Avid athletes often need to put their favorite ways to get active on the back burner during pregnancy, but having a baby bump doesn't mean they have to lead a completely sedentary life. The slow, effective pace of exercises such as walking, swimming and yoga is more suitable for women who are pregnant. High-risk exercises, however, are best to avoid.
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The American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant women avoid all contact sports. Even sports such as volleyball and basketball, which don't necessarily revolve around hits, often involve diving and colliding in an attempt to get the ball. Avoid these activities -- even in the first trimester, when you might not even feel pregnant at all.
Regardless of your athletic background, pregnancy isn't the time to engage in extreme sports. Bicycle tricks, skateboarding, snowboarding, motocross and any other type of activity with a high fall, crash or injury risk puts your baby's life in danger. Skip mountain climbing, bungee jumping and sky diving, as well. Gymnastics, horseback riding and surfing are also off the table.
Certain Water Sports
If you like to swim, you can boast that you're performing one of the safest, most beneficial pregnancy exercises, according to the APA. Still, not all activities that take place in the water have a positive effect on your pregnancy. Water skiing, tubing and para-sailing can cause you to hit the water hard, belly first. Diving also carries a high injury risk for your developing baby. Pregnant women also must refrain from scuba diving. "As you surface, air bubbles can form in your bloodstream, which can be very dangerous for both you and your growing baby," says gynecologist Joanna Stone in an article on BabyCenter.
Activities You Might Need to Avoid
Stone recommends avoiding certain types of physical activity if you don't have pre-pregnancy experience with them. These activities include running, riding a bicycle and tennis. You also increase your risk of injury if you lift free weights incorrectly. Under the right conditions and with the right training and supervision, it's possible to perform these activities safely.