How to Get in Shape While Pregnant

Following a workout routine can help alleviate some of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy.
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Gaining weight during pregnancy is essential for your baby's health and development. Staying in shape while pregnant should not be used to prevent weight gain. Exercising regularly during your pregnancy, however, can keep you feeling fit, alleviate pregnancy aches and pains, and help your body return to its prepregnancy fitness and weight after giving birth.Talk to your physician before continuing or beginning your fitness plan to make sure it is safe for you and your baby.


Step 1

Make a fitness plan, approved by your physician, to keep your body toned and in shape. Many common exercises, including swimming, biking, walking and running, yoga and aerobics, are safe to continue or begin during pregnancy. Swimming is the safest of these exercises; it enhances fitness while supporting the weight of your body.

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Step 2

Do Kegel exercises, pelvic tilts, pelvic floor stretches and other stomach exercises each day to strengthen your pelvic and abdominal muscles in preparation for birth and to enhance bladder control during pregnancy.

Step 3

Keep a regular exercise schedule. If you exercised regularly before pregnancy, continue with your routine as long as you feel comfortable with it and your doctor approves. If you are only beginning to exercise now that you are pregnant, begin with 5 minutes a day and add 5 minutes each week until you regularly exercise for 30 minutes a day.

Step 4

Warm up for at least 5 minutes before beginning your exercise routine. Walk for a few minutes, or try basic exercises, such as stretching your neck, shoulders and calves.

Step 5

Consume 300 to 500 additional calories each day, or as directed by your physician.


Stay well hydrated while exercising and throughout the day. Wear supportive shoes and well-fitted clothes when exercising to reduce unexpected falls or injury. When exercising, take breaks to avoid getting overheated, and avoid lying on your back.


Refrain from all physical contact sports, exercises that could jolt or impact your abdomen, and activities that risk falling. Sudden movements during exercise can hurt you or your baby. Horseback riding, water sports, skiing, hockey and boxing should all be avoided during pregnancy. Stop exercising If you get dizzy, nauseated or overheated; if feel your heart beating faster than usual; or get swollen calves. Contact your physician if your symptoms remain. Discontinue your fitness program for the duration of your pregnancy, or as otherwise advised by your physician, if you have high blood pressure, early contractions or vaginal bleeding.

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references & resources

Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.