Should you exercise while pregnant?

Date:  June 23, 2023


The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, encourage women who are experiencing healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies to exercise. Exercise has been shown to reduce the severity of low back pain, pelvic girdle pain, and lumbopelvic pain during pregnancy.

How can your chiropractor help?

Chiropractors can promote healthy lifestyle behaviours by providing education and prescribing physical activity programs through a personalized approach to exercise prescription by considering a patient’s environmental context, available resources, personalized education, and providing reassurance of a patient’s exercise capability. Programs may include strength training exercises, aerobic conditioning, stretching, and relaxation techniques, and clinicians can help determine the appropriate frequency, intensity, and timing of physical activities.


  1. All women without contraindications (see below) should be encouraged to be physically active throughout pregnancy. Combining aerobic and resistance training during pregnancy has been shown to be more effective at improving health outcomes than aerobic exercise alone.
  2. Pregnant women should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week to achieve meaningful health benefits and reductions in pregnancy complications.
  3. Physical activity should be accumulated over a minimum of 3 days per week; however daily activity is encouraged.
  4. Pregnant women should incorporate a variety of aerobic exercise and resistance training activities to achieve greater benefits. The addition of yoga and/or gentle stretching may also be beneficial.

Contraindications: Before commencing any exercise program, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider. If you have any of the following conditions, exercise may not be recommended:

  • Ruptured membranes
  • Premature labour
  • Unexplained persistent vaginal bleeding
  • Placenta previa after 28 weeks’ gestation
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • High-order multiple pregnancy (eg. triplets)
  • Uncontrolled type I diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension or uncontrolled thyroid disease
  • Other serious cardiovascular, respiratory or systemic disorder
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • History of spontaneous preterm birth
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Symptomatic anaemia
  • Malnutrition
  • Eating disorder
  • Twin pregnancy after the 28th week
  • Mild/moderate cardiovascular or respiratory disease
  • Other significant medical conditions

A chiropractor in Canada can help you through your pregnancy as your primary healthcare contact. Visit to find your nearest chiropractor today.


Adapted from Physical activity throughout pregnancy: guideline critical appraisal and implementation tool, Drs. Gaelan Connell, Carol Ann Weis, Heather Hollman, Kelsey Nissen, Leslie Verville, Carol Cancelliere JCCA,  April 2021 Volume 65 No. 1 –

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