Best sports activities during pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Here come nine months full of excitement and wonder, plus some tiredness, a little stress and of course sudden cravings for unusual foods!  Not to mention the hormones that may sometimes take you by surprise. Now is a good time to consider that physical activity during pregnancy is not only great to keep in shape, but it also keeps you more relaxed and serene. Working out is also a great way to prepare yourself for giving birth. From yoga and aquatics to a modified gym routine, here are some fun activities to keep your mind and body in shape during your pregnancy!

Prenatal yoga

Yoga makes you aware of your body and the baby you’re carrying, it helps you relax and stay zen, and it keeps your body toned. Who could ask for more? Prenatal yoga more specifically prepares you for the moment you give birth and helps relieve discomforts like back aches or pain in the pubic symphysis.

The ideal course is with a trained prenatal instructor who can safely guide you through the poses. And if you find that down-dog makes your t-shirt slip down over your belly, you may want to look into sportswear designed for moms-to-be: hight-waisted maternity leggings and longer tops that reach down to the hips keep you comfortable when you move.

Although yoga is usually gentle on the body, it remains a physical activity that can be demanding. You’ll want to avoid practicing the more exacting strains of yoga, like Vinyasa, Ashtanga or super-hot Bikram.

Swimming and aquafitness

Aquatic workouts are particularly pleasant in the third trimester, when you feel heavy and movements are constrained. Swimming or aquafit are two of the top workouts that moms-to-be prefer. The moment you slip into the pool, you slide free of gravity and can move more freely with the support of the water. Furthermore, any risk of injury is much lower, as there are no shocks involved in your workout.

Swimming or aquafitness gently tone your muscles without putting weight on the joints. Aquatics are excellent for the heart and blood circulation, plus you can continue to practice them with your newborn. Most municipal pools offer prenatal group courses. Your local pool can be a great place to get social with other moms-to-be in your community and share stories and tips.

Matletik maternity clothes


Hitting the gym while expecting

Jogging and other sports that generate impacts on the body are not recommended during maternity as they affect the rectus muscle and the uterus. If the treadmill is your thing, you should take a break from it for a couple of months (at least during the second and third trimester), and replace it with the joint-friendly elliptical machine or exercise bike. A maternity sports bra is advised to keep comfortable.

You can certainly continue to weight train, but pay particular attention to technique. Any exercises that use your abdominals are to be avoided, as the pressure that the stomach creates on the abdominal muscles can cause tears due to relaxin, a hormone secreted during pregnancy that does exactly what its name implies. You’ll also want to avoid sports that cause you to run short of breath, as you share your oxygen with your baby, so they’ll be short of it too.

Go out with baby

For those who want to go out and resume training once the baby is born, lconcider joining a group of active mothers. These services are offered in several cities or through independent organizations. In addition to helping you get back into shape with adapted activities, these outings help to break isolation and allow you to make beautiful encounters.

Take baby with you


Plenty of women suffer no symptoms over the nine months of pregnancy, as after all, pregnancy is not an illness. Nevertheless, even if your maternity is going swimmingly, you’ll want to balance your workouts with caution. Pregnancy is a special moment in your life and some adjustment can help make sure everything goes well during your pregnancy and delivery. Don’t hesitate to discuss physical exercise with your doctor.

Enjoy these special moments of wonder!

Chloé Verrier

This article was written in collaboration with Chloé Verrier, a certified yoga instructor. She’s completed 380 hours of training in Hatha yoga, Hatha Flow and Vinyasa and she’s a certified Childbirth Educator. Chloé is passionate about people, movement and the healing power of breath. She teaches at several yoga studios in Montreal.