You’re pregnant, you’re used to working out, you’re nervous about combining the two. I completely understand your hesitation and I am here to tell you there is a safe and effective way to be both pregnant and remain fit.
Your body is smart — it bears a child — it adapts the second you are pregnant by increasing blood volume, preparing your body and heart for your baby. So listen to it. Do only what you are comfortable doing. There is no one-size-fits-all exercise for pregnant women. Some days you will be more tired than others. And that means your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) will be different on different days, especially in the first and third trimester.
First, it is important to fuel your workout especially when you’re pregnant. An hour before exercise, a snack with complex carbohydrates, protein and a little fat is recommended. Drink about a cup (eight ounces) of water for every 15 minutes of exercise.
Second, avoid outstretched supine position and repetitive, strenuous, quick change in direction movements. Contact sports & scuba diving are off-limits, as is hot yoga and hot Pilates and activities that carry a risk for falling or risk of abdominal trauma. Avoid hot and humid environments.
If a moderate exercise regimen was followed prior to pregnancy, keep it up! If you were previously inactive, don’t suddenly start an aggressive exercise routine, but adapt slowly – starting with 10 minutes. If you were previously active you should be able to sustain the same amount of exercise with some modifications.
A combination of strength training and low impact aerobics is highly recommended 3-4x/ week . Fit women who want to engage in prolonged exercise sessions over 45 minutes need to monitor hyperthermia, hydration and “overtraining syndrome”. Read more about fit pregnancy: the pregnant athlete.
Here’s what I recommend for a comprehensive pregnancy program: 120-150+ minutes a week including: strength training, aerobic training, stretching and specific pelvic floor and transverse abdominis training. All of these components are available in our pregnancy programs.
Overall you have the same exercise guidelines as a non-pregnant woman. But there are anatomical changes and fetal requirements that require modifications as you move into your second and third trimester.
Before we get into the pregnancy do’s and don’ts, I want you to understand that all of this information comes from key sources like ACOG CO 650 (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) & ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine).
ACOG and ACSM provide this general guideline for exercise during pregnancy: in uncomplicated pregnancies, women with or without a previously sedentary lifestyle should be encouraged to participate in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Remember, exercise can improve mood during pregnancy and help maintain and even increase strength and fitness levels. Download our 17 page Prenatal & Postnatal Starter Pack for a comprehensive prenatal and postnatal guide!
Pregnancy Exercise Do’s:
Pregnancy Exercise Don’ts:
 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2612623, accessed 2020.
 Artal, Dr. Raul, and M. O’Toole. “Guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period.” Exercise in Pregnancy. 37.1 (2003): n. page. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. <http://bjsportmed.com/content/37/1/6.full?sid=9ef578d1-10f2-4939-92a9-b6c70a63b617>.
 Artal, M.D., Raul, James F Clapp III, M.D., and Daniel Vigil, M.D., FACSM. “Exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period..” American College of Sports Medicine Current Comment.
 Davies, Gregory, MD, FRCSC, Wolfe, Larry, PhD, FACSM Mottola, Michelle, PhD, and MacKinnon, Catherine, MD, FRCSC. “Exercise in Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period.” Joint SOGC/CSEP. 129 (2003): 1-5. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. <http://www.sogc.org/guidelines/public/129E-JCPG-June2003.pdf>.