Exercising During Pregnancy
Use this resource as a guide to understand steps to be taken when exercising while pregnant.
What I Need To Know
Exercising when pregnant is important and recommended by medical professionals. It has a variety of health benefits for both the parent and the baby.
Exercise recommendations during pregnancy should include both aerobic training (e.g. walking) and resistance training (e.g. squats, light weights).
When Should I Talk to My Doctor?
Despite exercise being recommended for most pregnant people, you should always consult your doctor when you have any concerns about a condition, its effects on your pregnancy, and the safety of exercise.
While rare, there are times when exercise should be modified (e.g lower intensity) or avoided due to certain conditions (e.g. Uncontrolled Type I Diabetes)
Specific suggestions from your doctor about exercising for each trimester can also be important.
How Should I Exercise?
A variety of exercises can be used to improve health and reduce pain. Activities including walking for aerobic training and using light weights or your body weight for resistance training are recommended. Other activities like yoga or stretching can also be advantageous.
A few things that you should watch for or avoid while pregnant may include the following:
- Avoid activities that have a lot of physical contact (e.g skiing, soccer)
- Avoid excessive heat, especially when it is humid (e.g hot yoga, summertime).
- Consult your doctor about activity if you go from low altitude to high altitude (e.g hiking in the mountains).
- Monitor your nutrition and hydration while exercising.
Also, you should know when to stop activity and consult a doctor. This includes:
- Persistent shortness of breath
- Vaginal bleeding
- Severe chest pain
- Regular and painful uterine contractions
- Persistent loss of fluid from the vagina
- Persistent dizziness or faintness
What Are My Next Steps?
- Consult your doctor for specific recommendations or concerns you have about exercising.
- Make adjustments (your coach is here to help) to your exercises for comfort, intensity levels, specific recommendations from your doctor, and/or pain.
- Build consistency with both aerobic exercise (e.g. walking) and resistance training (e.g Hinge Health, squats)
- Mottola, M. F., Davenport, M. H., Ruchat, S.-M., Davies, G. A., Poitras, V., Gray, C., … Zehr, L. (2018). CANADIANGUIDELINESFORPHYSICALACTIVITYThroughout PREGNANCY. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada. doi:10.1016/j.jogc.2018.07.001
- Pregnancy and exercise: Baby, let’s move! (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 11, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-exercise/art-20046896