Safe and effective exercise tips while you are pregnant

Nora Hameidani, founder Barre Effect studio, outlines the transformative benefits of exercise during pregnancy, from stress reduction to enhanced physical well-being. Learn tips on choosing the right workouts, listening to your body, and staying mindful throughout your fitness journey for a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy experience.


Exercise as a daily routine can help to diminish stress, improve mood, keep your body strong, prevent injury or illness, maintain a healthy weight, assist in adequate sleep, and the list goes on. All these things are even more important during pregnancy, and studies have shown that exercising during pregnancy is enormously beneficial to the mother’s physical abilities, comfort and energy.

Benefits of Barre and low impact resistance training

Barre is a low impact strength training class that can easily be modified during all stages of pregnancy – whether pre, during, or post. So, it is no surprise that many women are advised by their doctor to choose this type of movement during pregnancy.

Try not to compare

It is important to always consult with your doctor regarding your exercise routine while pregnant and make sure it is the smart choice for you and try not to compare yourself to anyone else because everyone has their own journey.  What might be appropriate for a friend may not work well for you.  We all have different pregnancies and deliveries so figure out what feels right for you and try not to compare your progress to anyone else’s but your own.

Choose familiar movement

It is usually advised to practice a technique or class that you are familiar with, so you know what to expect, how to pace yourself, and how to modify if you need. Unless it is specified at “prenatal” or for pregnant women, I do not suggest trying something brand new. If you have never exercised before and have clearance to start while pregnant, either a specified prenatal class or walking would be your best option.

Listen to your body

Listen to your body because if it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. Take breaks when you need to, and know that movement will take time, and you must start slowly and gently.

Be patient with your changing body

Be patient because you and your body are changing each day. Things might feel different than they used to, and you might not enjoy the same things. You may also find some things that surprise you.  Take it day by day and appreciate what your body is going through.

Hydration and nourishment are more essential than ever

It is important to stay hydrated before your workout, during, and after. Eating healthily will also assist you to feel strong and comfortable while working out and make sure you have the proper fuel to exercise properly and effectively. It is advised to not skip meals, so even something small and light before working out is necessary.

Move mindfully and with control

Start with a slower tempo than gradually build up the speed if necessary to make sure you maintain proper technique. There is a higher chance of becoming dizzy when you are pregnant so take care especially when transitioning from up or down from the ground. Your balance and stability can be off while pregnant so be sure to move with control to prevent falling or tripping. Three are so many hormone changes while pregnant and that would then make it common for your blood pressure to drop, which can cause you to become dizzy.

Be careful of overheating

You are more likely to overheat when pregnant, so again, listening to your body, taking breaks, and having adequate hydration are key.

Warm up and cool down

Take the time for a proper warmup and recovery post workout.  This will prevent the possibility of injury if you make sure your muscles are well prepared and have properly cooled down and relaxed after exercise.

Beware of over stretching due to relaxin

Relaxin is a hormone that loosens and relaxes your muscles, joints, and ligaments during pregnancy to help your body stretch. Relaxin also helps your body prepare for delivery by loosening the muscles and ligaments in your pelvis. It is important to be mindful while stretching as you might feel a bit more open or flexible, but it might cause you to stretch too far or deeply with the chance of injury.

Choose specialist prenatal instructors

Participating in a session with an instructor that has prenatal exercise is important.  Take the time to speak with your instructor or trainer ahead of the session and they will advise you how to properly modify things, especially if it is not a prenatal specified class.  Many modifications are in place to allow you to be more comfortable and get more out of your session.  Abdominal work in particular will be heavily modified allowing your abdominal muscles to expand but still stay strong during pregnancy.

Concentrate on careful breathing

Moving with your breath is key while exercising, and even more important while pregnant.  While pregnant, your body requires more oxygen to function at its best. Having conscious, slow controlled breath allows you to properly expand and strengthen your abdominals during pregnancy which will be beneficial for recovery after delivery.  It also promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety.

Barre Effect. 114 Al Ferdous 4, Al Wasl Road, Al Safa. Call +9714 548 7600 or email

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