Healthy pregnant women can benefit from being active. There’s a lot to gain from physical activity! Being active can:
- Improve your mood and self-image.
- Help ensure appropriate weight gain.
- Help you relax and reduce stress.
- Promote better sleep.
- Increase your muscle tone, strength and endurance.
- Help build your strength for labour and birth.
- Speed up your recovery after labour and birth.
- Help increase your energy levels.
Talk to your health care provider about:
- Starting or changing your activities.
- Any changes in your pregnancy.
- Exercises that are safe for you.
You and your health care provider can use the PARmed-X for Pregnancy to ensure safe activities.
I have never exercised before. Can I start now that I am pregnant?
Yes, you can!
- Before beginning, consult with your health care provider.
- If you would like to start exercising, begin after your 12th week of pregnancy.
- Start with mild activities like walking and swimming. Even five minutes a day will help.
- Work up to three to four times per week for 15-30 minutes.
I am active. Can I continue being active now that I am pregnant?
Yes, you can!
- It is safe to be physically active during pregnancy.
- Continue your activities and make changes as needed. Only do what feels comfortable.
- Towards the end of your pregnancy, try activities that are less intense. Instead of running or hiking, go for a walk or swim.
Watch these videos to learn about being active during pregnancy.
Stay safe when being active.
- You should be able to talk normally during activities. If you're feeling more tired than usual, take it easy and rest for a day.
- Avoid activities that involve sudden starts or stops. Avoid jumping or quick changes in direction.
- Warm up your muscles before an activity, and stretch at the end.
- Drink water before, during and after being active.
- Never exercise on an empty stomach. Eat a light snack 30 to 60 minutes before exercising.
- Avoid being active in hot, humid weather.
- Do not exercise when you are ill or have a fever.
- Avoid hot tubs, hot yoga, saunas and whirlpools.
- After 16 weeks, avoid activities that involve lying on your back. Switch to activities standing, sitting or lying on your side.
Where to get more information or help
- Exercise and Pregnancy Help Line 1-866-973-7678
- Active Pregnancy
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