ACOG Pregnancy Exercise Guidelines

Anjali SharmaFitness, Prenatal Exercises

ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) is considered to be the world authority on obstetric-related information and, for prenatal exercise, we follow their guidelines to ensure the well being of the expectant mother and child. These are:

  • Regular exercise (at least 3 times per week is better than spurts of heavy exercise followed by long periods of no activity exercise should not be preformed in hot, humid weather or when you have an illness with a fever, such as a cold or flu.
  • Avoid jerky bouncy, or high-impact motions. Activities that require jumping, jarring motions or rapid change in direction may cause pain.
  • Exercise on a wooden floor or a tightly carpeted surface to reduce shock and provide a sure footing.
  • Wear a good fitting, supportive bra to help protect your breasts.
  • Avoid deep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises, and straight leg toe touches. During pregnancy, these exercises may injure the tissue that connect your leg and back joints.
  • Avoid exercises that require lying with your back on the floor for more than a few minutes after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Always begin with a 5-minute period of slow walking or stationary cycling with low resistance to warm-up your muscles.
  • Intense exercise should not last longer than 15 minutes. Heavy exercise should be followed by a 5-10 minute period or gradually slower activity that ends with gentle stretching in place. To reduce the risk of injuring the tissue connecting your joints, do not stretch as far as you possibly can.
  • The extra weight you are carrying will make you work harder as you exercise at a slower pace. Measure your heart rate at peak times of exercise. Do not exceed your target heart rates and limits established with your doctor’s advice.
  • Get up slowly and gradually from the floor to avoid dizziness or fainting.Once you are standing, walk in place for a brief period.
  • Drink water often before and after exercise to prevent dehydration (lack of water for the body’s needs). Take a break in your workout to drink more water if needed.
  • Women who did not exercise before becoming physical activity of very pregnant should begin with physical activity of low intensity and move higher
  • Stop your activity and consult your doctor if you experience pain, tachcardia (rapid heart bleeting), back pain, shortness of breath, other palpitation (irregular heartbeat), faintness, difficulty walking, or any unusual symptoms.
  • Almost any form of exercise is if it is done in moderation. Some exercises offer aerobic conditioning of the heart and lungs: others relieve stress and tone muscle. Pregnancy causes many changes in your body, some of which have an effect on your ability to exercise. These changes can interfere with activities that require good balance, so you may wish modify your form of exercise during pregnancy.
  • Walking is always good exercise. If you were not active before you become pregnant, walking is a good way to begin an exercise programme.
  • Swimming can be continued if you were used to swimming before your pregnancy. Swimming is excellent for your body because it uses many different muscles while the water supports your weight. However, it is best not to dive in the later months of pregnancy.
  • Scuba diving is not recommended during pregnancy.
  • Jogging can be done in moderation if you were to jogging before used you became pregnant. Avoid tiring yourself. Stop if you are  feeling uncomfortable or tired, and drink water to replace what you lose through sweating.
  • Tennis is generally safe if you were used to playing tennis before pregnancy but be aware of your change in balance and how it affects rapid movements.
  • Golf and bowling are fine for recreation but don’t really strengthen the heart and lungs. With either of these sports, you may have to adjust to your change in snow skiing, water skiing and surfing pose some risk. You can hit the ground or water with great force and taking a fall at such fast speeds could harm your foetus. Before you decide to participate, you should talk with your Doctor.
ACOG Pregnancy Exercise Guidelines was last modified: October 1st, 2016 by Anjali Sharma