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Is your pregnancy slowing you down?

It is true that pregnant women should ease up on their workouts; however, they don’t need to stop exercising completely. Exercise and other physical activities are appropriate for all pregnant women, unless a doctor tells you otherwise. Women who were physically active before their pregnancy can continue with moderate activities until the third trimester, when a reduction in exercise and other physical activities is recommended. With that being said, here are some general guidelines for the fitness program of a pregnant woman:

-Low-moderate intensity exercise (40-50% of maximum capacity) should be performed 3-5 days a week.

-Non-weight bearing activities such as swimming, the elliptical trainer, the treadmill, and cycling should be used for cardio.

-Pregnancy increases metabolic demand by 300 calories/day, so make sure you are eating enough to offset exercise effect.

-If cleared by a physician, resistance training can be performed 2-3 days a week. A circuit training format is recommended, with 1-3 sets of 12-15 reps per exercise. Make sure to get enough rest between sets.

-Workout sessions should last around 15-30 minutes each.

-Avoid exercises in a prone (on stomach) or supine (on back) position after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

-The gradual growth of the fetus can alter the posture of pregnant women, which is why flexibility and core-stabilization training is extremely important (NASM 406).

Remember to always consult a physician before entering into this or any other fitness regimen. Know your limitations and do the best you can where you are at. Also, the changes that occur during pregnancy can last for up to a month and a half after giving birth, so make sure you gradually progress to a more vigorous fitness program. I know you’ll be anxious to lose that “baby weight” but hold off for a couple months so you don’t hurt yourself! Have a safe pregnancy, don’t eat too much (you’re not actually eating for two), and stay active:-) If you have questions, email me at:!


Clark, M.A., Lucett, S.C., Corn, R.J. (2008). NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

posted by admin in Pregnancy,Special Populations and have Comments (16)