Getting Your Pregnancy Fitness Program

Getting Your Pregnancy Fitness Program

Exercise is important during pregnancy, but women should be cautious because some types of exercise can pose increased risk to the mother and the unborn child. The following guidelines are consistent with the recommendations of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology:

• See your physician about possible modifications needed for your particular pregnancy.

• Continue mild to moderate exercise routines at least three times a week. (For most women, this means maintaining an exercise heart rate of 100-160 beats per minute.) Avoid exercising vigorously or to exhaustion, especially in the third trimester. Monitor exercise intensity by assessing how you feel rather than by monitoring your heart rate; RPE levels of 11-13 are appropriate.

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Favor non- or low-weight-bearing exercises such as swimming or cycling over weight-bearing exercises, which can carry increased risk of injury.

Avoid exercise in a supine position lying on your back after the first trimester. This position restricts blood flow to the uterus. Also avoid prolonged periods of motionless standing.

Avoid exercise that could cause loss of balance, especially in the third trimester, and exercise that might injure the abdomen, stress the joints, or carry a risk of falling (such as contact sports, vigorous racquet sports, skiing, and in-line skating).

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