•Pregnant women are recommended to engage in ≥150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity over three or more days per week.
•This level of PA significantly reduces the odds of developing pregnancy complications (e.g., diabetes and hypertension) without increasing the odds of miscarriage, early delivery, or a small baby.
•Engaging in physical activity during pregnancy reduces the odds of developing depression by 67% and reduces the severity of depressive symptoms.
•Increasing the amount of weekly exercise concomitantly reduces the odds of developing pregnancy-related complications.
As exercise and health professionals, it’s important to consider a woman’s physical, mental, social, and spiritual health when prescribing exercise. Health and fitness professionals can encourage women during this period to be active and to include other areas of wellness by inviting friends to be active with them, or practicing mindfulness during PA, or joining group exercise session for increased social interactions. During pregnancy, there will be days where a woman feels tired or unwell, encouraging adequate rest and sleep to ensure recovery is as important as encouraging a resumption of activity after recovery. Consider the individual’s goal, whether it be disease prevention, stress reduction, or mood enhancement, in the design of an exercise plan or in making recommendations regarding PA. Although prescribing exercise during pregnancy requires additional considerations beyond nonpregnant women, such as time constraints, fatigue, and caring for other children, it is possible to develop effective strategies that increase PA while at the same time improving different aspects of wellness, particularly socioemotional well-being. And all of these can occur with as little as 10 minutes a day of PA.