Health Topics

Physical Activity During Pregnancy

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.

Active Pregnancy Book

Active Pregnancy

Benefits include improved heart and lung health, muscular fitness, prevention of excessive weight gain, diabetes during pregnancyand high-blood pressure.

Learn about Active Pregnancy (PDF, 1.5 MB)

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.

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.
  • 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.

Contact us

For more information:

Phone: 905-546-3550
Email: [email protected]