Can exercise during pregnancy hurt my baby?

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Although being pregnant is a great excuse to indulge your craving for ice cream and laze around on the couch watching reruns of your favorite ’90s sitcoms, experts recommend that you continue to get at least moderate exercise throughout the duration of your pregnancy. Staying in shape while you’re pregnant will keep both you and your growing fetus healthy, and you’ll find it much easier to shed those post-pregnancy pounds once your baby arrives. But can you exercise too much or too vigorously?

If you exercise the right way, working out during your pregnancy is good for both you and your baby. Low-impact exercises like yoga, Pilates, and swimming are best because they won’t add strain to your already stressed joints. At the gym, the stationary bike and the elliptical are better than the treadmill for the same reasons.

If you had a workout routine before you conceived, you can continue to follow it – but tone down the intensity and stop when you feel tired or strained.

If you didn’t exercise regularly before you became pregnant, stick to gentle activity that keeps you active without putting any additional stress on your body. Taking a stroll around the block with a friend or walking your dog daily are excellent exercises for pregnant women of all athletic conditions.

As always, consult your doctor or midwife before making any changes to your exercise routine. If you experience any lightheadedness or nausea, stop exercising immediately and get in touch with your health care provider.

Read more: 5 surprising benefits of exercising during pregnancy 

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