Post # 1
I was at the doctor yesterday to talk about planning to get pregnant, and I asked about exercising. She said it’s fine as long as your heartrate doesn’t exceed 140 beats a minute. When I exercise, and check my heart rate on the machines, I’m routinely at 170 or 180. Today I checked it right when I first started, and I was at 160. I had literally been on the thing for less than a minute…I was still cold and wearing my sweatshirt!
I have no idea what effective exercise is possible while maintaining a heart rate of 140 or below. What did you do? Did anyone continue with actual exercise with no ill effects?
Post # 2
peachacid: a 160 heart rate is quite high for light exercise/just starting off on the machine. How fit are you? Generally a person with less fitness will get a higher heart rate when working out in comparison to a person with more fitness. It can vary from person to person though, age is a factor, weight etc. I would say for me (daily gym goer) that a heart rate of 140 would be lightish/medium cardio and then 160 and up would be tougher running, interval work etc?
Post # 3
Actually, current guidelines reccommend all pregnant women to engage in mild to moderate exercise 3 or more times per week, with the routine developed around their pre-pregnancy fitness level.
From the VA/DoD clinical practice guideline for management of pregnancy.
Some articles supporting the evidence that you can research if you are interested:
“Exercise during pregnancy,” 1994; Campbell & Mottola, 2001; Clapp, Lopez, & Harcar-Sevcik, 1999; Clapp et al., 2000; Clapp, 2001; Kramer & McDonald, 2006; Morris & Johnson, 2005; Sady et al., 1989; Sternfeld et al., 1995
I’d ask your doc where she got the 140 cap from to see if it’s anecdotal or evidence-based.
Post # 4
I am at the gym three to five times a week, and have been going that often since…October? Something like that. I am pretty fit…or not. I guess I’m not. But when I’m on machines for like 30 minutes or more, and I check my heart rate, it’s usually 173 or so.
Sigh. I sometimes think nothing in my life goes the way I think it is going.
Post # 5
My doctor told me the 140 bpm was outdated. That as long as you can talkor have a conversation while working out you are fine. I just listened to my body and didn’t push myself. I took my heart rate on and off and I worked out around 150-160 throughout ny pregnancy. I was a regular exerciser before I got pregnant. When my heartrate was 140 I felt like I wasnt getting any real good cardio in.
Post # 6
kes18: And everything was fine? I do exercise regularly, and I still gain weight unless I literally don’t eat. So…I can’t not eat when I get pregnant, and I’m scared that if I can’t exercise at all, I will gain, like, a million pounds. 140 is SO LOW to me.
Post # 7
Oh normally I probably work out around 170 or higher as well…so I definitely took it easier by not pushing myself but I still feltlike I got a good enough workout in.
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
140 is an old guideline. Heart rate will vary by person and fitness level. A better guideline is don’t exercise so strenuously that you couldn’t talk if someone asked you a question… Being out of breath is ok but not gasping.
I worked out and even lifted weights until 2 days before I went into labor.
Post # 9
peachacid: Yep, I have a very normal 6 week old and I had very healthy pregnancy (no issues). 140 is way too low for me as well. I felt like I wasn’t even getting a workout at 140 bpm. I just took a break if I felt I was getting too tired or overworked. I think as long as you can talk during your workout you are fine.
I would also watch the heat though if you’re pregnant in the summer. I did avoid running outside in 90+ degree weather.
Post # 10
Everything I’ve read has essentially said that if you could manage it not pregnant you can manage it pregnant. Meaning if you are already exercising pretty regularly you should (mostly) be able to maintain that intensity, at least before you get too big!
Post # 11
This is such a relief to hear.
…should I be worried about the ob/gyn now? I used to go to a place that I loved, but it’s 100 miles away…
Post # 12
while I have not been pregnant , I am a kinesiologist and fitness professional with training in expectant mothers. Generally we don’t monitor HR as a measure of level of exertion while pregnant. When pregnant , your cardiovascular system is going through a lot of changes , and thus, it is not an accurate measure.
ive attached an article which is pretty standard for pregnany and exercise. You’ll notice they use “rate of percieved exertion” to measure intensity. Maybe for the first little bit you can take the chart with you and make your self aware of how hard you are actually working Out so that you don’t over do it while not realizing it. As a general rule, if you cannot talk while working out, the. You are working too hard.
Hopefully that link works!
also, if you are a frequent gym goer, most experts say that it is okay to keep doing what you are doing as long as you are not doing any exercise on your back.
if you are newer to exercise, it is recommended that you start slow and gradually work up. If you don’t do weights now, pregnancy is not the time to start lol. If you are pretty experienced with lifting weights, it is okay, just don’t hold your breath during the repetitions and maintain proper technique.
hopefully this info helps ya out . If you need anything else , feel free to message me 🙂
Post # 13
I think 140 is outdated. That was my aunt’s advice to me, and she got pregnant in 1989….
I worked out before getting pregnant, and keeping under 140 was too low for me. I cut back on the intensity and hired a trainer for a one time session to get me adjusted to my new workout routine. I’ve found I can do the elipticals for about 30 – 35 minutes every other day without getting a sweat or feeling too tired, and my heart rate is usually more under 155. However I’m coming up on the third trimester, so I’m starting to cut down on the intensity even more and noticing it is a bit harder to do what I did six weeks ago. It is just about listening to your body and being reasonable.
Post # 14
peachacid: the 140bpm is a little outdated. it is more perceived effort. you want to make sure you can keep a conversation going. a friend of mine was 11 weeks pregnant and did a 100 mile bike ride with me. she is very active anyway and the baby was fine. he’s learning to ride a bike now…
Post # 15
The 140bpm rec is from the 80s and mostly pertaining to women who did not already have a good fitness base. So, it’s a bit outdated, though if you’re sedentary it is a decent rule of thumb or guideline.
These days, doctors & midwives typically say that anything you were doing before getting pregnant is safe to do (albeit less intensely) once you become pregnant. I was marathon training when I got pregnant with my first, so I quit increasing mileage, I dropped my intensity, and I did a half marathon around 5 months pregnant. I just made sure I stayed hydrated and didn’t get overheated. A significant rise in core body temperature is more dangerous to the developing fetus than a temporarily increased heart rate.