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. RPE is the intensity of a workout – more on that below.
In uncomplicated pregnancies –
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 10-15 minutes.
If you were a regular exerciser and engaged in high intensity exercise programs such as jogging and aerobics, you should be able to sustain the same amount of exercise with some modifications as your belly grows. Fit women who want to engage in prolonged exercise sessions over 45 minutes need to monitor body temperature, hydration and “overtraining syndrome”. Read more about fit pregnancy: the pregnant athlete.
A combination of strength training and aerobic exercise is highly recommended 3-4x/ week .
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.
Your exercise routine should include: an accumulation of 120-150+ minutes a week of strength training, aerobic training, stretching. Research shows core exercise should be a part of your strength training routine – this helps minimize the force on your spine and joints as your belly grows. Core exercises should be modified and include specific pelvic floor and transverse abdominis training. All of these components are available in our pregnancy programs.
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 804 (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 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.
 ACOG Committee Opinion 804. https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2020/04/physical-activity-and-exercise-during-pregnancy-and-the-postpartum-period
 ACSM Pregnancy Physical Activity. https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/files-for-resource-library/pregnancy-physical-activity.pdf
 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. <https://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. <https://www.sogc.org/guidelines/public/129E-JCPG-June2003.pdf>.