Exercise tips when you’re pregnant:
- always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards.
- try to keep active on a daily basis: half an hour of walking each day can be enough.
- if you can’t manage that, any amount is better than nothing.
- avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather
- drink plenty of water and other fluids
- if you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, and knows that you’re pregnant as well as how many weeks pregnant you are
- you might like to try swimming because the water will support your increased weight. Some local swimming pools provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors. Find your local sport and fitness services
- horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, should only be done with caution. Falls may risk damage to the baby
Exercises to avoid in pregnancy
- don’t lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because the weight of your bump presses on the main blood vessel bringing blood back to your heart and this can make you feel faint
- avoid contact sports where there’s a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, judo or squash
- don’t go scuba diving, because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the bloodstream)
- don’t exercise at heights over 2,500m above sea level until you have acclimatised: this is because you and your baby are at risk of altitude sickness