Tips For All Levels: Prenatal Fitness Success

Expert tips for exercising while pregnant, customized to your fitness starting point


Whether you're an exercise newbie or a seasoned vet, here are experts' tips on exercising while pregnant (and no matter what level you are, always drink water before, during and after your workout). Stop back-lying abdominal exercises after the third month and switch to seated ones.

Beginner Start doing light- to moderate-intensity, low-impact exercise--such as 30 minutes a day of swimming, walking, prenatal yoga, etc.--as early as possible (before conception is best) and continue throughout pregnancy if you can.

Upper-body strength training with light weights can prepare you for carrying your infant and all his gear and prevent back strain while breastfeeding.

Intermediate Do some sort of cardiovascular exercise--walking, running, swimming or cardio machines--at least 30 minutes every day. Make sure you are able to talk in complete sentences while exercising, and stop if you feel lightheaded or start having uterine contractions.

Aim to maintain--not build--strength by lifting lighter weights and doing higher numbers of repetitions when strength training.

Advanced Cease activities such as surfing, mountain biking, in-line skating and skiing after the first trimester because of the risk of falls.

Do skill-building drills--like taking shots on goals in soccer or practicing basketball free throws--after the first trimester, rather than playing in a game in which you risk contact or tripping.

GET INSPIRED "How I DId It" Prenatal Exercise Success Stories:

Learning New Ways To Move - Jill Kinney Big Strides - Corina DuBois Tweaking an Old Routine - Sarah Manes Maintenance is Key - Alison Ferguson Stepping Up Exercise - Stacie Bryant