The joy of learning that you are pregnant is quickly followed by thoughts of what you need to do to make sure your baby is born healthy. This includes regular prenatal checkups with your doctor, not smoking or drinking alcohol while pregnant, taking prenatal vitamins and nutritional supplements, eating healthier foods and adding more calcium to your diet, getting a healthy amount of regular exercise, cutting back on your work hours when needed, and listening to your body when it says it is time for a rest.


As your baby grows inside of your tummy, you may not always feel much like exercising. This is normal because a lot of your energy, physical and emotional, is now devoted to the nurturing of your growing baby. It is very important to listen to your body during this time and if it says that it needs a rest, heed what your body is telling you for your health and the health of your baby.


There are benefits to exercise during pregnancy, and exercise is safe for pregnant women, as long as certain precautions are followed. A pregnant woman should never push herself past her limits exercising, while pregnant. The goals of exercise during pregnancy should be for preparing your body for the impending birth of your precious bundle of joy, and for keeping yourself fit and healthy, which also keeps your baby healthy. The goals of exercise during pregnancy should never be to reach new heights of fitness; you can worry about that after the baby arrives.


Women who have not engaged in regular exercise prior to becoming pregnant can still begin an exercise routine such as walking, and benefit themselves and their babies through exercise. For those women who have been exercising on a regular basis, it is safe to continue doing so, as long as they make modifications to their exercise routines such as keeping the heart rate from going above 140 beats per minute, and restricting the heavier lifts in weight training, or movements that may cause injury because a pregnant body is off-center due to the additional weight in the tummy region. These modifications to your regular exercise routine will keep you and your baby safe, while still allowing you and the baby to receive the benefits of exercise.


Exercise during pregnancy benefits your baby in that your placenta will increase in size and provide even more of the nutrients your baby needs to develop fully and healthy. An increase of nutrients will also give a boost to the immune system of your baby, for the best possible start to life long health.  


Exercise during pregnancy benefits your emotional health. Hormonal imbalances in the body are a natural result of pregnancy. This can lead to feeling irritable, tired, and even weepy at times. Exercise can help your body to regulate hormones so that you can experience less of these feelings, and instead experience more feelings of well being and happiness. The positive feelings will be transferred to your baby, allowing him or her to experience these same good feelings.


Exercising during pregnancy increases the strength of the muscles used to give birth, including those in your lower back. This results in less labor pains, and quicker deliveries, and has even been shown to result in the necessity of fewer caesarean births. And because you exercised during your pregnancy, your body will recover from giving birth much sooner.   


You and your baby can benefit from exercise during pregnancy. To learn more about the exercise resources available for you to stay healthy while pregnant and give your baby a healthy start, check out