Pregnant woman with aching knees, uncomfortable, sweating because she's exercising


It is unsafe to exercise when I’m pregnant.

Pregnant women exercising


  • All pregnant women without specific risk factors are encouraged to exercise [3]

  • Aim for at least 150 minutes/week at moderate intensity (at least 3 days/week), including aerobic and muscle strengthening [3]

  • Fewer newborn complications, with no increased risk of negative outcomes for pregnant women or their babies [3]

  • Many benefits for pregnant women, including a decreased risk of gestational diabetes and caesarean section [1, 3]

  • Aerobic exercise ideas include: stationary cycling, brisk walking, swimming or aquafit [3]

  • To reduce the risk of urinary incontinence, daily pelvic floor muscle training can be performed [3]

  • Some modifications include avoiding: physical contact/risk of falls, exercise in excessive heat, and lying on your stomach (mid-late pregnancy) [1, 3]

  • Talk to a health professional before increasing your activity level during pregnancy [2]

Physiotherapy can help you maintain or increase your activity levels safely during pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing pain, incontinence, or other symptoms during activity.

[1] Bø, K., Artal, R., Barakat, R., Brown, W., Davies, G. A. L., Dooley, M., … Khan, K. M. (2016). Exercise and pregnancy in recreational and elite athletes: 2016 evidence summary from the IOC expert group meeting, Lausanne. Part 1— exercise in women planning pregnancy and those who are pregnant. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(10), 571–589. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016- 096218

[2] Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (2015). PARmed-X FOR PREGNANCY: Physical Activity Readiness Medical Examination.

[3] Mottola, M. F., Davenport, M. H., Ruchat, S.-M., Davies, G. A., Poitras, V., Gray, C., … Zehr, L. (2018). 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 40(11), 1528–1537. doi: 10.1016/j.jogc.2018.07.001

Myth or Truth?