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Exercise During Pregnancy: What Can I Do?

Updated: Oct 2, 2022


It is normal for pregnant women to be cautious and avoid risks to their pregnancy. One main question that often pops up involves exercise. We will be discussing current expert recommendations regarding exercise during pregnancy.



Can I Exercise During Pregnancy?


Exercise can be safe and healthy during pregnancy. However, experts recommend that expectant mothers not overdo it. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women obtain at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week. Moderate intensity is defined as moving enough to raise your heart rate and create a sweat, while still being able to talk. The ACOG notes that an example of moderate intensity exercise is brisk walking.


What Are the Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy?


There are several benefits of exercise during pregnancy. Medical evidence indicates that regular exercise may decrease the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and Cesarean delivery. Exercise improves overall wellness and helps promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Regular exercise also benefits mental health.


When Should Exercise Be Avoided During Pregnancy?


There are specific conditions in which exercise during pregnancy may be contraindicated. First, women with a cerclage will likely be advised to avoid exercise. Women with multiple gestation (twins, triplets, etc.) may also be advised to avoid exercise. Other conditions in which exercise may be contraindicated include placenta previa, preeclampsia, preterm labor, severe anemia, and certain types of heart and lung diseases.


Takeaway Message:


Exercise is safe for most pregnant women and can contribute to a healthy pregnancy. Keeping active during pregnancy can help decrease the risk of gestational diabetes and Cesarean delivery. It is important to note that exercise may be contraindicated in certain settings. Pregnant women should be encouraged to discuss their exercise plan with their provider.


Did you have a specific exercise plan with your pregnancy? We would love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below.

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