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Is it true that women should keep their heart rate below 150 beats/minute when exercising while pregnant?

James Weaver (Milford, CT) on Oct 31, 2011
The Department of Health and Human Services recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity about 5 days per week for healthy women. If you have a history of preterm labor or certain medical conditions, like high blood pressure, see your doctor before you exercise. In general, you should be able to have a conversation while you are exercising. If you are having trouble talking, then you are pushing yourself too hard, which can lead to serious problems, including vaginal bleeding, and uterine contractions. If you were exercising prior to your pregnancy then you should be able to maintain your exercise program throughout all three trimesters.
Bill Ross (Littleton, CO) on Oct 31, 2011
I can honestly tell you as a metabolic specialist and someone who is certified in pre/post natal exercise that your pregnancy is yours and yours alone. No two women experience the same symptoms. Listen to your body and make sure you perform regular doctor checkups.
Halle Clarke (New York, NY) on Oct 31, 2011
The current thinking on pregnancy and heart rate is that women should be careful not to push themselves when working aerobically but don’t necessarily have to count beats. The exerciser should be able to talk without gasping air and should stop if they feel even the slightest bit dizzy or light headed. Pushing too hard can have very negative effects such as vaginal bleeding or uterine contractions. Pilates is a wonderful way to safely stay in shape during pregnancy and also to get back in shape after the baby is born. Because of the attention the Pilates method gives to the inner unit (pelvic floor, transverse abdominus and the multifidi), a women’s pelvic muscles stay toned and ready for the difficult task of child birth. Halle Clarke Mongoose Bodyworks, NYC Zeel Expert
Anthony Bagnetto (New York, NY) on Oct 31, 2011
In 1985, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published its guidelines for prenatal exercise, cautioning women not to exceed a maximum heart rate of 140 beats per minute (bpm) (ACOG 1985). With these guidelines many pregnant women, especially athletes, found themselves in a quandary, since 140 bpm hardly qualifies as a workout for most fitness enthusiasts. The major flaw with the heart rate limitation is that blood volume increases dramatically during pregnancy. While vasodilatation increases to accommodate this blood flow, blood pressure can be inconsistent during the first two trimesters. As a result, heart rate is a poor indicator of exercise intensity during pregnancy. Pregnant women should be encouraged to exercise at a level that feels comfortable, using rating of perceived exertion (RPE) as a guide (Anthony 2002). Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale: 0 Nothing at all 0.5 Very, very weak 1 Very weak 2 Weak 3 Moderate 4 Somewhat strong 5 Strong 6 7 Very strong 8 9 10 Very, very strong As mentioned earlier, ACOG advises against exercising to exhaustion, regardless of fitness level. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, pregnant women can continue to exercise at high intensity levels as long as they do not exceed their pre-pregnancy intensity levels (ACSM 2000). A general rule of thumb is that if it feels good, it probably is good; if, however, it feels bad, it’s probably not good.
Sarah Ann Corkum (New York, NY) on Oct 31, 2011
Instead of monitoring heart rate, focus on how you feel during exercise. Can you breath normally and hold a conversation? If so, most likely you are able to provide enough oxygen to you and your baby and you both will benefit from regular exercise. The ";rule"; that pregnant women shouldn't go above a specific heart rate is no longer accepted among the American Council of Gynecologists and Obstetricians. Your heart-rate max depends on a variety of factors including your age, pre-pregnancy fitness level, and overall health; there is no magic number for every woman. So instead, make sure that you can breath easily while exercising. Wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing, have water handy, and be cautious of exercising in extreme heat. Regular moderate-intensity exercise has been said to be incredibly beneficial to a healthy pregnancy. As always, make sure you're in the clear with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.
Dan Kritsonis (Bellevue, WA) on Oct 31, 2011
I suggest that you not raise your heartbeat above 150 bpm and engage in less strenuous activity to where you core temperature does not rise over 103 degrees. The main issue is to not get overheated. So keep hydrated, pace yourself.It's also harder to cool down from vigorous exercise when you are pregnant .
Franklin Antoian (Delray Beach, FL) on Dec 10, 2011
As a general rule, most women should keep their heart rate below 140 while exercising during pregnancy. A heart rate above 140 can cause the baby to receive less blood than required.