Working Out During Pregnancy

Makeup Shopping: How to enjoy the process and not feel overwhelmed

Do you want to know one thing I’ve never done?

Gone to medical school. 

I feel like that’s kind of obvious, but in case you thought I had this secretive medical knowledge, I thought I would take the time to dispel the myth.

So, given that fact, don’t take anything that I say here as medically sound. Got it? These are just my thoughts on working out while pregnant, thanks to research I’ve found on my own and conversations with my doctor. 

Always, always, ALWAYS talk to your own doctor if you have questions.


So, when I first discovered I was pregnant, it only took about a week for the morning sickness to sink in. So for several weeks around the beginning of my pregnancy, I stopped working out. I was still “active” in that I worked on my feet and walked around plenty, but I didn’t “work out”. 

I began to feel better during the second half of my second trimester and started working out somewhat regularly again. I did not pick up running again, but I did walk at an incline on the treadmill, do the stair master, and lift weights. 

At this point, (currently 31 weeks) I’ve been working out at least 3-4 days a week at the gym. On nice mornings I’ll go for walk outside at a fast pace. When I’m at the gym, I’ll walk, do the stair master and then lift weights.

I hope to continue this routine for as long as possible.

I bought a heart rate monitor from Amazon (linked above) that I love. Have you ever used a heart rate monitor? I love knowing where my heart rate is and if I’m “in the zone”. I also am able to see how hard I’m exerting myself and whether or not I need to take it down a notch. I highly recommend investing in one if you work out regularly, pregnant or not.

I’ve found that staying hydrated is key. I drink about 6-8 “bottles” of water a day on average. Usually I drink a bottle before I start working out, I’ll take sips while I’m working out, and drink another bottle after I’m finished. It helps me cool down and replenishes lost moisture. 

At this point of my pregnancy, I’ve gained 20 lbs. I’m pretty pleased with that number. I’m hoping to stay in the 30-35lb range when it’s all said and done. I can tell that I’ve gained weight in my hips and thighs, and there’s even some extra junk in the trunk if you know what I’m sayin’. 

I can tell a significant difference in how I sleep on the days I work out versus the days I don’t work out. That alone is motivation for me to keep working out regularly. Good sleep is key! 

As far as working out post-pregnancy, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I intend to do another sprint triathlon sometime in 2014, but we’ll see how that goes! 


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Ashley says · 10.15.13

Love that workout top.. I had a few friends that workout during their pregnancy and up to a few weeks before they were due. They said it made them feel so much better during the entire pregnancy..

Sincerely Miss Ash

Katie @ Loverly She says · 10.15.13

Working out while pregnant is totally worth it – saved me a lot of hassle, in that the weight loss was really rapid afterwards. Also it really disciplines your mind to push through those tired days and work out anyway, because there are a lot more of those tired days after baby arrives 😉 You are looking beautiful Kate. So exciting!

Lindsey (a running tale) says · 10.15.13

I can say at 37 weeks pregnant that working out has made a huge difference in how I feel. I know its made my pregnancy a lot easier too. I am done to only prenatal yoga, walking and light weights but still manage to get in 4 sessions a week and feel great everytime I do so.

Cherish says · 10.15.13

I have that same workout top in 3 different colors, not pregnant : ), and absolutely love them! Such a bargain and they hold up so well.

Katie says · 10.15.13

Good for you for continuing to work out! And for providing some of us some more motivation to hit the gym 🙂

Stephanie says · 10.15.13

I’m 22 weeks pregnant (also Team Boy!) and am still working out 5 to 6 times a week. I also have a heart rate monitor, and I second your opinion that any regular exerciser, pregnant or not, invest in one. I’ve been lucky that I haven’t felt bad during my pregnancy and have been able to keep up my regular workouts, including Body Pump, boot camp, and spinning. I adhere to the “modify as needed” and “it’s okay to do what you were doing before” mantras. So as long as I can keep up, I’m going try. Glad to know I’m not the only pregnant chick getting her sweat on!

Karen Wolf says · 10.15.13

I just purchased a Heart Rate monitor with band from for $25(shipped to me!), it is the best thing ever. I find that I work harder and get more satisfaction from my workouts knowing how hard I am pushing. Way to go Kate on continuing to workout. I really struggled with it during both my pregnancies and now that they are 6 and 9 I now have to work to get the weight off plus tone it back up! Your body will thank you in the long run(haha no pun intended being you are normally a runner!). Love your blog!!

Delta Daisies says · 10.15.13

i LOOOOVE my heart rate monitor~!

Megan {Willow Way Blog} says · 10.15.13

I was pretty active during my pregnancy and I think it helped tremendously during my labor and delivery! Cute gear always kept me going 🙂

Christi says · 10.15.13

I have that same heart monitor. I love it. (and it looks like the price has gone down quite a bit since!)

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman says · 10.15.13

20 pounds is fantastic! I’ve gained 24 (27 weeks) and I’m trying to slow that down because I would rather not get to 40. However, I’m only gaining in my tummy area which makes me think that perhaps my due date is wrong. If my original due date that I predicted is right it would mean I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant so we shall see. I am still running, but only about 2-3 days a week. I haven’t kept lifting weights. What type of weight lifting are you doing? I would like to maintain that as well.

Kate Scott says · 10.15.13

I’m at 22 weeks and working out 3-4 times a week as well. No HIIT intervals or ridiculous miles like before, but lots of walking, weight lifting and yoga. I love how I feel after a good workout and I keep telling myself how much better my labor/delivery and recovery will be because I workout. (True, maybe? Motivating, yes!)

Morgan S. says · 10.15.13

I’m on my 3rd and workout 6 days a week, sometimes two-a-days if you count a 3-4 mile walk over our large Cooper River Bridge and back a couple times a week. I DO NOT want a hard time losing the baby weight…expecially this being the 3rd go-round! Keep up the good work!

Whitney says · 10.15.13

Good for you! What type of weight routine are you doing? I’m 28 weeks and have been mostly running, walking and using the ARC trainer. I’d like to lift weights, but haven’t a clue where to start. I did a reverse triathlon (a little less than sprint distance) at 26 weeks. I proclaimed myself the maternity winner 😉 I’m hoping the effort I’m putting in will make for an easier pregnancy, labor and post-labor recovery. If nothing else, I sure feel a LOT better about all the peanut butter I eat since I’m still pretty active. It’s all about perspective!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) says · 10.15.13

This is a great post! 🙂 I am on a hunt for maternity yoga capris at the moment but maybe I’ll just give up and go the shorts route. I also like to do sprint tris- I did one when I was 5 weeks pregnant and didn’t know yet 🙂 I’m 22 weeks now and I’m still swimming, walking and occasionally going to spin class. I am finding it really easy to work out on the weekends but since I’m a teacher and on my feet all day, it’s hard to know what’s the best thing to do when I get home from a day of work- work out more, or just put my feet up? I’m sure you have this problem too!

shohanali ali says · 10.15.13

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Simply Beautiful says · 10.15.13

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I’ve watched pretty much all of your hair tutorials. I honestly never did much with my hair so I’m not the best at styling it, but watching your tutorials has helped me a lot and I do more with my hair now because of it. So thank you so much for sharing your talent. I did a messy up do today inspired by your tutorial. If you would like to see it, I posted a picture of it on my blog under the title “Updos and Silverware”.

hollie marie says · 10.16.13

From a Labor & Delivery nurse’s standpoint, I will tell you that having good muscle tone makes your labor SO SO SO much easier. There is such a huge disparity between laboring moms who are physically active vs moms who are lazy slugs. Keep up the good work!

Sarah Mailloux says · 10.16.13

I thought that working out during pregnancy made me feel better after delivery, which was my least favorite part of the whole process. Best wishes for a safe and easy delivery!

Jamie says · 10.16.13

I’m just a week behind you in my pregnancy, and have been working out throughout. Staying active was important before, so keeping up with it during my pregnancy was a priority, but lately it has been really hard to get that motivation going-especially after a long day of work. Mornings are essential!

Vanessa says · 10.16.13

Good for you for working out and keeping as healthy as possible during your pregnancy. We all want to do our best for ourselves and for baby, but it can be hard and it is a definite commitment as far as time and motivation goes. Good work!
Just wanted to say I highly recommend breastfeeding as a helper in getting off the pounds post-baby. It might take awhile, but I have had every pound come off – without exercise (I know, I know, I am bad about finding the time to exercise with 3 kids under 4). I didn’t have that kind of success with my first daughter that I had to exclusively pump for.
Enjoy your last two months! I always really missed all those kicks and punches once they were in my arms and not in my abdomen. 🙂

Jacque Pinol says · 10.16.13

So hard to get motivated sometimes , good for you!!

Val says · 10.16.13

Great advice!! I just gave birth 10 days ago had a similar experience. I didn’t work out much during a very nauseous first trimester, then started walking second trimester and working out at the gym third trimester. I was surprised to feel the best my whole pregnancy during the last 10 weeks! I really think it had to do with working out!! Best of luck with the rest of pregnancy and mommy hood. It really is amazing!! : )

Bailey H says · 10.17.13

Keep it up! Working out and staying in shape should make labor easier on you! I’m at 37 weeks and somehow managed to only gain 25 pounds. I think what’s more important though is getting the right nutrition and staying active. I’ve heard it’s better to gain more than enough weight than not enough – that could mean that your baby is lacking nutrients.

Rhiannon Heywood says · 10.18.13

I have been using exercises from this website because like you I have also not been to medical school! After being cleared by my doctor I was on the hunt for maternity sportswear and pregnancy exercises I could do, and what was safe! Great website I highly recommend it to everyone! I feel great Im about half way through and feel so healthy and confident! really think exercise during pregnancy benefits you in so many ways!

Love your blog! 🙂

Chelsea Cauley says · 10.21.13

Thanks for posting the workout top! I finally popped too much for my old ones. I went and picked one up this weekend before my husband and I took our son on a nice long walk. I have a scheduled csection in late December and knowing I will have to recover from that with a new born and 1yr old has kept me really motivated.

Evie Dawson says · 11.18.13

No doubt about it, exercise is a big plus for both you and your baby (if complications don’t limit your ability to exercise throughout your pregnancy).It depends on when you start and whether your pregnancy is complicated. If you exercised regularly before becoming pregnant, continue your program, with modifications as you need them.Beside this don’t forget to ask medical questions in any health problem.

Des says · 03.07.14

This is so interesting. You’re not the only person I’ve heard say that working out during pregnancy gives you better sleep and makes you feel more rested. I’ve also heard it is a huge help during post-baby recovery time. KiraGrace has a yoga blog and they did this cool interview with their fitness model Kori Isfeld who was pregnant barely a month before posing for a photoshoot for their newest activewear collection and she looks INCREDIBLE. Apparently she’s releasing a video series called ‘baby bump pump’ for expecting mothers who want a guide to healthy working out!