Stop Doing These Exercises If You're Pregnant

pregnant woman dumbellsNot only can it help keep you in shape and possibly make losing your baby weight a bit easier -- working out during your pregnancy is also a great way to relieve stress and stay in tune with your body.

Let's face it -- anything that we can do to help make the long nine months of pregnancy a little easier and less stressful is more than worth it.

But at the same time, we also want to make sure we're not doing anything that could potentially harm our babies, so there are some general guidelines that should be followed when it comes to getting your sweat on.

(And always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.)


Here are seven types of exercise you should avoid taking part in while pregnant.

  1. Contact sports -- Ok, so odds are good you're not in a local football league or anything, but still -- you need to sit out from any activity where you could get pushed or hit -- by a person or by a flying ball or object. Basketball, volleyball, softball, hockey, lacrosse, etc. are not recommended.
  2. Sports where falls are likely -- Like skiing, horseback riding, skateboarding, skating -- anything where you could topple over or fall at any given moment.
  3. Lifting heavy weights -- Even if you are a huge fan of lifting, too much weight can put stress on your cardiovascular and muskoskeletal systems during pregnancy.
  4. Vigorous sports that affect balance -- Believe it or not, things like tennis, squash, and racquetball can throw off your center of gravity.
  5. Exercise that involves laying on your back -- During the second and third trimesters especially, working out on your back can decrease blood flow to your uterus.
  6. Sports involving rugged terrain -- If you're a runner, make sure to stay on level ground instead of going for trail runs where the ground is uneven and you could trip or fall. Also take caution when hiking or biking, even at a slow pace.
  7. Scuba diving -- Yes, diving should be avoided due to the risk of decompression sickness. By the same token, take extreme care when exercising at higher altitudes, especially if you are not accustomed to them.

What types of workouts have you been doing during your pregnancy?


Image via JGI/Jamie Grill/Corbis

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