Working out while pregnant.

My last tip (HUGE TIP) for a healthy weight gain during pregnancy is exercise.

I want to first emphasize the fact that my number one priority during my whole pregnancy was to make sure my baby was healthy.
The only time I ever weighed myself was at appointments when I had to tell the nurse what my weight was- our scale here at home doesn't even work! haha
I never counted calories, or tracked what I ate.

That being said,
I exercised and ate right to feel good; period.

I was going to gain all the weight needed to keep my baby healthy.

Working out during pregnancy:
 I feel like this topic is SO unproven.
Every body is different and everyone has different comfort zones.
However, here are a few things that worked for me:)

#1. Don't push out of your comfort zone.

I have heard ladies say "I will start working out when I get pregnant".
Pregnancy is NOT the time to push your body to places it's never been.

Trust me when I say-
If you have a hard time having motivation to work out right now-
multiply that "non motivation" by about 100 and that is how you feel about working out when you are pregnant.
It is SO hard to get motivated when you are more tired than you have ever been in your life.

If you followed my pregnancy, I talked about in THIS post that my husband and I were training for our first marathon when we found out I was 7 weeks pregnant.

I was going to be 15 weeks along when the marathon was scheduled.

I had the cutest OBGYN doctor who was really into keeping your body healthy and fit,
so she answered a lot of questions I had.

My farthest run had been 17 miles, and once I found out I was pregnant, I was scared to push myself any further knowing my body had never done that before.

So we decided I would just run the half marathon.
( my body had run that distance a few times and I wasn't pushing to a place my body had never been.)
There is a really really good article on running while your pregnant if you are interested HERE

People ask how I was able to run so far for most of my pregnancy,
Because my body was used to running such high milage during the first couple months of my pregnancy, scaling back for me was running 5 and 6 miles.
This was in my comfort zone.

My doctor gave me the best tip of all,

#2. I didn't just run....

I know I talk about running a lot because it's something I love,
(I would try to run 3 times a week)
HOWEVER, I believe strength training is more important.
Running does not work every muscle in your body.

Strength Training
9 months is a long time!
It's a long time for your muscles to weaken.
Here is the bottom half of my body in that first picture. My baby basketball at 36 weeks!
(There is many ups to pregnancy. One of them was not having to do abs for 9 months and laying on the ground watching my husband sweat it out. haha)

I was determined that I was not going to have to start from ground zero after I had the baby.
I didn't want to lose what (little ha) strength I have!
I also wanted to feel strong through labor.
I have free weights at home, (lets be honest I lift 5 pounders and sometimes 8 pounders haha nothing huge) and twice a week I made the effort to do a strength workout or just use free weights and do one on my own.

Of course, there is a lot of modification with certain weight work outs when you are pregnant,
(not doing abs, not laying on your back and lifting etc.)
but as long as they are light weights you can still do many toning exercises.
Keeping my strength was probably the best decision I made throughout my pregnancy.

 Stretching and Yoga.
SO important during this time!
I loved doing yoga. It relaxes you, and puts you in "the zone".
I tried to do yoga once a week or some type of stretching workout.

My husband and I do a lot of workout DVD's at home (P90X, Insanity, ChaLEAN, Jillian etc. - trust me we have done them all.) I know a lot of you go to the gym- for those that DO go to the gym; low impact aerobic classes, yoga classes, spinning classes, hip hop classes- they are all safe to do when you are pregnant! - just modify if something feels out of your comfort zone)

#3. It doesn't have to be something BIG!

(-27 WEEKS PREGNANTHiking with the husband!)

I feel like the term "workout" just sets our minds up to not want to do it. 
Some days your body will feel great. Some day your body will feel terrible.
The most important thing is that you do something every day.

(33 WEEKS PREGNANT- going out to play tennis with the husband!)

That was my goal. Monday through Saturday (sunday is always my rest day). It will make all the difference.
Some days I was able to run 6 miles, some days I went for a 30 minute walk or did a stretching workout and called it good.

The point of these pictures is to show that you can do anything.
Just shoot to get your body moving every day.

#4. Listen to your body.

The most important thing you can do is listen to your body.
You will know when something is too hard, too fast, or too much when working out.
I loved running while pregnant because they second I felt out of my comfort zone, I could walk for a little bit and then pick back up running when I felt like I was ready.

Your body will actually be able to do most things it can right now in those first months of pregnancy.
The only thing that was different for me, was the fatigue I felt.
Once your belly starts growing, things get a little more difficult but it doesn't mean you can do squats or pushups. It's just harder.

There is a difference between telling yourself something being too hard
because you DON'T WANT to do it,
and something being too hard because you physically CAN'T do it.

I actually think I got stronger than I was before, during my pregnancy.
With the extra weight you carry-
I am convinced you burn 3 times the calories:)


We all know that pregnancy has a way of turning our hormones up and down and all around.
Us ladies can go from being ecstatic one day to depressed the next.
Working out will make every day happy. I promise.

I went more in detail about staying happy while pregnant.

#6. You can eat your cravings and not feel bad!!

(From WEEKS 26 ON I craved these.)

In my last FIT FRIDAY post I talked about the "eating right" side of pregnancy.
However, one of the main reasons I worked out was to be able to eat that slice of pizza when I wanted it and enjoy all my pregnancy cravings to their fullest without feeling bad.

I will be the first to tell you, working out is HARD while pregnant.
It is not easy.
Pregnancy is the ultimate excuse to "not wanting to work out".
Most days all you want to do is sit on the couch and eat your cravings,
but I promise you if you get out and do something each day- it will be so worth it.
It didn't take long to bounce right back into my regular routine, jump into my old jeans, and feel like my old self after having my baby.
It's all because I made the effort on the days I didn't feel like doing anything.

Hopefully this helps- and gives you motivation to stay active!
It is so good for you and your future baby!:) 
Happy Friday!

Karina Marie Powell


  1. This totally gives me motivation. My sister was so active before and during her pregnancy and didn't bounce back like a lot of people, but she is a lot better off than she would've been without exercising at all. You are beautiful. You, 9 months pregnant, look better than me right now. haha!!

  2. This is so helpful! Your blog has helped me change so many things positively in my life :) Love all your tips abt running, working out and most of all stay motivated. I'm glad to change little things everyday so when I am pregnant, it will be a daily routine for me to workout and just keep moving. Thank you so much!!!

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  4. I just found your blog through Style Elixir. I love this post. I'm 27 weeks pregnant right now and still running 2-3 times a week and walking on the days I don't run. I'm so nervous about strength training though - what all did you do that was okay? I don't want to lose my muscle in my abs, legs, and arms, but I'm afraid to push myself so I haven't done any at all in the past 20 weeks.

    1. Aww welcome sweet girl! I love Lauren so welcome! First off congratulations on being pregnant! You go girl on running that often!! (especially being that far along! I'm so impressed!) Strength training is tricky because it's hard to know how far to push! Don't do anything straining! I don't know how extensive your training was before you were pregnant but I would grab 3 or 5 pounders and do little arm workouts- shoulders and biceps. Don't do anything laying on your back. Also squats are awesome! And can be done with holding little weights. I hope that helps a little! Keep it up girl! It will be so so worth it in the end! Excited to get to know you! xo

  5. Thanks for all the advice, this is such a great post! I totally agree with you the word "workout" just makes me not want to get off my couch at all. I have been doing some pregnancy pilates at home and I feel great after doing them. I'll start trying these too. (P.S. Your ring is gorgeous!!)

  6. HI! I just found your blog through Alexa Zurcher and I love it! I had my first baby about 5 months ago and i'm trying to get back into between running days I like to do Yoga but I haven't found a video that I love! What are some of your favorites?? Thanks!!