Skip to main content

We’ve updated our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. By using this site, you agree to these terms.

Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Don’t be afraid to hit the gym

Pregnancy is an exciting time for expectant mothers and their families, but it can also bring a lot of worries. Many moms-to-be create a never-ending list of foods to avoid and often take a break from working out altogether for fear of injury. 

However, research has shown that exercise improves the health of both mom and baby throughout pregnancy, giving you one more reason to shake that cabin fever and get active. 

If you’re ready to get active but don’t know where to start, here are our do’s and don’ts for working out during pregnancy. 

Do: Speak to your doctor

Though exercise is healthy during pregnancy, not all pregnancies are the same. If any factors put you at a higher risk for complications, your doctor may recommend that you take a few months off from your fitness routine. 

“Your primary care doctor or OBGYN will know the stats on your pregnancy and will help you make the best decision,” says Dr. Manuel Arreguin, OBGYN and director of women’s services for Geisinger Northeast. “They can also recommend certain workouts that can help you get active without the risk.”

Don’t: Keep up with the Joneses

Everybody is different. It’s important to go at your own pace, even if you have friends or relatives who maintained a yoga practice into their third trimester, or you notice a pregnant woman at the gym with perfect squat form. 

Do: Get your heart pumping
Exercising regularly during your pregnancy will reduce symptoms of constipation, bloating and swelling, and help you sleep. Activities that boost cardiovascular fitness like walking, swimming and cycling are even proven to help with labor.

“Improving muscle tone and strength will help you maintain a strong support for joints and good posture as your baby grows, preventing achy joints and back,” explains Dr. Arreguin. “Plus, exercise releases endorphins that will boost your mood.”

Don’t: Overdo it
It’s never too late to start exercising, but if you haven’t been in the gym in a few months—or even if you’re a regular—it’s important to know your limits. A minimum of 30 minutes of activity a day is recommended for most pregnant women, but it might take you a few weeks to get there. Pushing your body too hard can lead to illness or injury.

“Pregnant women should avoid jumping or anything else that causes a lot of up and down movements, as well as activities like hot yoga. High heat and humidity put you at a higher risk for dehydration and breathing troubles,” notes Dr. Arreguin. 

You should also avoid anything high-impact or exercises that increase your risk of falling, like horseback riding or gymnastics. 

Do: Know your body 
If you’re thinking about starting a new workout routine, remember to keep an eye on vital signs like your heart rate, which should stay under 130 beats per minute. A good way to monitor your heart rate is with a tracking device. You should also try to monitor your blood pressure. Keeping track of your vital stats will help you identify issues before they arise. Your doctor will also check these factors during regular wellness visits. 

If you notice any sort of vaginal bleeding, fatigue or dizziness as a result of your workout, you should stop immediately and contact your doctor. 

Don’t: Focus on fashion 

The clothing you choose for your workout has a bigger impact than you might expect. Tight-fitting athletic pieces may restrict blood flow or drive up body temperature, increasing the risk of dehydration for mom and baby. Supportive bras are also important to protect your breasts, which might be more sensitive as lactation hormones are building. 

Dr. Arreguin is an obstetrician-gynecologist at Geisinger Kistler Clinic in Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger’s women’s health specialists are here to care for you every step of the way during your pregnancy and childbirth. To schedule an appointment with a caring Geisinger OBGYN or another women’s health specialist, please call 800-275-6401 or visit
Exercising when pregnant

Find a caring women’s health specialist

Content from General Links with modal content