two asian women smiling while working out on a treadmill

By Catherina CHUA Bee Hong Senior Principal Physiotherapist, Elizabeth CHAN Jiahui Principal Physiotherapist, KK Women's and Children's Hospital


Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant

benefits of exercising while pregnant

Exercising helps reduce constipation and helps you feel less tired at the end of the day. Staying active also enables better weight control and reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes and hypertension. Studies have also shown that staying fit helps mums-to-be regulate their mental and physical stress. This may help to reduce the likelihood of their babies developing colic. Babies with active mums are also believed to have improved neuro-development. Exercise does not increase your risk of miscarriage or induce preterm labour. However, please seek medical advice before starting any exercise programme.

Related: Being Fit When Pregnant

Recommended Exercises to Start With

recommended exercises to start with

If you're generally inactive or sedentary before your pregnancy, it's best to start with 15 minutes of exercise and gradually increase that to 30 minutes a day, five to seven days a week. These exercises can include walking, stair climbing or light aerobics. If you've always been active, go ahead and continue with your current exercise programme.

Related: Aqua Exercise in Pregnancy

How to Prepare Yourself for Exercise

how to prepare yourself for exercise

You should drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration and overheating. Avoid exercising in the sun and reduce the exercise intensity on hot days, of which there are plenty in Singapore. Remember to warm up and cool down to prepare the muscles and joints. Do also maintain good posture during exercising to avoid straining the joints. On top of all that, make sure you're eating enough and getting adequate calories to support your baby's growth and development.

It's perfectly normal to slow down your fitness intensity as your pregnancy progresses. It's important to always listen to your body and not force yourself to exercise. See your doctor immediately if you're not feeling well.

Read these next:

  • Exercising Safely in Your First Trimester — 5 Questions Answered
  • 3 Signs to Look Out for in Your First Trimester
  • Aqua Exercise in Pregnancy
  • Sources:

    The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

    Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore