By Nicole Pelletiere
Working out is hard work. So it might seem a little counterintuitive that pregnancy exercise won’t just give you more energy, but is actually good for your baby, too.
“It’s common to be especially cautious if you’re pregnant for the first time,” says Tasha Lawton, a fitness expert and creator of the pregnancy Pilates DVD Pregalates. “But pregnancy exercise will help balance your hormone levels, making you more likely to feel good physically and mentally.”
Pregnancy exercise safety
For low-risk pregnancies, 30 minutes of daily exercise is almost always OK. In fact, your doc will probably encourage it, since pregnancy exercise boosts your energy, reduces stress, helps you sleep better, and makes for a smoother labor. (Just be sure to get her go-ahead first.)
The two essentials to bear in mind? Keep your body temperature below 101°, and make sure your heart rate doesn’t exceed 140 beats per minute. That means steering clear of outdoor workouts on really hot days during a summer pregnancy, and generally sticking with low- or medium-impact activities like walking, swimming, and yoga. And of course, contact sports where you’re more likely to fall or take a hit are out, too.
Click through to learn more about the best pregnancy exercise for each trimester.