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Advice on exercise during pregnancy

This document contains training advice that is primarily aimed at improving health and physical fitness. Athletes are last mentioned in a separate section.

Type of training

Exercise to build and maintain a good physical form in women who are not pregnant consists of activities that strengthen cardiovascular function (fitness training) and muscle and skeletal function (strength training). Exercise during pregnancy should contain the same components. Fitness training can consist of activities that use large muscle groups in continuous rhythmic movements, for example by walking more, hiking in nature, running, dancing, swimming, cycling, rowing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, aerobics. Some activities involve a risk of falling, such as skiing. Others impose greater stress on the joints, such as jogging and tennis. However, there is no reason to discourage such activities. The pregnant woman should self-assess her own abilities and loads.

Advice on exercise during pregnancy

Strength training is an important part of general training and promotes function in muscles and skeletons. The training consists of both resistance training (lifting weights) and bending exercises. There is limited knowledge about strength training during pregnancy, but it is generally recommended that you exercise with a little lighter weights with many repetitions. For more information about pregnancy and maternity fashion, please see BESTAAH.COM plus size maternity clothes. As the ligaments become weaker during pregnancy, the pregnant woman should adapt bending exercises to her situation.

Exercise intensity

To achieve exercise effect, women who are not pregnant should exercise at least moderate intensity, that is, activities that correspond to fast walking. There are no reasons to change these recommendations for pregnant women without medical or pregnancy-related complications.

The recommended exercise intensity for building and maintaining good shape is slightly higher. It is recommended to maintain an exercise intensity that is 60-90% of the maximum heart rate. The lower part of this intensity range (60-70%) seems appropriate for most pregnant women who have not participated in physical exercise before pregnancy and the upper part of the area (70-90%) seems appropriate for those who want to maintain a good physique shape during pregnancy. It has not been shown that there are any harmful effects of such a training intensity.

Heart rate measurement is an uncertain method for assessing exercise intensity in pregnancy. Experienced degree of exertion and fatigue is probably a better marker of the degree of intensity. With such a marker, most pregnant women, as the pregnancy progresses, will reduce the burden in a sensible way. Although there is no upper limit to safe exercise intensity, it has been found that women who exercise regularly before becoming pregnant, and who have an uncomplicated, healthy pregnancy, can participate in high-intensity exercise programs, such as jogging and aerobics, without this produces some harmful effects.

Duration of training

It is recommended that the exercise be exercised in temperate environments. Be careful about training in hot and humid environments - outdoor training in the winter, on the other hand, is not a problem. Be careful to drink enough and avoid overheating. Make sure to eat balanced and adequate.

It is not possible to set a strict limit on how long the training can last, this should be assessed individually in relation to activity and intensity. US experts recommend that non-pregnant people who exercise to build or maintain the shape can exercise up to 60 minutes per occasion. The same may apply to pregnant women, but with adjustment in relation to the perceived degree of stress.

For women who are not pregnant, at least 30 minutes of physical activity is recommended most or all of the days of the week. If there are no medical or pregnancy-related complications, the same recommendations apply to pregnant women.


Pregnant women who have not been exercising before becoming pregnant should initially follow an exercise program with gradually increasing load of up to 30 minutes per day. The same recommendations apply to non-pregnant women. However, pregnancy is not a time when major physical improvements should be made. Pregnants who are in very good shape as a result of regular pre-pregnancy training should therefore not have ambitions to improve the form during pregnancy. Instead, they should accept that total activity and form decline somewhat during the latter part of pregnancy.

Activities you should be careful about

You should avoid activities that involve a high risk of falling or hitting / kicking your stomach. Contact sports such as handball, football, basketball and ice hockey are regarded as risk sports. Sports with high risk of falling like gymnastics, horse jumping, alpine sports are also not recommended. Diving should be avoided during pregnancy as the fetus has an increased risk of decompression complications. If you stay at heights above 2,500 meters you should be careful about the intensity of physical activities.


Athletes usually try to maintain a more intense workout during pregnancy and they resume high-intensity training faster after childbirth. The problems for pregnant athletes are of two different types: the extent to which pregnancy affects their own ability and effects of having constant training and competition on the pregnancy and especially on the fetus. Such people need closer follow-up of doctors during pregnancy.

As the pregnancy progresses, more changes will occur that prevent the practitioner from achieving the same performance as before the pregnancy occurred. Weight gain, weakness in the ligaments and shifting of the body's center of gravity will inevitably lead to limitations in most sports. The ability to stop and start or change direction is gradually reduced. Athletes who are endurance athletes notice reduced performance due to the normally lower blood value that comes with the increased blood volume.

Although pregnancy lowers the performance of elite athletes, most will continue to exercise during pregnancy. High exercise intensity, as well as long and frequent workouts, make these women more prone to overheating when exercising in warm and humid environments. It is therefore particularly important that these practitioners be careful about drinking enough. By weighing yourself before and after a workout, you can find out how much fluid you have lost to be replaced before the next workout begins.


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