Regular exercise is an excellent idea to start before you are pregnant and a safe activity to continue after pregnancy begins. If there are no specific restrictions given to you, regular 30-40 min workouts, 3-5 days per week, is the recommended regimen for exercise during pregnancy.
The safest way to proceed:
- If you normally have a regular exercise regimen, feel free to continue that regimen with lower impact. Perceived exertion is the key- you have your own level of expertise and slowing down for you may not mean the same to another pregnant friend. You should not achieve a perceived exertion greater than 5 on the scale listed below.
Rating of Perceived Exertion
0 – Sedentary- “couch potato”
1 – Very Weak (Breathing very easily with exertion)
3 – Moderate (Breathing easily with exertion)
5 – Strong (Mildly difficult to breathe with exertion)
7 – Very Strong
10 – Very Very Strong
>10 unable to continue
During and before pregnancy you never want to work out to the point of maximal exertion that makes it difficult to breathe during your exercise.
- If you were not regularly exercising before you were pregnant but are interested now that you are pregnant ( and we encourage you to consider this strongly) start with low impact activities and slowly increase your endurance.
- Reasons to not exercise are limited and are at the discretion of your health care provider. Your provider may ask you to not exercise to reduce the risk of high blood pressure in pregnancy, if you are vaginally bleeding, in the first trimester when you have been a fertility patient.