What the experts say about exercise in pregnancy

In 2002 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG ) presented the first formal recommendation to include exercise throughout pregnancy, stating, ‘in the absence of either medical or obstetric complications, 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week is recommended for pregnant women’ (2002).

They say:

  • All women should be encouraged to participate in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle during their pregnancy.
  • Reasonable goals of aerobic conditioning in pregnancy should be to maintain a good fitness level throughout pregnancy without trying to reach peak fitness level or train for athletic competition.

In support of guidelines (2006) from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG ) suggest that:

  • Women should choose activities that will minimise the risk of loss of balance and foetal trauma.
  • Women should be advised that adverse pregnancy or neonatal outcomes are not increased for exercising women.
  • Initiation of pelvic floor exercises in the immediate postpartum period may reduce the risk of future urinary incontinence.
  • Women should be advised that moderate exercise during lactation does not affect the quantity or composition of breast milk or impact on foetal growth.

The 3-Plan recognises this advice and incorporates it into its exercises programming:
FREQUENCY: 5–7 times a week (encompasses resistance and cardio)
INTENSITY: Moderate to hard (stick to the ‘talk test’)
TIME: 30+ minutes (if possible, otherwise smaller chunks)
TYPE: Recreational

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