Ease the Aches of Pregnancy with Exercise

The extra weight you gain during pregnancy may cause you to walk differently. These gait changes may cause women to overuse muscles and joints. Plus, pregnancy hormones cause your joints to relax. This makes them more movable.

The result? Pain in your lower back, pelvis, hips, and legs. Thankfully, exercise may help ease these aches.

Get active, be ache-free

Regular exercise can build muscles. This can relieve aches and pains due to pregnancy. Most women should aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. This type of exercise makes you feel like you’re breathing heavy. But you’re not breathing so heavy that you wouldn’t be able to carry on a conversation. Talk with your healthcare provider first before becoming active.

Squash those exercise fears

For women with uncomplicated pregnancies, exercise is not only safe. Research shows that it’s a good idea. This is true even for women who weren’t active before becoming pregnant.

Besides easing aches and pains, exercise can boost your self-image and help you cope with labor. It also poses few risks to the baby. Follow these tips for safe pregnancy fitness:

  • Get your healthcare provider's OK before you exercise.

  • Walking and swimming are great choices. Swimming can even help with low back pain.

  • Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after a workout. This can keep you from overheating or becoming dehydrated.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and a supportive bra that fits well.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2016

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