It is best to try to make healthy lifestyle changes three months before trying to get pregnant - but it's never too early, or too late.
The most up-to-date advice is that physical activity is safe during pregnancy.
In fact, there are more health risks if you are not active. Being physically active most days is a part of a healthy pregnancy.
A healthy weight is one part of having a healthy body. Being overweight can increase the risks of complications in pregnancy and increase long-term health risks. Healthful eating and physical activity are both great ways to invest in your health.
Physical activity doesn't have to mean buying a gym membership - it can be as simple as walking 30 minutes a day. If you were not physically active before, talk to your health care provider before starting a new exercise program. Start easy and progress gradually.
For more information on healthy weight and physical activity before, during and after pregnancy, see Healthy Weights for Women
Being active can:
- improve mood
- decrease stress
- increase energy levels
- promote a healthy weight
- promote better sleep
- increase muscle tone, strength and endurance
- prepare your body for pregnancy, labour, and recovery after birth
A lifestyle that includes daily physical activity has many benefits for women's health, especially when planning a pregnancy.
Enjoy participating in a combination of:
- Endurance activities that make your heart and lungs work, such as: jogging, vigorous walking, cycling and continuous swimming.
- Flexibility activities that involve bending and stretching to keep your muscles and joints mobile, such as: Yoga, dancing and stretching exercises.
- Strength activities to strengthen muscles and improve your posture, such as: weight/strength training regimes, push-ups, and lifting and carrying activities.
Good exercise to do during pregnancy:
- Riding a stationary bike
- Prenatal exercise classes
- Low impact aerobics
Good exercise to do after pregnancy:
- Walking -- Gradually increase the pace and distance. Use a good stroller or soft carrier so you can take your baby with you. If you jog or walk quickly, wear a supportive bra.
- Swimming -- You can begin swimming after vaginal bleeding and discharge have stopped. - Postnatal fitness classes -- Your community may have classes designed for new mothers.
- Yoga -- Start slowly or join a class that's specially designed for new mothers. You may even find a class for moms and babies.