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Exercise during pregnancy: What is safe? What is recommended?

Doctor of Physical Therapy & Founder of DLVRMaternity, an online community for expectant moms to find education, advice & solutions for their bodies during pregnancy.

Whether you're a conditioned athlete or a beginner, there are easy and safe ways to exercise during pregnancy.

Photo credit: www.chicagonow.com

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week during pregnancy as long as there are no medical complications.

If you exercise regularly and your medical provider does not have a reason to limit your activity, you should be able to continue at your current level (as long as there is no risk of injury or falls).

If you are new to exercise and your medical provider clears you to start, try activities that are lower intensity and for shorter duration. For example, try walking for 15 minutes at an average pace. If you feel this is comfortable, you can increase your time or intensity (only adjust one at a time to ensure that your body is ready for the challenge). Alternately, if you feel 15 minutes is too much, start with five or 10 minutes and gradually build up, adding a minute at a time.

Exercise can help keep you stay fit during pregnancy, which will be helpful during labor, and may help limit gestational diabetes.

For more information from ACOG on exercise during pregnancy, please see:

ACOG's FAQ on Exercise & Pregnancy

To read ACOG's full opinion on exercise during pregnancy, please see:

ACOG's Opinion on Exercise during Pregnancy

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