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When not to exercise

Although it’s very important to exercise during pregnancy, sometimes the unexpected happens, and it’s actually riskier to work out than to not.

Bed rest

Although it is being ordered less and less often these days, women who are deemed to have cervical insufficiency, or other type of potential pregnancy complication may be instructed to remain on bed rest for the rest of their pregnancy until delivery day. Women who are put on bed rest should avoid activity (save trips to the bathroom, etc.) unless specifically instructed by their healthcare provider. Although you may not be able to get the exercise you’d like, there are still ways to get a bit of activity, like lifting very light weights in bed, or doing ankle circles. However, you should always speak with your healthcare provider before beginning any activity regimen while on bed rest, no matter how slight.

Symptoms to never ignore

If you notice vaginal bleeding, or serious vision changes, or another of the symptoms to never ignore, it’s a good idea to avoid exercise even if you haven’t spoken to your healthcare provider yet. One day skipping exercise won’t hurt, particularly if it may exacerbate an existing problem.

General discomfort

Even if you’re otherwise perfectly healthy, it’s completely okay to take a break from the exercise every now and then. From too tired, to too bloated, to too swollen, there are lots of reasons you might not want to work out on a given day during pregnancy, and here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with that! Everybody deserves a break every now and then, so if you’re not up to it, youre not up to it – it’s not fair or realistic to place undue pressure on yourself to workout everyday.

You should always speak to your healthcare provider about exercising during pregnancy, particularly if you think you might have a more serious issue.

Read more
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Bed rest during pregnancy: Get the facts.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 4/13/2014. Web.
  • SL Nascimento, et al. “Physical exercise during pregnancy: a systematic review.” Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 24(6):387-94. Web. Dec 2012.
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