10 Exercises You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

Written by Enozia Vakil
Last Updated on

Are you experiencing the beautiful phase of pregnancy? Are you wondering whether exercising while expecting is safe or not? If this sounds like you, read this post.

You might be inclined to believe that exercise can’t possibly be safe during pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, exercise is quite important during pregnancy and has many health benefits. However, there are some types of exercises you must avoid during pregnancy. Want to know more? Read on!

Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy:

You may want to sit back and relax during your pregnancy period, but the truth is exercising now could have many benefits for both you and your baby. We list some of these benefits here:

  • Regular exercise during pregnancy can boost mood and improve energy levels.
  • It can also help prevent back pain and other discomforts associated with pregnancy.
  • Exercise helps improve muscle strength and stamina.
  • Women affected by sleep disorders during pregnancy can ease their condition by regular exercise.
  • Exercising during pregnancy also prevents additional weight gain, and possibly reduces the risk of gestational diabetes as well.
  • Some experts also believe that exercise could help reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and keep your body in shape to prepare it for labor and delivery (1)

Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy:

While exercising during pregnancy does have many health benefits, it is important to know what exercises to avoid during this rather delicate stage.

  1. Heavy weight lifting exercises that cause cardiovascular and musculoskeletal stress system are a strict no-no.
  1. Avoid any yoga exercises that involve holding your breath during difficult positions.
  1. Exercises that involve lying on the back (after the first trimester of pregnancy_ and on the stomach, should be completely avoided.
  1. Standing for prolonged durations for any form of exercise is not recommended during pregnancy.
  1. Avoid exercises aimed at the abdominal muscles during pregnancy, as they may prove to be quite uncomfortable.
  1. Avoid sports activities that occur at high altitudes.
  1. Avoid activities like scuba diving, as they can increase the risk of birth defects in your unborn child.
  1. Avoid taking part in high-impact sports such as basketball, ice hockey, soccer, etc. when you are pregnant. These activities pose a risk of abdominal trauma, joint stress, and injury.
  1. Avoid vigorous activities such as tennis and squash during pregnancy.
  1. Avoid all sports and physical activities that sap your energy, while increasing the risk of falls, including horseback riding, gymnastics, and water skiing (2).

Additional Tips To Exercise While Pregnant:

If you haven’t been active prior to your pregnancy stage, it is best to seek a medical opinion before starting to exercise. Following these additional simple tips could help you follow a safe and healthy exercise routine during pregnancy.

  1. If you are a diabetic or are prone to heart disease or asthma, seek medical advice before you begin any exercise routine during pregnancy.
  1. Women affected by pregnancy related conditions such as a weakened cervix, history of premature birth, low placenta, bleeding and spotting, etc. should also speak to their doctor and understand the best exercises for them.
  1. Avoid pressurizing yourself and stick to light physical activities throughout the day, instead of a single 30 minute intense session (3).

Have a professional guide you through your routine. It is one of the most effective ways to make sure you get enough exercise when you are pregnant.

We hope this post encouraged you to exercise during pregnancy, and helped you understand what exercises to avoid. Tell us about your experience of exercising during pregnancy here. Leave a comment below.

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