Learn More About Your Pregnancy
Exercising During Pregnancy
Is it okay to start an exercise routine now that I am pregnant?
Even if you don't have a regular exercise routine, it's okay to start one during pregnancy - just talk with your health care provider first. It’s best to exercise at a low intensity with a goal of 30-40 minutes of exercise at least five days a week.
Even if you don't have a regular exercise routine, it's okay to start during pregnancy after you've talked with your health care provider. Just be sure to exercise at a low-intensity. It's a good goal to try to fit in 30-40 minute workouts most days of the week!.
If you’re experiencing any pregnancy complications or if you’ve been told you have a high-risk pregnancy, avoid exercise until you discuss it with your health care provider.
Healthy pregnant women need at least 2½ hours of exercise each week. This is about 30 minutes each day.
Benefits of exercise during pregnancy
Once you’ve talked with your health care provider and have been cleared to exercise here are some of the benefits you’ll get from exercise during pregnancy:
- Keeps your heart, body, and mind healthy.
- Helps you stay fit and gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy.
- Helps with other issues you might have during pregnancy, like constipation, backaches, trouble sleeping, and swollen veins.
- Prevents health problems like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
- Helps your body get ready to give birth.
- Increases your muscle strength.
- Boosts your immune system.
- Reduces your risks of gestational diabetes.
- Helps you recover faster from childbirth.
Exercises to avoid while pregnant
- Avoid exercises with any risk of falling on your abdomen or pelvic region, such as skiing, horseback riding, bicycling, and jumping into a pool.
- Skip exercises where you lie flat on your back (like abdominal crunches) or activities like boxing.
- Skip the tennis or racquetball courts for now, as the side-to-side movements in these sports put too much stress on the stretching and changing muscles and ligaments of your hips.
- Do not scuba dive. Complications can emerge from breathing compressed oxygen.
As your baby grows you may have to change your exercise routine. Your healthcare provider may ask you to track your active heart rate and keep it at low-to moderate-intensity activity.
For most pregnant women, the maximum heart rate during exercise shouldn’t exceed 110-120 beats/minute (80 percent of maximum heart rate). Avoid exercises that make you short of breath — you should be able to carry on a conversation when exercising while pregnant.