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Safe exercise during pregnancy

It's best to exercise 5 times a week during pregnancy for 30 minutes or more.

The intensity of the exercise should be comfortable for you.

You should be able to talk while exercising.

If you did not exercise before

If you've never exercised before, start slowly and increase gradually.

  1. Begin with 15 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.
  2. Increase to 30 minutes of exercise 4 times a week.
  3. Then increase to exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week or more.

If you exercised before pregnancy

If you were active before becoming pregnant, keep up your normal exercise routine for as long as you're comfortable.

Slow down as your pregnancy progresses.

Exercising safely

  • Always talk to your GP, obstetrician or midwife about exercise.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
  • Do not exercise on an empty stomach - have a snack like a banana if you're exercising for more than 45 minutes, or sooner for high-intensity exercise.
  • Make sure you do warm-up and cool-down exercises.
  • After 12 weeks, avoid lying flat on your back during exercise.
  • If you can't talk and exercise at the same time, then your exercise is too intense and you should slow down.
  • If you're taking classes, tell your instructor you're pregnant - you may not be able to take certain classes or do certain exercises.

Activities to avoid during pregnancy

Birthing balls and equipment

Page last reviewed: 19 September 2022
Next review due: 19 September 2025