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Lola Akingbade: Should You Work Out While Pregnant?



GDP15-9055In the past, people made statements such as “eat whatever you want while pregnant” “eat for two” “if you are craving it, eat it because your baby wants it”. Things are gradually changing and people are beginning to realize the benefits of working out while pregnant.

As a weight management trainer, owner of and one who was just recently pregnant, I had several people tell me I wasn’t meant to be working out while pregnant or that I should just walk around, or basically enjoy my free time from hitting the gym and being healthy. I believe I had a pretty smooth pregnancy with hardly any issues firstly because of God and also due to working out and staying healthy. Thankfully, I gained only 17 pounds (7.7kg) while pregnant and gave birth to a very healthy baby girl. I was able to lose everything within 2 weeks post partum even though my body physique is not there yet. However, that may not be the case for everyone despite working out because every pregnancy is different, so listen to your body, you know your body best.

If you have been working out before getting pregnant, you can still maintain those workouts and just modify some to accommodate your growing belly and how you feel. If you have not been working out, you can still workout but start slowly.

Benefits of working out while pregnant

  • It could make labor and delivery easier
  • You look better and feel better
  • It helps with sleep during pregnancy
  • It gives you more energy
  • It helps reduce discomfort because your muscles are being stretched and worked
  • It helps lower your risk of Gestational Diabetes
  • It helps your body bounce back faster

Things to take note of when working out while pregnant

  • Stay hydrated
  • Listen to your body
  • Do not overdo it
  • Stop if you notice increased shortness of breath or rapid heart rate even while resting
  • Avoid lying flat on your back
  • Warm up and cool down
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Do not get overheated
  • Stop if you feel dizzy or get a headache
  • Stop if you notice vaginal bleeding

Reasons not to workout while pregnant

  • There are some conditions where it isn’t really advisable to workout or you may be limited in what exercises to do.
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • At risk for preterm labor
  • Persistent 2nd or 3rd trimester bleeding
  • Cervical insufficiency
  • Lung disease

Types of workouts you can do

Here are just a few examples of workouts you can do while pregnant:

  • Swimming
  • Weight training
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Kegel exercises
  • Walking
  • Stretching

Speak with your doctor first in regards to your health history and what he or she recommends as far as working out. You do not need to do anything crazy or complicated, simply find ways to stay active and eat healthy.

Happy pregnancy to those who are pregnant or trying to be!

Lola Akingbade is a certified Nutritionist and Weight Management Specialist, Fitness blogger, HuffingtonPost Contributor and Owner of Christsoldiergirl Fitness Blog ( She also holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She has a passion for working out, staying fit and helping others achieve their goals of healthy lifestyles. She can be reached on Instagram (@christsoldiergirlfitness) and Facebook (lolah christsoldiergirl Akingbade).


  1. Joke

    February 11, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    This is good information. I actually follow her on IG , she has some pretty good videos

  2. been there

    February 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Good article.
    I’m glad you stated ‘could’ to make delivery and labour easier. That is an assumption. The main benefit of exercising while pregnant is it will help u snap back to ur pre-pregnancy figure.
    For example: it’s not been known to prevent a baby being breech or eliminate the chances of a mother needing a c-section for delivery.

    The main thing is to listen to ur body. If u can, pls do. If not pls rest.

  3. bee

    February 11, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    finally someone says this……. i just dont get why people think you should eat anything because your pregnant and should be eating plenty because you are breast feeding. when the time comes to loose baby weight then they start crying and they will now be saying its all part of being a mum being over weight or fat is not part of motherhood, deep down you know you miss your old body and shape

  4. Tolu Arogundade

    February 11, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Very valuable info I follow her on IG with @fitmrsfats

  5. Tokemi

    February 11, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Sounds like she knows what she’s saying. She is actually doing a six weeks challenge starting soon,. I am definitely going to sign up with her.

  6. Moji

    February 11, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Good information.!!!


    February 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I am so glad you wrote this article, there is a lot of health and fitness ignorance around and It is good to shed some light on this.

  8. Mariella

    February 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I’m on my 9th week, just found out a few weeks ago thru those free ttckit pregnancy tests. I;m looking into enrolling in a prenatal yoga class. I did mostly cardio before getting pregnant but I figured I’d rather be more gentle on my body since there’s a baby on board.

  9. tinu

    February 11, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Nice article…… Husbands take note

  10. Le coco

    February 11, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Good job.. you will enjoy it.. A lady at my gym was constantly working out.. and not only dd she gain minimal weight. she said tht it reduced her fatigue, and even morning sickness.. she felt great all through her pregnancy..

  11. What is the koko

    February 11, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    That was the case with my wife. she worked out and was able to stay fit during her pregnancy …everything just tigh after pikin. haha

  12. nene

    February 11, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    my personal trainer was 7 months pregnant and working out very well. she says it helps with the muscles. nothing heavy, but get ur body moving. she’s a personal trainer, and she was doing ab exercises at 7 months! i was scared for her.

  13. Safarawe

    February 12, 2016 at 8:41 am

    This is the most beautiful pregnant woman I’ve seen. They don’t look so bad in black. I used to have a phobia for this.

  14. Yinmu

    February 12, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Working out during pregnancy doesn’t gaurentee nothing. While I was preggers the only exercise o did was eating lol. I had a 2hr labour my son popped out on his due date. Waters broke, laboured for 2hrs then my son popped out in the pool. When my son was 7 months he dropped breast feeding himself then 4weeks later I was back in my old size 8 jeans & cloths. No exercise I only started the gym again this year and my son is now 18 months.

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