We are often asked how much exercise is appropriate and safe during pregnancy—we have clients who wonder if they can take more than one of our classes a week, or if it’s okay for them to swim one day and take a Pilates class the next day.

It’s one of our most common questions, and the answer is surprising: ACOG (the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology) recommends pregnant women work out at a moderate level for at least 30 minutes on most, if not all days of the week.  Basically, they want you working out at a moderate (note, not gentle) level every single day.  Think about all the people you know who love to exercise, and how few of them exercise at a moderate level almost every day. It’s rare in non-pregnant people, and even MORE rare in pregnant populations! It demands a fundamental shift in thinking– pregnancy is not the time to curl up and rest, it’s the time to prepare for the most strenuous jobs on the planet- motherhood!

ACOG also mentions conditions that mean you shouldn’t exercise:

  • Hemodynamically significant heart disease
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Incompetent cervix/cerclage
  • Multiple gestation at risk for premature labor
  • Persistent second- or third-trimester bleeding
  • Placenta previa after 26 weeks of gestation
  • Premature labor during the current pregnancy
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Preeclampsia/pregnancy-induced hypertension


However, if you are free of the above conditions, ACOG is clear: “Participation in a wide range of recreational activities appears to be safe.” We say use your pregnancy as an excuse to exercise more than you normally would — on most if not all days of the week. Your body and baby will thank you!

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