two pregnant people walking and talking while carrying hand weights
kali9/E+ via Getty Images

Exercising during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure or preeclampsia

Preeclampsia and high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy, called gestational hypertension, are common conditions. Your healthcare provider will likely check your blood pressure at every prenatal appointment to screen for these conditions. This is because high blood pressure and preeclampsia can have negative effects on you and your baby’s health. There are things that you can do to reduce your risk- this includes exercise. Here are common questions and answers to get you started.

How much should I exercise?

A 2017 study showed that 30 to 60 minutes of exercise two to seven times per week may reduce hypertension. Try to space out exercise during the week, if possible. This rest may help your body recharge. 

What is the best kind of exercise?

There isn’t one “best” kind of exercise. It depends on your level of comfort and what you enjoy. For example, if you were a runner before becoming pregnant, you can likely continue. If you’re new to exercise, try fast walks and low-impact options such as prenatal yoga, walking, light weights, and swimming. See how you feel and shift your plan as needed. 

What exercise should I not do?

This will depend on your health. However, some exercises are usually riskier than others. Try to avoid exercises that:

  1. Involve collision, physical contact, and falling
  2. You haven’t done before
  3. Make you feel overly tired

What are the risks?

If you have a healthy pregnancy, there are no known risks of exercising. It will not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth rate, or early delivery. 

Is there anything else I should remember?

Yes! Here’s what to keep in mind:

  1. Listen to your body 
  2. Focus on what works for you 
  3. Work with a trusted healthcare provider 

You and your healthcare provider can work together to make sure you are safe and comfortable. You can also read more about preeclampsia and exercise below.

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team

Read More


  • Magro-Malosso, Elena R. “Exercise during pregnancy and risk of gestational hypertensive disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Obstetrics and Gynecology. 96(80: 921-931. Web. August 2017. 
  • “Healthy Pregnant or Postpartum Women.” Center for Disease Control & Prevention. Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. June 3, 2022. basics/pregnancy/index.htm
  • “Exercise During Pregnancy: Frequently Asked Questions.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. December 2021.

Related Topics

Get the Ovia Pregnancy app
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store