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Exercising during Pregnancy. Can you continue to exercise during pregnancy?

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

The best exercise in pregnancy is;

- Swimming (or Aquanatal)

- Pregnancy Yoga (Prenatal Yoga)

- Walking

WHY Should I exercise during pregnancy?

The right exercise in pregnancy can make such a difference to your pregnancy, birth and postnatal recovery, but there are a few that should be avoided, especially high impact, contact sports or where there is a risk of falling.

For example exercises to be avoided

- Lifting heavy objects or weight lifting

- Any contact sports and some competitive sports

- Scuba diving due to increase in pressure

- Any activity where there is a risk of falling i.e. skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing….

- Intense cardiovascular exercise. Your heart rate should stay under 140 beats per minute

during your workout.

- Any exercise that involves laying on your back or tummy

It’s always worth checking with your midwife, consultant or doctor on appropriate exercise in


Exercise is important in pregnancy, it can help ease aches, pains, depression and fatigue

Exercising in pregnancy can be very different, often in standard exercise classes we push ourselves further, we feel discomfort and feel we need to push further into it. In pregnancy it’s about learning to listen and trust your body, if you feel discomfort your body is telling you to change or stop. Learning to listen and adapt just as you will in labour.

Be aware that as hormone levels change the body can overstretch more easily, the joints soften and open, especially the hips are more prone. So gentle exercise that supports the joints and keeps balance. This in turn gives space for baby to grow and get into their ideal position.

Extra weight is being carried, with baby, uterus, placenta, amniotic fluid, so exercise that supports the body is key. Especially as with blood and fluid volume changes your balance can change.

So what exercise is best and why?

Swimming/ Aquanatal/ Pregnancy Water Aerobics – water provides relief from carrying the extra weight of pregnancy, taking pressure off the joints and enabling you to move in a way you can’t on land.

Aquanatal classes are available weekly currently in Derby area. Book now!

Pregnancy Yoga – helps to release tension and pressure in the body, helps you relax and keep you flexible.

Walking – Short walks are best and consider wearing a support belt to prevent hips from over flexing.

Good for mental health and mild cardiovascular.

TIP: going to a specific prenatal/ pregnancy class means that your specific needs can be met and also a great way to meet other local mums.

FACT: research has shown that pregnancy yoga practised at least once a week can improve birth, shorten labour and increase pain intolerance (Corrigen et al 2022). Plus lots of techniques can be carried through postnatally and improve recovery.

Pregnancy Yoga classes are available throughout Staffordshire and Derbyshire. You can find out more about the current class availability on the booking section of the website.

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