Pregnant and Fit: Guidelines & Workout

Pregnant and Fit: Guidelines & Workout


During your first trimester, you will notice many changes. Your weight gain will probably be minimal, but your hormones will be in full effect! This is a good time to sit down and write a list of goals or things you would like to accomplish during your pregnancy. You may also want to consider keeping a journal to look back at and/or share with your child in the future.

What to expect

You will most likely see a drop in energy level, along with breast tenderness and back pain, but you should be able to maintain your center of balance and weight gain should be minimal. It is important to listen to your body and take the necessary precautions against possible injury during a workout, based on your fitness level at the start of your pregnancy. Your fitness level is determined by exercise experience, heart rate, and strength.

Keeping a regular workout schedule is key to your success with this fitness routine. You must work out at least twice a week and maybe up to seven days a week depending on your fitness level. Also, make sure you have a good combination of both strength and aerobic exercise in your routine. Ideally, you should aim for a minimum of two days a week of strength training plus a minimum of one day a week of aerobic training.

Due to the production of relaxin, remember to cease heavy weight training. Use three- to twelve-pound weights on upper body exercises and less than twenty pounds on lower body exercises as well as exercise bands, a physio ball, and your own body weight from this point on. Do not overdo it, just focus on keeping you and your baby healthy!

In your first trimester, your caloric intake can increase by around 300 calories a day if you are going to work out during your pregnancy. This should include an increase in vitamins, water, protein, and complex carbohydrates.

Make some adjustments

Remember that your core temperature should not exceed 102 degrees Fahrenheit. This is especially important during the first trimester because elevation beyond that temperature can cause an increase in the risk of certain birth defects. Make sure your workout is weather-friendly. If it is too hot outside, consider moving your workout to a shady spot or indoors. Also, be sure your workout area is well ventilated and cool.

As we said before, you will probably notice a significant change in your energy level, which can truly affect your workout. Therefore, we recommend the Ten-Minute Energy Test to determine whether you are able to complete our suggested workout.


If you pass the Ten-Minute Energy Test, proceed to your workout. Your body will let you know your level of fatigue, so listen to it!

♦ During your workout, you should be able to carry on a two-sentence conversation comfortably. If you are unable to do this, then you need to slow down or decrease your intensity.

♦ Be sure to keep an eye on your heart rate after each set or before you move on to your next exercise. Your heart rate should not exceed your personal THR zone; you should maintain your low- and mid-range THR for an effective workout. Here is a simple way to help you calculate your THR:



Common problems

Morning sickness is a very common problem in your first trimester. It will affect many of you, and there isn’t much that can be done about it. Morning sickness can be caused by a drop in your blood sugar level, so try to eat four to six small meals throughout the day. This is especially important before and after your workout.


Many of you will experience morning sickness in one form or another. This should pass as you progress to your second trimester, but there are some things that may help you through it now. Ginger helps calm the stomach. Yes, gingersnaps have ginger in them! You can also try ginger tea.

Lower back pain is also an issue in this trimester and throughout your pregnancy. Again, there is not much that can be done about this except to make sure you have good posture and begin lower-back-strengthening exercises.

You will probably experience some major mood swings. This is due to an increase in hormone levels. Rest, eat right, and socialize. Being around other pregnant women may help you feel more at ease with what’s going on in your life. Remember—always drink plenty of fluids, eat right, and get lots of rest!

About your workout

Take note that the exercises do not state a specific dumbbell weight you should use. This is because everyone is going to be at a different skill level. You should determine your own skill level. Start small and work your way up, or ask a certified fitness professional.

You will notice on the first, second, and third trimester workout posters that there are three strength training days and one cardio day (“cardio” refers to your aerobic workout). The third strength training day is optional and you may repeat a day to add a fourth strength training day if your fitness level allows. Remember, it is important to get at least one aerobic workout done per week in addition to your strength training, so plan your workouts wisely.

♠ If you have a regular exercise routine, you can start with the Delivering Fitness advanced workout and continue at the same fitness level with mild modifications.

♠ If you are just beginning your fitness routine, start with the lowest level of the Delivering Fitness beginner workout and progress as your fitness level increases.

Modifications include lowering or raising the amount of weight or the number of repetitions for any exercise. You can lower or raise the reps by three to five reps per set and you can lower or raise the weight to the next smaller or larger size.

As with all exercise routines, check with your physician before beginning this routine. Here is your First Trimester Workout!