The Truth About
Pregnancy and
Working Out

We’ve all seen different things online; some people saying you can’t work out when you’re pregnant, others saying you absolutely should. The truth is, overall, it all depends on you. Here are some things you need to take into consideration:

1. Your pregnancy

Pregnancy looks different on everybody. For some, the first trimester is a constant fight against the urge to throw up, along with daily naps. For others, they barely even know they’re pregnant until the second trimester, and somehow manage to maintain life as normal almost all the way through their pregnancy. I actually know someone who is weeks out from giving birth and still doing CrossFit! Don’t feel pressured to do what others are doing; every pregnancy is different.

2. Your fitness level

Did you work out prior to getting pregnant? Have you ever worked out? It’s unfair to push your body beyond what it is used to doing when you’re growing a person. It might be best not to decide at 3 months you’re going to take on hot yoga for the first time, but taking short walks in the morning and evening could be an easy way for you to get a little more active without putting too much strain on your body.

3. Your overall health

This is key. Fitness aside, some of us have different health issues that can be a little more of a challenge when pregnant. Maybe you’ve always been diabetic, or struggled with asthma, or maybe you’ve had digestive issues or battled with eating disorders. While health issues won’t necessarily get worse in and of themselves when you’re pregnant, the added work of providing nutrients and growing a baby can make them harder to manage. Make sure to check in with your doctor before working out.

4. Your diet

We all already know that when we exercise we need to change the way we eat, but when it comes to pregnancy, nutrition becomes even more important. Not only will you need more fuel for yourself as your body grows in size and weight, but you’ll also need to make sure that the food you’re giving your body gives you enough energy for each workout and the right nutrition for the baby you’re growing. With pregnancy a lot of people experience changes in tastes and cravings, along with the normal dietary restrictions, so it might take a little while to figure out exactly what you can eat, but it will be worth it. Diet plays a huge part in the way we perform during exercise, so it’s good to take the time to figure it out.

5. Your body

Pregnancy Yoga and Fitness concept. Portrait of beautiful young pregnant yoga model working out indoor. Pregnant happy fitness person enjoy yoga practice at home. Prenatal Goddess or Sumo Squat Pose

If there’s one thing pregnancy definitely does change, it’s your body. Some things are a little more manageable than others, but in a lot of ways a lot of pregnancies are the same. All bellies change in size, all bladders are a little more pressured, and all mamas feel a shift in the shape of their ankles. Even if you worked out prior to getting pregnant, you aren’t going to be able to do all the same exercises you did in exactly the same way you did them before. Burpees might be a little more challenging and take a little more time, you may have to replace sit-ups with an exercise that elbow-knee reaches, and planking might be in 30 second intervals rather than one-minute intervals. All of that is okay. Remember to give your body the grace it needs as it changes.

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

All posts by Femi A-Williams