Exercises That Aren't Safe During Pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy is important—but there are a few moves you should avoid.
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ByTracey Mallett
Mar 2021
Pregnant woman and her friend walking with baby in stroller for exercise.
Photo: Getty Images

Thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day is always encouraged during pregnancy, but there are definitely some safety guidelines you should follow when keeping fit while pregnant—not to mention some activities you should skip altogether. Get the rundown on what not to do:

Don’t exercise at all if you have…

  • Heart or lung disease
  • Incompetent cervix or cerclage
  • Placenta previa
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Multiples or another condition that puts you at risk for going into premature labor

Steer clear of…

  • Exercising to the point of exhaustion
  • Exercising while lying on your back during the second and third trimesters
  • Raising your body temperature too much (Drink plenty of water, wear loose-fitting clothes, and avoid working out in rooms with elevated heat—i.e., skip the hot yoga)
  • Activities that up your risk of falling and hurting your abdomen (such as basketball, soccer, skiing, in-line skating, gymnastics, horseback riding and racquet sports)
  • Scuba diving—it’s not safe at any point during your pregnancy

Call your doctor if you experience…

  • Muscle weakness
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Overheating
  • Pain in your pubic bone area
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cramps
  • Chest pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Leakage of amniotic fluid
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