Finding motivation to work out in your First Trimester of Pregnancy

Fit Friday Post… On a Thursday :)

When I was pregnant with Ryan, I somehow did not seem to have a problem with finding motivation to work out
( at least most days ;)
Maybe it was just the fact that it was my first pregnancy and I was 100% determined to have a healthy pregnancy, while keeping up my strength as well as my cardio.

( Last week's 15 week baby bump :) ^^

This time around being pregnant, the motivation aspect of working out has been a WHOLE different story.
Some of you may know a little 2 1/2 year old named Ryan :)
He is quite the active little spirit and goodness gracious this age will WEAR. YOU. OUT!
In and out and all around; he wants to be everywhere at once these days.
The pregnancy nausea, tiredness, and active toddler WORE me out fast.
I was in bed by 9:30 or 10 at the latest, almost every night of my first trimester. HA

(( I unfortunately did go through a whole first trimester with one of my pregnancies I lost last year but Ryan was quite a bit younger and not as "active" somehow making the whole process a little easier on my body :))

So even though this time around I was exhausted, I knew deep down the importance of getting out and getting my body moving as much as possible.
MOMMIES TO BE : YOU ARE GROWING A BABY and your body needs to be strong!

I had to dig deep ( like really really deep ) to find motivation to get out to walk or run, or lift a few weights.

#1. Get a buddy.
As soon as I moved here to our new little home, I grabbed a good friend that lives close and we go walking at least once a week in the mornings. I plan on it and she plans on it and we make it happen. That is one morning of the week that I have someone to motivate me! 
Some days I will ask my husband to wait to work out with me until he gets home from work ( he usually works out early before work ) Because I know I won't work out unless he is there doing my weight work out with me - ( HA again…. 0% motivation on my own )
I really lucked out with a husband that has a deep love for fitness and who is my ultimate biggest motivator.


^^ This would be me trying to keep up with my dad and husband on a morning beach run in Hawaii last week ^^ - I know they look and run like twins. Same size, same build, same everything. HA

AGAIN, Though I almost died and they had to make me the "running leader" on the way home so I could set the pace..
( OUCH - the competitive heart in me took one massive hit )
HA it was MOTIVATION! Work out buddies are the best. I'm a believer.

In my defense, who agreed to let our 3 hour and 10 minute marathoner speedy dad lead the way!? HA

#2. Work out first thing in the morning.
Don't do ANYTHING else. Get up, get dressed and put in a workout tape.
I find that if I open my phone or start getting breakfast and put it off, it usually doesn't happen.
I know I said that sometimes I have my husband work out with me when he gets home… that does happen some days to help motivate me, but the majority of the time I have to force myself to do it first thing in the morning. Ryan is always happiest around morning time so I will set him up his toys and have him sit right by me while I do a workout DVD. The longer the day goes, the harder it will be to work out.

#3. Tell yourself to just do 10 or 15 minutes.
The hardest part of working out is the starting step. When I feel really tired, I tell my brain to do half of the workout and then I can stop. Aaron always laughs at this because he knows once I start the workout, there is a 90% chance I will end up finishing it. But somehow when my brain tells my body I only need to work out for 10 minutes, I can start the tape. It's a mind game you guys.

#4. Set a reasonable goal for the week
Back when I was feeling pretty awful I set a goal that I would work out 4 days a week. It didn't matter what days but it had to be 4 days. It is good to give yourself rest days, especially during that first trimester. Write it down and put it on the fridge to make yourself accountable for it.

#5. Know the reward
You guys, these babies are so precious. The human body is fascinating to me and our bodies deserve to be kept healthy during this time period. Pregnancy is no excuse. This first trimester is so critical to keep your body moving and not gain unwanted extra weight. The average targeted weight a woman should gain in her first trimester is anywhere from 1-5 pounds. ( some loose weight because of sickness and not being able to keep food down, and that is totally understandable - every body is different ) However, I gained about 2 pounds of perfectly healthy weight that my body needed. Imagine every organ inside of you pumping to try and create this little life and give this child everything it needs to survive in the womb. Your body deserves to be strong and healthy throughout pregnancy. Don't be too hard on it by refusing to get moving!!

#6. It's never too late. Start small.
I think the term "working out" scares some of us into thinking it has to be this dreadful hour long extravaganza. Or some may think, "I'm 25 weeks and have never worked out a day of my pregnancy, why start now?" That's when YOU NEED to start NOW. Every little bit counts. Your body does not need to carry that excess weight for 9 months!
Start small. Example: A 30 minute walk - ( call your mom during it and it will make it go by really fast ) walk the flights of stairs during your lunch break. I worked while I was pregnant with Ryan and I would walk flights of stairs in our office building during lunch to get in a little workout - it totally works! Look up a 10 minute strength exercise on Youtube. ( I will be doing a post on my favorite quick workout youtube videos I have found over the years - soon! ) It doesn't have to be a big thing, every little bit counts.

#7. You will have more energy.
It's funny that on the days I made the effort to work out during my first trimester, I had more energy. I NEEDED that energy to keep up with my toddler and not be stuck laying in bed all day. It's true, working out will give you more energy. So just when you think you are too tired to do anything, get yourself out on a walk and gain a little energy for the rest of the day.

Don't just work out with the mindset of wanting to see defining muscle results, trust me, your body will grow in the areas you need to grow regardless of your workouts, work out to FEEL GOOD. About yourself, your pregnancy, and your baby.

I will be honest and tell you it was a CHALLENGE to work out through my first trimester this pregnancy. I had to dig deep and really push for it. I know the ending result of a healthy pregnancy will be so worth it. YOU CAN DO IT! I had to prove that to myself this time around and it feels really really good to know I DID it.

Karina Marie Powell


  1. #1 and #3 - so so true! And I'm not even pregnant, I just see the value in taking things one day at a time, and know how important accountability is!

  2. i love this. such good advice!! and HOLY COW! your dad is fast!! that is incredible!

  3. This is so true!! In my first trimester this time around, I wasn't able to workout as often as I wanted to.. because most days I could barely keep any food down and I lost a few lbs. Now that I have an appetite again and some energy, I workout daily! I feel great.. most days lol. It helps me sleep at night, gives me energy, and all around helps me to feel really good. I'm 19 weeks along now.

  4. Keep up the good work. You are doing great!!

  5. I agree with all of that!! Such great advice!! :)

  6. You speak the truth! So glad to know that I'm not alone. :) I feel like we could have a loooong conversation about all of these aspects. I tell myself, "just 20 minutes!" And a friend and I weigh in every Thursday with a reward in mind for keeping to our goals. It helps keep us accountable. One of my favorite ways to sneak a workout in is doing something I absolutely love and am obsessed with right now: mountain biking. It's even better when my husband and I are able to turn it into a Saturday afternoon date! Bring on the sore back and leg muscles!

  7. A great post my friend and so important during your pregnancy but also often so so hard! Both my first trimesters were horrid so I did nothing for 14 weeks but then I got it going... Unfortunately, with my first, I was put on bed rest for my third trimester so not gym for me but I exercised right up until my second little Ellie was born! Keep it up, little by little, it makes a difference x

  8. I needed this reminder, thank you so much! During my first trimester I was just completely wiped out and during my second trimester we moved to a different house that we had to completely make-over so I've totally slacked on my workouts. But I'm 26 weeks now and I'm planning on making a tremendous effort to get back on it! Wish we lived closer, I need a workout buddy!

  9. So true! My first I was SO exhausted, it was crazy. I don't even know how I made it through most days. The second time around, I was trying for a VBAC and she told me that if I stayed in shape the easier it should be and more successful. I was determined to not have another c section because my first was very rough so I walk every single break I had at work for a good 15 min, during lunch, and tried to stay as active as I could on weekends. I also had an infant transitioning into toddler to take care of and he had so much energy. I did feel SO much better each day. While my VBAC was not successful due to them being 16 months apart and my uterus started to tear because pregnancies were so close (happens to 1% of women who have VBACs) I did lose the baby weight a lot faster. I am 6 months post partum and i've lost all baby weight and am now just toning up. But it did set the tone. I am still trying to do something every day! I just feel better about myself. I wish I could have had the motivation to have done that the first time around!


  10. 10-15 minutes is better than none! Great tips mama!

  11. What do you eat before you go running first thing in the morning, if anything? I ran in the morning for years without eating anything first and was fine, but now that I'm getting back into it I find that I run out of energy really quickly if I don't.

    1. Hi Laura! - Awesome question! Sometimes I will be running out the door early and I don't get a chance to eat something :/ But most of the time I really try and grab something really little. I cant eat too much or I have a harder time running! I do get cramps while running often, and I have found that if I eat a half of a banana before I run it helps! The only other things I ever really eat besides a banana will be a handful of cereal or drinking a little glass of milk. It's never a lot but gives me some quick carbs to give a little energy! If I run later in the morning - 9 ish, I will eat a piece of toast, grab a little bowl of cereal or something a little fuller to make my tummy more satisfied! I hope that helps!

  12. I appreciate how often you stress that it's about strong and healthy bodies.

  13. This is a great post! I was horrible at working out with pregnancy #1 but with #2 it for some reason was much easier (I think the fact that I wasn't working and had a little buddy to push around in the stroller?) but this go-around?! Oh. My. Goodness. So much harder! Those little two year olds running around all day GET YOU. Exhaustion at its finest. Two days left of (self-modified hahah) 30 day shred though so WOOHOO. And seriously loving your tips!