Whether you're trying to conceive, just learned you're pregnant or already have a baby bump showing, keeping fit while you're pregnant is beneficial. In most cases, a complication-free and healthy pregnancy is fitness-friendly. However, you should always seek advice from your doctor first, especially if you plan on starting or trying something new.

Why keep fit? Your health and your baby’s health will benefit. Labour may also be less laborious.

Staying active can:

  • Help you keep extra weight off you and the baby.
  • Reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can lead to delivering preterm or an overweight baby. It also puts you at risk for developing type II diabetes later in life.
  • Easy labour and delivery. A strong core and pelvic floor and a fit heart will come in handy when the time comes to push. You’ll likely appreciate and welcome some extra strength and stamina.
  • Improve your level of energy, your mood and the quality of your sleep.
  • Reduce back pain, especially later in your pregnancy when you're carrying extra weight in the front and putting more strain on your back.

What activities are best during pregnancy? The ones that you feel comfortable doing and enjoy.

If you are already fit and have a workout routine, you should be able to continue doing the same activities. You may need to make some adjustments based on how you feel and others based on comfort and of course, some for safety.  Speak to your doctor and let your fitness instructor/personal trainer know that you are pregnant so they can offer you safe options as you progress throughout your pregnancy.

If you’re not active but want to get started, you can. However, you may not want to start running or jump into a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session. Low impact and more gentle activities will be better suited for you. Look for prenatal specific classes in your community and let them know your workout history

Where to start?

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Prenatal Aqua fitness
  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Prenatal Pilates
  • Light strength training

Active or not, first pregnancy or third, as long as you don’t have any complications or your doctor hasn't advised against it, the best thing you can do is to stay active. For all, activity and movement are good for you, now and later. If you are worried about anything or are unsure or have any doubts, then speak to professionals.

Katya MohsenKatya Mohsen is a personal trainer with over 10 years of experience in fitness and sports training. Catch her practical fitness advice Thursdays on Slice.ca.