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Maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel your best. It can also improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts like backaches and fatigue. There is evidence that it may prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), relievestress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.

If you were physically active before your pregnancy, you should be able to continue your activity with modifications as necessary. You can exercise at your former level as long as you are comfortable and have your doctor’s approval. Low impactaerobics are encouraged versus high impact. Do not let your heart rate exceed 140 beats per minute. The pregnant competitive athlete should be closely followed by an obstetrical provider.

If you have never exercised regularly before, you can safely begin an exercise program during pregnancy after consulting with your health care provider. Do not try a new, strenuous activity. Walking and swimming are considered safe to initiate when pregnant. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day on most if not all days of the week, unless you have a medical or obstetric complication.

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