Regular physical activity throughout life has many health benefits. Pregnancy does not have to stop you from being active. Regular physical activity during pregnancy:
- Improves or maintains physical fitness
- Helps with weight management
- Improves heart and lung health
- Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes
- Reduces the risk of high blood pressure
- Improves feeling of well-being
If you have been regularly active (3 times per week for 30 minutes) before pregnancy, you can safely participate in physical activity during pregnancy. If you have not been regularly active before pregnancy, the best time to start would be after your 12th week (first trimester) of pregnancy when the risks and discomforts of pregnancy are at their lowest.
Walking is always encouraged, regardless of previous activity level, unless your health care provider has told you something different. It’s a good idea to talk to your health care provider before beginning or changing your physical activity program.
Need more information?
- Exercise guidelines and suggested exercises can be found in Active Pregnancy: Helping you to be active during pregnancy booklet from the Physical Activity Resource Centre (PARC).
- Prenatal fitness expert, Dr. Michelle Motola, shares the importance and key points of exercise in her Prenatal Fitness video.
- If you have questions about physical activity during pregnancy, contact the Exercise & Pregnancy Hotline (Women’s College) at 1.866.937.7678.