How Much Exercise During Pregnancy Is Safe For Mums?

As long as our obstetrician says it’s okay, we need to engage in moderate exercise during pregnancy
The recommendation is 150 minutes a week. This translates to 25-30 minutes of exercise daily. Examples of activities include :

  • brisk walking
  • daily house chores
  • water aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Using a stationary exercise bike
  • Swimming

I remember being told by my obstetrician to “take it easy” during my first pregnancy. I said to myself “ what does that even mean”? How do you measure that? I have loads of physical tasks I must do daily . What degree of physical exercise during pregnancy is

Well, according to an article in the British Journal of Medicine (Davenport Motola et al), the yardsticks are based on your heart rate , your age and something called a “talk test”.
If you can maintain a conversation but not sing a song while exercising you are on the right track if not, you are doing too much. That’s the talk test.

If you are less than 29 years old your target during exercise is a heart rate of 129-146 beats per minute ; for women 30 years old and above the target is 129-130 beats per minute.

Please avoid high impact sports such as basketball, football etc. especially if you didn’t engage in the prior to falling pregnant . If the weather is hot or humid please make sure you have with you and drink regularly from your flask of water to drink while exercising so you remain hydrated .
Remember, make sure you get clearance from your doctor on your state of health before engaging in exercise in pregnancy.

Learn more about conditions where exercising may not be a good idea.

Mottola MF, Davenport MH, Ruchat S, et al
2019 Canadian guideline for physical activity throughout pregnancy
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018;52:1339-1346.
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