Skip to main content

We use small files called cookies to help us improve your experience on this website and to provide services like web chat. We also use cookies to measure the effectiveness of public health campaigns and understand how people use the website.

Read our cookies policy to find out more about cookies and how we use them.

Coronavirus: advice to stop the spread. Extra restrictions are in place for Kildare, Laois and Offaly

Safe exercise

How much to exercise

It's best to exercise 5 times a week 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 didn't 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

Tips for 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 16 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.

Related topic

Birthing balls and equipment

page last reviewed: 20/11/2018
next review due: 20/11/2021