Pregnancy Exercise Guidelines
By They American College of Sports Medicine
American College Of Sports Medicine Exercise Guidelines for Pregnant Women
- The recommended mode, frequency, duration, and overload generally are consistent with the contraindications below for cardiorespiratory, resistance, and flexibility exercise stimuli.
- In the absence of either medical or obstetric complications, 30 to 40 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week is recommended.
- Regular exercise (e.g. at least 3 days a week) is preferable to sporadic or infrequent activity.
- Monitor exercise intensity by use of ratings of perceived exertion (light to somewhat hard), rather than heart rate.
- Women who were sedentary or relatively inactive prior to pregnancy should begin with light-intensity (20%-39% HRR), low- (or non-) impact activities, such as walking and swimming.
- Avoid exercise in the supine position after first trimester because mild obstruction of venous attenuates cardiac output and may facilitate orthostatic hypotension.
- Unless a clinical condition dictates maximal exercise testing, it is not recommended for pregnant women, and only under the supervision of a physician.
- Submaximal testing can be performed with an endpoint of <75% heart rate reserve.
- Women who were less active or sedentary prior to pregnancy should seek the approval of a physician prior to engaging in physical activity.
Contraindications For Exercising During Pregnancy
- Severe anemia
- Unevaluated maternal cardiac dysrhythmia
- Chronic bronchitis
- Poorly controlled type 1 diabetes
- Extreme morbid obesity
- Extreme underweight (BMI <12)
- History of extremely sedentary lifestyle
- Intrauterine growth restriction in current pregnancy
- Poorly controlled hypertension
- Orthopedic limitations
- Poorly controlled seizure disorder
- Poorly controlled hyperthyroidism
- Heavy smoker
- Hemodynamically significant heart disease
- Restrictive lung disease
- Incompetent cervix/cerclage
- Multiple gestation at risk for premature labor
- Persistent second- or third-trimester bleeding
- Placenta previa after 26 weeks of gestation
- Premature labor during the current pregnancy
- Ruptured membranes