Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April
To maintain a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy, women without contraindications should aim to participate in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises. The following tips help you maintain your health and wellbeing throughout your trimesters.
Keeping informed about the right types of activity to do throughout your pregnancy will help you feel healthy and prepared for your baby’s arrival.
Looking after yourself while pregnant improves your chances of bouncing back after your baby arrives. You’ll also likely experience:
There are currently NO known adverse risks associated with meeting the recommended guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous physical activity per week.
However, as pregnancy progresses, the body goes through significant changes such as increased laxity of joints, change in centre of gravity and an increased resting heart rate.
Therefore, modifications to programs may need to be considered. Women participating in activities that require a high degree of balance or rapid changes in direction should consult with their doctor first. Your doctor may recommend you see a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist for an individually prescribed exercise program.
Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount, as indicated below:
The following tests can be used as a guide to exercise at a comfortable intensity:
Less than 20 years old: 140 – 155 (beats per minute), 23 – 26 (beats per 10 seconds)
20 – 29 years old: 135 – 150 (beats per minute), 22 – 25 (beats per 10 seconds)
30 – 39 years old: 130 – 145 (beats per minute), 21 – 24 (beats per 10 seconds)
40 or older: 125 – 140 (beats per minute), 20 – 23 (beats per 10 seconds)
As the ‘talk test’ implies, the woman is exercising at a comfortable intensity if she is able to maintain a conversation during exercise; she should reduce the exercise intensity if this is not possible.
All exercise should include a warm-up and cool-down phase. Stretching exercises are also useful but should be done gently due to the increased joint laxity during pregnancy.
If the following symptoms arise, cease exercise and consult your doctor:
Elite athletes who continue to train during pregnancy require supervision by an obstetric care provider with knowledge of the impact of strenuous exercise on maternal and foetal outcomes. Women with special needs may require a referral to a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist or sports medicine specialist to develop an appropriate exercise program.
Tip – It is important to stay well-hydrated, wear comfortable and non-restrictive clothing (such as a correctly fitted bra and appropriate footwear) and where possible avoid excessive over-heating.
For a full list of references, contact Sports Medicine Australia.
Authored by Melanie Hayman, PhD Candidate, Central Queensland University. Sports Medicine Australia wishes to thank the sports medicine professionals and Active Women in Sports Project partners who provided expert feedback in the development of this factsheet. This factsheet has been developed with support from the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure.
The information contained in this fact sheet is in the nature of general comment only, and neither purports, not is intended, to be advice on a particular matter. No reader should act on the basis of anything contained in this fact sheet without seeking independent professional medical advice. No responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted by Sports Medicine Australia or the authors for any loss, damage or injury that may arise from any persons acting on any statement or information contained in this fact sheet and all such liabilities are expressly disclaimed.
Last updated: November 29, 2016 at: 5:08 pm
© Department of Health & Human services, State Government of Victoria
Privacy Statement: https://www.activeapril.vic.gov.au/privacy-policy/
Copyright & Disclaimer Notice: https://www.activeapril.vic.gov.au/copyright-disclaimer/