Healthy pregnancy

In order to have a healthy pregnancy, for most women, physical exercise during pregnancy is not only desirable, but encouraged. Performed regularly (and within the boundaries of your doctor’s recommendations), physical exercise offers benefits that are not limited to your pregnancy itself, but may persist beyond your delivery as well. The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are widespread: it improves cardiorespiratory conditioning ; helps prevent bladder problems (such as incontinence, or involuntary leakage of urine); may prevent or decrease back pain; may decrease the risk or severity of depression; and may help with improves weight management. The intensity with which to do physical activity depends on your starting fitness and your doctor’s recommendations.

For previously sedentary women without obstetric or other risk factors, most doctors recommend starting with mild activity (eg brisk walking) and progressing to moderate intensity over time. Most women who were physically fit and active before pregnancy may continue their previous routine with some modifications even at moderate to high intensity, within certain parameters depending on the activity and any obstetric risk factors they might have.

Nascimento SL. et al. Physical exercise during pregnancy: a systematic review. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Dec;24(6):387-94