Exercising safely during pregnancy

During pregnancy it is important to keep exercising to ensure you stay fit and healthy.

If you have any medical conditions, please check with your midwife or doctor before exercising.

Exercises recommended during pregnancy include:

  • walking
  • low impact exercise
  • swimming (not breaststroke)
  • exercising in water
  • cycling on a stationary or indoor bike
  • light weight training.

If you have any of the following conditions, seek medical advice from your doctor or midwife before starting an exercise program:

  • heart condition or high blood pressure
  • lung condition
  • risk of premature labour, incompetent cervix or placenta previa after 26 weeks of pregnancy.

If you have any of the following symptoms, stop exercising and seek medical advice from your doctor or midwife:

  • heart palpitations
  • dizziness, shortness of breath, blurred vision, headache, chest pain, nausea or vomiting
  • vaginal bleeding or contractions, leaking amniotic fluid (the fluid around your baby), reduced movements of your baby
  • calf pain or swelling, muscle weakness
  • pain or pins and needles or numbness.

Learn about exercise in pregnancy

Strength exercises during pregnancy

Exercises to avoid during pregnancy

Avoid the following exercises:

  • lifting heavy weights
  • high impact exercise (running and jumping)
  • contact sports
  • sit-ups
  • any asymmetrical movements (standing on one leg)
  • any exercise that:
    • causes pain
    • require you to hold your breath
    • requires you to be lying flat on your back
    • involves prolonged standing
    • involves quick changes in direction.

Learn more about physiotherapy during pregnancy

Find out more