Pregnant and exercising

For some women, exercising is a given and for others it is not done. If a woman never exercises, there is little chance that she will exercise intensively during pregnancy. An actively exercising woman is more likely to try to continue exercising and then there is a large group that may be in a twilight area in terms of sports.

A changing woman

What we do know, but you don’t always realize, is that the body and mind will change from the very first moment of fertilization. Often when you notice something about it as a woman, you think about it again. What kinds of discomforts/changes can arise:

  • The well-known morning sickness, where as a woman you feel nauseous or even vomit and the first moment of the day is not really cheerful. Although as a woman you should continue to eat well, this is not always easy with morning sickness.
  • As a woman, you can experience greatly increased fatigue, especially in the first few months. Sometimes even a listless feeling can take over you.
  • Joint ligaments also become more flexible during pregnancy.
  • Your weight increases and with each pregnancy you have to wait and see whether you carry around or in a point. In other words, does the weight also sit on the hips or is everything focused on the abdomen.
  • Breasts can then also become a lot more sensitive and usually increase at least one cup size.
  • The behavior of the pregnant woman can change somewhat under the influence of hormones. Somewhat more moody or emotional is common.
  • The urge to nest increases, in the form of furnishing, tidying up, etc.

The exercising pregnant woman

The woman who has always exercised will generally continue to exercise for longer without experiencing any problems. The body is designed for this and that makes the process easier. However, the growing baby needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to continue growing. It goes without saying that when that supply decreases drastically, it affects the baby.

However, various studies show that the blood flow to the uterus and placenta is not put under pressure in exercising women. We are talking about up to about 35 to 40 minutes of significant effort. The heart rate increases slightly and you may notice this in the baby with a slightly increased heart rate, but not always and the change appears to be minimal from the studies. Furthermore, the woman does not notice anything (so no hard bellies) and the baby responds well to it. The studies indicate that there are no more or less cases of premature births or abnormalities of the baby in women who exercise.

Source: TawnyNina, Pixabay

What should you pay attention to as a woman?
The woman herself may sustain some injuries earlier, because the ligaments become more flexible during pregnancy. Great for during childbirth, but slightly less so for the exercising woman. Consider, for example, the ankle joint. It goes without saying that we are talking about a normal pregnancy, because if the pregnancy does not go completely as planned, these types of matters should of course be done in consultation with the obstetrician or gynecologist. If you, as a woman, experience hard stomachs while exercising, it is important that you stop. It is also useful to purchase a good sports bra when exercising. The breasts become larger and always need support during exercise, but especially during pregnancy. Moreover, it can also feel painful.

Not such an active athlete?

There are of course also plenty of women who are not very sporty, but continuing to exercise is also important during pregnancy (of course we are talking about normal pregnancy here). Intensive exercise usually does not work, but there are other activities you can do that will keep you moving.

  • To walk
  • Nordic walking
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Golf
  • Cycling (recreational)
  • Yoga (special exercises for pregnant women)

Of course, if you as a woman get a very big belly, it becomes increasingly difficult to cycle, hit that golf ball and walk a long way. Swimming often takes the longest for most women.


But whether you are an intensive athlete or a less intensive athlete, it is always important to listen carefully to your body and act accordingly. Your performance simply decreases during pregnancy, so trying to maintain that peak at all costs may well be to the detriment of your baby. Accept what is feasible and what you feel good about. After pregnancy, you can resume your activities quickly enough if desired.