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Everything You Need to Know About Exercising While Pregnant

by Dr. Meika
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This one is for our mamas and mamas-to-be. For many, pregnancy is completely uncharted territory. But even if you’ve popped out a small human or two, you, your body, and your pregnancy are different with the awaited arrival of each child. While it may seem that everybody and their mother {and their grandmothers and aunts} have an opinion about how to be pregnant, we decided it best to go straight to an expert. So, we sat down with Dr. Meika Roberson — the Chief Medical Officer at CarePoint Health in Hoboken — to pick her brain about some of those new mom questions that may be on your preggo-brain {feel free to email them to us and we’ll pass them along!}. Today, we’re talkin’ pregnancy, and tomorrow — who knows? But don’t worry, we’ll do the asking for you…

Q: Dear Dr. Meika,

I’m pregnant, and I am afraid of exercising… but my butt is getting huge. What can I do?

Love, Eating for Two, Exercising for Zero  

Dr. Meika says:

Dear, Eating for Two, Exercising for Zero,

I say, go for it! …after checking with your doctor, of course. Pregnant women are just that — pregnant. You are not little delicate princesses.

For some women, once the pee stick says +, their whole life changes. So they cover themselves in bubble wrap and stop going to the gym. What?! Why? There is great benefit in exercising while pregnant. Exercise will help your energy level, joints, muscles and, interestingly enough, during pregnancy, will increase oxygen and reduce stress to your unborn baby, so it will help prepare you for labor and delivery. It will also help you get back on your feet quicker after delivery.

The key to exercising while pregnant is to listen to your body. It will tell you when you’re pushing too hard, when you need water, when you aren’t eating right, and when you need to rest.

JK Therapy
Vepo Clean

Recommendations set forth by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), updated in 2015, state that women without major medical or obstetric complications should get at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise {enough to get you moving, while still being able to carry on a conversation} at least 3 days a week.

Ok, so essentially, after you get your doctor’s approval just get out there and start moving or keep moving.  

Zap Fitness

Read More: Your Cheatsheet to Being Pregnant {in Hoboken}

Suggestions on How to Exercise While Pregnant:

Swimming + Water Aerobics – Stevens’ Institute has open swim days.

Walking – Pier A, Liberty state park, or Fort Lee Park. You can listen to music or a book while you walk.

Running – Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced runner, just make sure to jog on even pathways. Your ligaments and joints are the same as when you weren’t pregnant. And as you get into the 3rd trimester… you can’t always see your sneakers.

Indoor Cycling – I hear SoulCycle is coming to Hoboken! There are also some great locally-owned spots: Prime Cycle, CycleBar, and Rush Cycling!

Weight Lifting – You can do more than 5-10 pounds. In fact, 10-20 is fine. This will really help you during labor.

Pilates – Really great for the joints and labor positions.

Prenatal Yoga – Avoid inverted poses and positions where you might fall, like warrior pose and tree pose, or have a partner support you. Bikram or Hot yoga is greatly debated online. ACOG and other medical journal advise against hot yoga. But I have seen 2nd and 3rd trimester women in my bikram classes. So, speak to your doctor.

Group Dance or Aerobics ClassesAlways let the instructor know you are pregnant.

Read More: Prime Cycle Downtown {Review}

It’s being sedentary that is the real health risk in pregnancy — not having a great workout. A study followed a group of 18 pregnant women, starting in their first trimester, assigning eight to a sedentary group and 10 to an active one, in which they were asked to exercise at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week. Eight to 12 days after the women gave birth, researchers fitted the newborns with electrodes that measure brain activity in response to various sounds — an established test for memory. Indeed, the newborns of active moms showed more mature, more effective brain patterns. Hmmmm. Interesting. So, get moving!

Read more: All About Crunch Fitness {+ 5-Day Pass and Training Session FREE}


Have a question for Dr. Meika that you want answered? Email it to [email protected] {and feel free to change your name/give yourself a nickname if you want to remain anonymous}. We’ll be treating this like Dear Abby, so don’t worry about asking weird Qs – we’re all ears and won’t blow up your spot 🙂

This information should not be used or relied upon for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Dr. Meika expressly disclaims responsibility and shall have no liability for any damages, loss, injury or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site. Dr. Meika does not endorse specifically any test treatment or procedure mentioned on this site. If you are having a medical emergency please call 9-1-1.

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