Are there guidelines for exercising during Pregnancy?

Absolutely there are. Numerous associations have published recommendations for amount, type and intensity of exercise is the best during pregnancy. We summarised the guidelines of Fitness Australia, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

According to the SOCG, women should aim to be exercising regularly; “for at least 20-30 minutes per day on most or all days”.

Women who were less active prior to pregnancy, however, should undertake a more gradual increase in their activity levels. According to the SOCG guidelines, “when starting an aerobic exercise program, previously sedentary women should begin with 15 minutes of continuous exercise three times a week, increasing gradually to 30-minute sessions four times a week”.

As far as intensity is concerned, these are the target Heart Rates for 20-29 years olds based on fitness level:

Fit: 145-160bpm

Active: 135-150bpm

Unfit: 129-144bpm

Overweight/Obese: 102-124bpm


Target Heart Rates for 30-39 years olds based on fitness level:

Fit: 140-156bpm

Active: 130-145bpm

Unfit: 128-144bpm

Overweight/Obese: 101-120bpm


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