Q: What sports and exercise are safe to do during pregnancy?
A: Walking is considered the best exercise for anyone. Brisk walking gives a good total body workout and is easy on the joints and muscles. Other good activities for pregnant women include swimming and stationary biking. Jogging in moderation is fine, but since there's a greater risk of falling down, you should do it cautiously.
Avoid becoming overheated, and drink plenty of water to replace what you lose through sweating. Golf and bowling are fine as recreation, but they don't really condition the heart. Again, keeping your balance during the later months of pregnancy may pose a problem.
There are some risks from becoming overheated during pregnancy. This may cause loss of fluids and lead to dehydration and problems during pregnancy. Overheating in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy may be a contributing factor to the development of birth defects. When you exercise, follow these general guidelines for a safe and healthy exercise program:
- Drink plenty of water to help keep you from overheating and dehydrating.
- In the last half of pregnancy, avoid doing any exercises on your back.
- Don't exercise in hot, humid weather or when you are sick with a fever.
- Remain cool and wear comfortable clothing.
- Wear a bra that fits well and gives lots of support to help protect your breasts.
- Consume the extra 300 calories a day you need during pregnancy.