Exercise during pregnancy

Most of us realise that keeping fit in pregnancy is a good idea but what does that mean in practice?

Starting or continuing a moderate course of exercise isn’t associated with any risk to mum or baby. In fact, there are many benefits.


The current recommendations in the UK, are to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week.

Examples of gentler exercise that you may find more manageable in pregnancy include walking, yoga, swimming or pregnancy aquafit.

It is recommended that you do strengthening exercises twice per week.

These recommendations are for a non-complicated pregnancy. If you have any questions or concerns then it is best to discuss these with your healthcare professional (midwife, GP, consultant).

This video is available with subtitles in other languages at the bottom of this page.


During pregnancy, achieving exercise may feel challenging due to

  • morning sickness
  • fatigue and tiredness
  • aches and pains
  • pregnancy complications
  • work, family and other commitments.

But there are things you can do to help exercise become more manageable:

  • Try using a step counter to motivate yourself
  • Every minute you do towards the 150-minute target counts and may benefit you and your baby
  • Listen to your body…adapt and modify as you progress through pregnancy.

Try to incorporate physical activity and make it a priority.

Keeping safe while exercising 

  • Avoid activities that put you at higher risk of bumping your bump or falling, such as contact sports
  • Avoid scuba diving
  • Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Don’t get too out of breath
  • Don’t overheat 
  • Avoid prolonged exercise lying on your back.

Physical activity for pregnant women

Pelvic floor exercises

This video is available with subtitles in other languages.


Videos with subtitles in other languages:

Exercise in pregnancy – Urdu subtitles

Exercise in pregnancy – Somali subtitles

Exercise in pregnancy – Punjabi subtitles

Exercise in pregnancy – Polish subtitles

Exercise in pregnancy – Bengali subtitles