Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?
According to the guidelines of numerous professional associations, it is not just safe, but incredibly beneficial to exercise during pregnancy. We consulted the current guidelines of Fitness Australia, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) before deisgning our pregnancy exercise program for the Nurture Mat.
ACOG’s own review of the research found no substantiation for concerns that regular exercise during pregnancy causes miscarriage, poor fetal growth, injury or premature delivery. In fact, it seems the opposite is true, with exercise being linked to a lower likelihood of premature delivery and improved fetal health.
The number one recommendation of the SOCG was that “all women without contraindications should be encouraged to participate in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises as part of a healthy lifestyle during their pregnancy”.
The guidelines state that women who before pregnancy engaged in regular aerobic activity (eg running or jogging) or who are highly active “can continue physical activity during pregnancy and the postpartum period, provided that they remain healthy and discuss with their health-care provider how and when activity should be adjusted over time”. Far from avoiding exercise, they say that women should aim to be exercising regularly; “for at least 20-30 minutes per day on most or all days”.