The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released new guidelines for pregnant woman in regard to exercise in August of 2011. You can read them here. Essentially they made the guidelines more broad and discussed the many benefits of exercising while pregnant. One of the greatest changes, in my opinion, was the elimination of the arbitrary heart rate limit. The old guidelines stated that you should not let your heart rate rise above 150 beats per minute. They did not take into account a woman’s level of fitness prior to getting pregnant. Prior to pregnancy, I regularly exercised at 170 beats per minute with no ill effect. In the early stages of pregnant, I wore a heart rate monitor and attempted to stay below 150, but found it difficult to not creep into the 160′s. I finally decided to ditch the heart rate monitor and just listen to my body. I made sure I didn’t get too out of breath or too hot. I feel that remaining more active throughout this pregnancy has allowed me to gain 10 pounds less than last time and maintain some definition in my arms. My blood pressure has also remained low (95/55) and I have minimal swelling in my face and legs. People keep telling me how great I look, which is nice to hear when I feel like an oompa loompa.
on 25 February 2012New ACOG pregnant exercise guidelines!