By: Dr. Lisa Bodratti
The short answer? Yes!
The long answer: As long as you do not have any conditions where exercise or movement was problematic prior to your pregnancy and your OBGYN has not advised against exercise, it is safe, even if you do not usually exercise. There are some considerations to take into account, like new fatigue levels, nutrition, and “meeting yourself where you are at.” We can talk about exercise easily using the FITT principle - frequency, intensity, time and type.
Frequency: 5-7 days per week. Movement is important! Make it a goal to go on even a short walk each day.
Intensity: Moderate intensity is the goal. An easy way to check if the activity you are doing is considered “moderate” is the Talk-Test. You should be working hard enough to have an increase in heart rate and a light sweat, but not working so hard you are unable to talk to someone next to you. Make sure that your environment is not too hot or humid - increasing your core temperature too much can create a stressful environment for your baby.
Time: 10-45 minutes per day, or a total of 150 minutes per week. If you are new to exercise, start with 10 minutes of gentle stretching or easy walking per day, and slowly increase to 30 minutes over 2-4 weeks. If you normally exercise, you can usually stick with your current routine with some potential modifications.
Type: Walking, cycling, swimming, and gentle or modified yoga or pilates are good places to start. If you are an experienced runner or weightlifter, these activities should be OK, but always check with your OBGYN. Avoid contact sports.
Some benefits of being active while pregnant include:
Decreased risk of gestational diabetes
Positive effects on the future of the baby’s metabolism
Increased success of IVF/ICSI cycles
Gain strength and heart health
Eases and helps to prevent constipation
Allows for healthy weight gain during pregnancy
Some contraindications - or scenarios - where you should not exercise while pregnant include:
Preeclampsia - high blood pressure while pregnant
If you are concerned - speak with your OBGYN!
If you are looking for someone to help guide you through your exercise journey while pregnant, reach out to one of our Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists here at The Green Room! You may request a free phone or in-person consultation here https://www.thegrpt.com/events-and-offers