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When you’re expecting a child, you always have to think about their safety and wellbeing along with yours. Exercise is a big part of keeping you and the baby healthy, but there are limits to what fitness and recreational activities a pregnant woman should participate in to avoid unnecessary strain or injury.

While that doesn’t mean you must become inactive (unless advised by your doctor), these are the six activities pregnant women should avoid for safety:

Contact Sports
Avoiding trauma to the abdomen is priority No. 1, so any sport where you could have a collision with a person or an object (like a ball) should always be avoided. Even a friendly game of soccer with the family can be too rough.

Balancing Acts
Cycling outdoors, skiing (either on a mountain or water) or surfing are all great forms of exercise, but they bring with them a risk of falling, which isn’t good. As your abdomen expands, your center of gravity will be more easily thrown off, so you should pass on any activity that could lead to a tumble.

Scuba Diving
Going underwater is not a good idea for pregnant women because of the decompression required as your emerge from a deep depth. Air bubbles may develop inside the bloodstream, which can be hazardous to the fetus and result in birth defects.

Great Heights
High altitudes can also be problematic due to the lesser amount of available oxygen for mother and child. If you’re someone who likes to hike, bear that in mind when planning a trek.

High Impact Exercise
Be it running, aerobics or a bootcamp-style workout of burpees or jumping jacks, the constant up-and-down action on a hard surface isn’t wise for a pregnant women. You can switch to machines like an elliptical that are lower impact for exercises with less jostling.

Endurance Training
Going back to running, if you’re a marathoner, going for a new record isn’t appropriate during pregnancy. Endurance sports create major wear and tear on the body and need to be scaled back for the health of mother and child. That also applies to heavy weight training.

The best thing you can do is discuss how active you are with your doctor at the beginning of your pregnancy. They can assess your fitness level and provide the best guidance on what you can and cannot do. Typically, doctors advise sticking with your regular form of exercise without increasing the intensity or duration that what your body is used to, but every woman is different so be sure to get their opinion.

Taking these extra precautions will ensure you and your little one stay comfortable and well throughout pregnancy and beyond.

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