Did You Exercise While Pregnant?

Updated on April 30, 2009
M.R. asks from Chicago, IL
7 answers

I've been on a great exercise program for about a year now that includes cardio and strength training 5 times a week. The cardio is usually a 3-5 mile jog or 30-60 minutes of elliptical work. The strength training consists of free weight training of all major/minor muscle groups at an intermediate level/weight/reps.

I'm newly pregnant and have my first appointment this Saturday and will definitely ask my OB for guidance (hey, that's what I pay him for!) but I'm just curious to know if any of you out there were able to carry on with your exercise routine normally. If my doctor wants me to stop or cut back I will have no problem doing so; the health of my unborn baby is way more important to me and I can definitely take a break if need be. However, I have come so far and worked so hard and I really don't want to take a 9 month break where I lose all of the success I've gained (I lost 50+ pounds through proper nutrition and exercise and have adopted it as a lifelong habit). I'm not worried about gaining a healthy amount of baby weight; I just don't want to have to start over at square one with my training postpartum.

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So What Happened?

Well, the verdict is in and I am not supposed to go over 120 bpm when I exercise. That pretty much knocks out most everything I've been doing. It's a bummer but it is only for 9 months and for a good reason, so I'll live with it. Looks like my 45 minute runs will turn into 60 minute walks/bike rides and my lifting will be low weight/high rep just to try to maintain where I am. I'm looking forward to a healthier pregnancy this time around, so we shall see!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

Not a bit - and loving it!



answers from Chicago on

I'm currently 23 weeks pregnant and I've continued boxing and kickboxing, which I've been doing for the past 2 years (I stopped sparring completely when I decided to try to have a baby). I don't hold pads for people, but they hold them for me and I punch and kick heavy bags. I do the same conditioning exercises I did pre-pregnancy - push ups, jump rope, etc. The key is to stick with what you've been doing - pregnancy is not the time to introduce new activities. I wore a heart rate monitor in the beginning of the pregnancy so I could get used to what my body felt like at various heart rate ranges. Also - don't exercise flat on your back past 20 weeks.

Good luck and keep it up! You will feel great. I already have a martial artist on my hands judging from the kicks and punches my daughter to be is doing in there!


answers from Chicago on


With all three of my pregnancies, I walked, which is my preferred form of exercise.

My friend would jog 4 miles on the treadmill a couple of times a week when she was pregnant with her 2nd. She did that up to her 9th month. She also would do light weight training. She had her doctor's okay. Her baby was very healthy when born and she had an easier time recovering.

I think as long as the OB says it's okay and you feel comfortable, you should do it!



answers from Chicago on

Congrats Mommy!! I was in your position when I got pregnant w/ my first child. I had lost a bunch of weight and felt really great about where I was at. My doctor had told me that anything I was already doing was fine, but that I may want to limit the time I spent on my back after about 12 weeks.

However, I was one of the unlucky pregos (or lucky, depends on how you look at it) who had the symptom of exhaustion during pregnancy. I just had no energy and was always sleeping, so unfortunately I had a lot more work to do after I had my babies. Totally worth it though!



answers from Chicago on

When I was pregnant I worried about the same thing and I worked out about as much as you. My OB said that anything I was already doing was okay to do while pregnant because my body was already conditioned for such training. I played tennis and lifted weights until about 32 weeks gestation, when I decided to take it easy. The key is not to overheat or get your heart rate up too high. Since I was used to running on the courts, I wasn't stressing myself cardiovascularly.

Your doctor will know what's best for you based on your particular pregnancy - You're doing the right thing by checking with them first. Best of luck!



answers from Chicago on

Your weight-loss and dedication is awesome.

I worked out until the day before I delivered. In the end it was tough but felt great. I was doing strength training three times a week, spinning two times a week, and yoga/pilates a few times a week.

I was a runner but for some reason around 3-4 months it was extremely comfortable for me so I decided to stop.

It made me feel great and I had a pretty fast recovery. I started running two weeks post-baby and back into my regular routine within 3-4 weeks after baby.

Good luck and congrats on your miracle!



answers from Chicago on

It's perfectly fine to do whatever you did pre-pregnancy (within reason, if you are a base jumper or ironman competitor you may need to cut back:) ) The most effective measure of your exertion is the "talk test"- you should be able to hold a conversation while exercising. If you can't, you are working out too hard and you should back off.

Some doctors and midwives will give out the information to keep your heart rate below 140-160. If you get that advice be aware that it is extremely outdated. The talk test is much more accurate.

Overheating is a concern in the first trimester but you would have to be quite uncomfortable- over 102 degrees is considered harmful. In later pregnancy dehydration can cause contractions so be sure to hydrate well.

Congrats on the pregnancy and do stay in shape. I have three kids and ran/worked out through all of my pregnancies and it helped me to avoid some of the more common problems in pregnancy. There is evidence that level of fitness reduces nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and pains, preterm labor, and many more.

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