Exercise During Pregnancy

Exercising in a pool
Please check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.

During pregnancy your body is changing - your joints become more mobile, and your balance and coordination may be altered due to changes in weight distribution.

Tips on exercising throughout your pregnancy:

  • If you are new to exercise, start with as little as 5 mins a day, add 5 mins each week until you work up to 30 mins a day. Physical Activity During Pregnancy brocure cover
  • Always begin with a 5-10 min warm-up and end with a 5-10 minute cool down.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise.
  • Consume the adequate amount of extra daily calories necessary during pregnancy.
  • Wear loose fit clothing
  • Avoid high heat and humidity especially during the first trimester.

Choosing safe and enjoyable activities:

Women doing yoga
  • Avoid activities that involve jumping, jarring motions, quick changes in direction or standing for a long period of time.
  • After your first trimester, avoid exercise that requires you to lie flat on your back.
  • Avoid downhill skiing, contact sports and scuba diving.
  • Activities that are safe - walking, swimming, cycling, prenatal aerobics.
  • Depending on your past exercise patterns other activities may be safe.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you are unsure of the safety of an activity.
IMPORTANT: Exercising until exhaustion is not recommended. Always listen to your body - if you are experiencing any warning signs, stop exercising immediately and contact your healthcare provider.

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References

  1. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee (ACOG). Opinion no. 267: exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Obstet Gynecol 2002;99:171-3.
  2. ACSM Current Comment: Exercise During Pregnancy. Authors: Artal, R., Clapp, J., Vigil, D. August 2000.
  3. ACSM Exercise and Fluid Replacement Position Stand. 2007