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Should I Exercise During Pregnancy?

a woman squatting on a barbell in a gym.

Most often, the answer is YES!

Physical Activity during pregnancy IS recommended. Current guidelines suggest that all women without contraindications should be physically active. This includes women who are currently active, currently inactive, and those with gestational diabetes.

However, there are some conditions where physical activity is NOT recommended such as preeclampsia, triplets, uncontrolled gestational diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, etc.

⇨ Check out this screening tool to help you determine whether you need to talk to your obstetric health care provider before exercising: GAQ_P_HCP_English.pdf

The BENEFITS to exercising during pregnancy are many!

Here are a few:

1. ⇩ risk for mother weight gain

2. ⇩ risk (by 40%) of gestational diabetes

3. ⇩ risk (by 40%) of gestational high blood pressure

4. ⇩ likelihood to need a c-section

5. ⇩ likelihood to have fetal macrosomia (enlarged baby)

6. ⇩ risk (by 25%) for postpartum depression

7. ⇩ length of 1st and 2nd stages of labor potentially

Now that we’ve answered the question of should we be exercising (and the answer is yes!), let’s take a look at some of the details for best results.

WHO should be exercising?: All women without contraindications

HOW MUCH should I exercise?: 150 min of moderate/intense exercise per week

WHEN should I exercise?: spread throughout 3 or more days per week

WHAT TYPE of exercise?: variety of aerobic and resistance training

No. 367-2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy JOINT SOGC/CSEP CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINE | Volume 40, ISSUE 11, P1528-1537, November 01, 2018

Now that we’ve taken a look at whether or not we should be exercising and some of the current guidelines surrounding exercise during pregnancy, ask yourself this question:

Do you want to continue moving through your pregnancy?

The female body during pregnancy is amazing! There are so many changes impacting every system in the body.

If your answer is yes, here at The Movement Schopp, we can help you with a number of things during your pregnancy journey such as modifications to exercise, managing pelvic or lower back pain, preventative exercise for pain/discomfort during pregnancy, and preparation for labor.

Modifications. You are most definitely not disabled when you are pregnant, but you will need modifications to exercises as you progress through your pregnancy.

→ We can help you modify your activity, and give you tools for when and how to modify.

Pelvic pain or lower back pain is common during pregnancy.

→ We can help you determine why you are experiencing pain, and help you with reducing pain and improving your ability to get through your daily activities during pregnancy.

Preventative Exercise. Studies show that exercise may be helpful in preventing lower back pain or reducing severity of back pain in pregnant women.

→ We can help you design an exercise program based on your individual wants and needs.

(Shiri et al 2018 meta analysis; BJSM 2019 systematic review and meta analysis)

Leaking or Urgency.

→ It’s common to experience these symptoms during pregnancy, but they can be helped!

Pre-labor preparation.

→ In your last stages of pregnancy, we can provide you with resources and education for preparing your body for labor.

We are here to help! Please reach out if you have any questions, or would like to schedule a free consultation.

I’d love to hear your story, and how I may be able to assist you on this incredible journey!

Dr. Chelsea PT, DPT

a man standing in front of a rack of dumbs.

William Schopp, PT, DPT, CF-L1, TPI, TRS-C

Owner and Founder of The Movement Schopp

"We help everyday athletes like YOU bounce back from injuries and get back to performing at their highest levels!"