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The following is a summary of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Guidelines for exercising while pregnant (from ACOG Technical Bulletin, No. 189, February 1994).
1. During pregnancy, you can continue your mild to moderate exercise routines. It’s best to exercise at least three days a week.
2. Don’t exercise in the supine position (flat on your back) after the first trimester. It can decrease the blood flow to the uterus. Also, don’t stand motionless for long periods.
3. You’ll have less oxygen available for aerobic exercise during pregnancy, so modify the intensity of your routine accordingly. Stop exercising when fatigued, and don’t exercise to exhaustion. You might be able to continue doing weight-bearing exercise at close to your usual intensity throughout pregnancy, but non-weight-bearing exercises, such as cycling and swimming, are easier to continue and carry less risk of injury.
4. Don’t do exercises in which you could lose your balance, especially in the third trimester. Avoid any exercise that risks even mild abdominal trauma.
5. You need an additional 300 calories a day during pregnancy, so if you’re exercising, be particularly careful to ensure an adequate diet.
6. During the first trimester, be sure that you stay cool when exercising — drink enough water, wear cool clothing, and don’t work out in too hot an environment.
7. After you give birth, resume your prepregnancy exercise routine gradually, based on physical capacity.