Exercise or a physically active lifestyle is known to be good for one's general health.
This is still true during pregnancy. However, there may be certain considerations
because of the special nature of pregnancy: questions as to the type of exercise,
extent of physical exertion, what is safe and what is not.
As a general rule, a pregnant woman should be encouraged to be physically active,
which does not necessarily mean a formal exercise regime. A regular walk, a swim
and using the stairs at work instead of a lift may do just as well.
For those who engage in sport, pregnancy does not necessarily mean having to give
up, unless it is a contact sport (such as boxing or wrestling) where there is a theoretical
risk of injury that may imperil the pregnancy. Most amateur and professional sportswomen
engage in non-contact sport,, and most of these are quite compatible with pregnancy.
In fact, even those engaged in competitive sports can still carry on, especially
if this falls in the early part of the pregnancy. Exercise and sport have several
benefits for a participating pregnant woman, as we have detailed below. There are
those who, by virtue of preexisting medical conditions, may be unable to engage
in active physical exercises. These are very much in the minority and specific advice
regarding this is usually given.