Pregnancy and Exercise: Understanding the Impact and Guidelines

Pregnancy is a transformative journey that brings about numerous physical changes in a woman’s body. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this time is crucial for the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby.

In this blog post, we will explore the impact of pregnancy on exercise, including weight gain, joint laxity, and the importance of strength and cardiovascular training. Understanding these factors will help expectant mothers make informed decisions regarding their fitness routines.

Weight Gain and Exercise Recommendations

exercise recommendation pregnancy

During a healthy pregnancy, it is generally recommended for women to gain between 25 and 35 pounds. However, it’s important to note that these recommendations may vary based on pre-pregnancy weight status, such as being underweight, overweight, or obese.

Proper weight gain is essential for the health of the mother and the baby, and exercise can play a significant role in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight throughout pregnancy.

Impact of Relaxin on Joint Laxity

As pregnancy progresses, the hormone relaxin increases, leading to increased joint laxity. This is a natural adaptation that allows for the widening of the pelvis and the birth canal. However, it’s crucial to understand that the effects of relaxin extend beyond the pelvis.

Joint laxity may cause discomfort or even exacerbate previous injuries. Being mindful of joint stability and taking appropriate precautions during exercise becomes essential to ensure a safe and comfortable experience.

What is relaxin?

Exercise Guidelines for Pregnant Women

exercise guideline pregnancy

For women with uncomplicated pregnancies, it is generally safe to maintain their previous level of exercise intensity, as tolerated. However, those who were not physically active before pregnancy should start slowly and gradually progress to a moderate level of exercise.

Tailoring exercise programs to individual needs is vital, considering factors such as overall health, fitness level, and any potential pregnancy-related complications.

Importance of Strength Training

Early in pregnancy, focusing on strengthening the posterior leg and trunk muscles through exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts can help prepare the body for the additional weight and changes in the center of gravity.

Strengthening these muscle groups can improve stability and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal issues.

Cardiovascular Training Recommendations

When designing a cardiorespiratory training program for pregnant women, it is advisable to aim for a frequency of 3-5 days per week. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate intensity, duration, and type of exercise that suits an individual’s specific needs and overall health condition.


Exercise during pregnancy offers numerous benefits for both the mother and the baby. By understanding the impact of pregnancy on weight gain, joint laxity, and the importance of strength and cardiovascular training, expectant mothers can make informed decisions regarding their exercise routines. Always consult with a healthcare professional to ensure a safe and tailored approach to exercise during this special time.

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