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Exercise during pregnancy: Is heart rate a concern?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-during-pregnancy/AN01560
- With Mayo Clinic obstetrician and medical editor-in-chief
Roger W. Harms, M.D.read biographyclose window
Roger W. Harms, M.D.Roger W. Harms, M.D.
"Nothing helps people stay healthy more than the power of real knowledge about health." — Dr. Roger Harms
As medical director of content, Dr. Roger Harms is excited about the potential for Mayo Clinic's health information site to help educate people about their health and provide them the tools and information to live healthier lives.
The Auburn, Neb., native has been with Mayo Clinic since 1981 and is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Harms is a practicing physician and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and his specialty areas include office gynecology, high-risk obstetrics and obstetrical ultrasound.
From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Harms was director for education at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Harms was the 1988 Mayo Medical School Teacher of the Year and served as associate dean for student affairs and academic affairs. He is the co-author of the "Mayo Clinic Model of Education." In 2008, Dr. Harms was presented the Distinguished Educator Award, Mayo Clinic, Rochester.
Dr. Harms is vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and medical editor of the Pregnancy section on this website. In addition, Dr. Harms is editor-in-chief of the "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" book, a month-by-month guide to everything a woman needs to know about having a baby.
"My medical education experience has grown out of a love of teaching, and that is what this site is about," Dr. Harms says. "If any visitor to this site makes a more informed and thus more comfortable decision about his or her health because of the information we provide, we are successful."
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Exercise during pregnancy: Is heart rate a concern?
I've exercised regularly for years. Now that I'm pregnant, do I need to limit my heart rate while I exercise?
from Roger W. Harms, M.D.
If you exercised regularly before pregnancy, there's no need to focus on your heart rate for exercise during pregnancy.
Years ago, some experts recommended a heart rate of no more than 140 beats a minute for exercise during pregnancy. Today, however, heart rate limits aren't typically imposed during pregnancy. For healthy women, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week — without any specific heart rate limits.
Still, reasonable precautions for exercise during pregnancy are important. Get your health care provider's OK for any exercise during pregnancy — especially if you have a history of preterm labor or certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure. Also, be careful to pace yourself appropriately. In general, you should be able to carry on a conversation while you're exercising. If you can't speak normally while you're working out, you're probably pushing yourself too hard. This could lead to vaginal bleeding, uterine contractions or other problemsNext question
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- Exercise during pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp119.cfm. Accessed April 22, 2011.
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf. Accessed April 22, 2011.
- Exercise. National Toxicology Program. http://cerhr.niehs.nih.gov/common/exercise.html. Accessed April 22, 2011.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 26, 2011.