both mama and baby, but it can be hard to know what types of exercise are safe. Learn about the many benefits of exercise, and tips for maintaining fitness throughout your pregnancy.


  • Promotes healthy weight gain
  • Less back pain
  • More energy
  • Eases constipation
  • Relieves stress
  • Can lower risk for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia
  • Improves strength and endurance
  • Improves recovery after childbirth

Many types of exercise are deemed safe during pregnancy, unless you have serious medical conditions like heart and lung diseases or complications related to your cervix or placenta that increases chances of preterm labor. In many cases, if you were very active prior to pregnancy, you can continue with caution.

Things to remember during pregnancy:

  • Your joints become looser from hormonal changes and balance can become more difficult as your pregnancy progresses.
  • Compression of your diaphragm in late pregnancy can make breathing more challenging so avoid strenuous exercise.
  • Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day. This can include:
    • Brisk walking
    • Swimming
    • Prenatal yoga or Pilates
    • Stationary biking
    • Low-impact aerobics
  • Don’t forget to warm up and cool down
  • Stay hydrated: During pregnancy, you need half of your body weight in ounces, plus 20 more!
  • Exercise on flat, level surfaces to avoid injury
  • Pregnancy can cause feet to swell, so make sure your shoes are comfortable and not tight
  • Avoid lying on your back for long periods of time

If at any point you experience dizziness, pain, cramping, vaginal bleeding or other concerns, speak to your doctor. You may also encounter discomfort or pain in your feet or ankles during exercise as your body changes throughout your pregnancy. Consult with board-certified podiatrists to ensure that you are supporting your body with healthy, strong feet and to avoid injuries. At Your Next Step, our team of foot care specialists Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen are committed to helping patients of all ages through common issues like sports injuries, pediatric foot issues, diabetic foot problems, chronic heel pain, toe deformities, nerve pain, and fungal infections. Contact our offices in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA for an appointment!

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