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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).

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