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I'm trying to find some varied exercises for a pregnant lady, 10 weeks into her pregnancy. Speaking the the doctor, she said that the amount of exercise should be no more than what you were doing previously but it is safe to do.

Previously, the lady would do 45 minutes on a cross-trainer and that would be it for her gym session. This would be done twice a week. She would like to lose a bit of weight (great timing!) and just be more healthy.

I'm trying to find some other exercises for her (because cross-trainer has become "boring") and I was hoping to get some answers on this board. Weight-bearing would be a possibility, light dumbbells for arm exercises I was thinking. But also swimming, or just some uphill walking?

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From helping train my wife through both of her pregnancies, JohnP's answer is pretty accurate.

The modifiers I would put on there are progesterone and individual pregnancies.

Progesterone is a powerful hormone that gets released during pregnancy. The levels are different, but basically it ramps up and peaks right around delivery time.

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Progesterone is a muscle relaxant, and also (as explained by our physician) causes a general elasticity of connective tissue (things critical to the expanding nature of a woman's body and the upcoming delivery).

Some individuals remain remarkably fit and active through their pregnancies, but I've also seen very fit and active people suffer a lot of complications that have sidelined them. Likewise, the complications after delivery can be significant and lingering. It's not something that people talk about but vaginal and anal damage is more common than most think.

The person you're talking about doesn't sound like they're lifting heavy, and exercise is really important towards having a health pregnancy, so they're probably in the clear. But just be flexible and remember every pregnancy is different (even with the same mom) and that the challenges facing a pregnant woman are very different (from multiple factors) between 10, 20, and 30 weeks.

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Yes, yes and yes.

Unless there are complications in the pregnancy, most of the time people should be fine to continue their normal activity level until very late in the pregnancy. For example, my martial arts instructor continued teaching classes and very vigorous kickbox aerobics until literally day of birth. (She finished a class and started labor 1/2 hour later).

However, I would have her work with her ob/gyn on safe exercise levels and recommended activities. Ultrasounds and exams as the baby develops or other conditions that arise may complicate things. In a general sense, she should be able to be fairly active, but that takes into account no complications or other factors in the pregnancy. Encourage her activity, but also encourage seeking the advice of the ob/gyn as to what is safe for her.

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  • This has largely been my experience as well. – Eric Nov 19 '14 at 18:58

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