What you can and can’t do during pregnancy


Pregnancy can often be a confusing time for women. There are those of us that love training and staying fit and want to continue our routines and it can feel like we are being told to stop completely. Even if you are not usually very active, it can feel like a logical time to start a gentle routine to stay in good shape and feel strong for the upcoming birth, but again, it is difficult to know where to start if you are completely inexperienced.  In this article we aim to give you some general guidelines for pregnancy fitness.



These quick tips are intended for use alongside a training regime with a pre-natal fitness professional. They also assume a healthy 12-week first trimester check up with your GP.  



  • Exercise! If you are experiencing a relatively normal pregnancy then long gone are the days that it was believed that it is best to put your feet up and stay completely sedentary for nine months. In fact, this type of lazy lifestyle is far more damaging to you and your baby’s health. You put yourself at greater risk of putting on unnecessary weight and allowing your general fitness to plummet. Being a mum is tough work and you need the energy and strength to run around after your little one soon after birth. Whilst you should of course take it easier, it is widely accepted now, that pre natal fitness will help you to fight the aches and pains of pregnancy, prepare your body for a smoother delivery and stay mentally healthy as you undergo this transition.


  • This is something we get asked about a lot as there is confusion surrounding cardio fitness. It is often on a case-by-case basis, but if you were an avid runner beforehand and you have had your first trimester check up and all is fine, then resuming your routine should not be a problem. If you have not done a lot of running, then take it easier and start with very light jogs.

You CAN’T:


  • Eat for two! Unfortunately, as much as we would all like to believe this is true, eating for two during pregnancy is not a good idea. This is how many mothers manage to pile on the unnecessary and very hard-to-shift pounds post birth. In reality, you should be consuming about 200 calories more each day, which in context is half a sandwich or an extra slice of toast in the morning!


  • Do exercises which involve you lying ‘supine’, or in more general terms, ‘on your back’. So for example, abdominal crunches, or full sit-ups, are not recommended. This is because it can bear excess weight onto the foetus and because your rectus abdominus, more commonly known as the ‘six pack’ has separated as your stomach grows in size. Generally somebody should be guiding you as to what you can and cannot do but if you are training alone at home, try to bear this in mind. There is always a standing alternative to work each part of the body.
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About Harkirat Mahal

Female Founder Personal Trainer Fitness Blogger