Do’s and Don’t for Prenatal Exercise:

Getting pregnant doesn't mean your working out days are over. Here are some tips from Stephanie Riley-Sookram from Warrioress Fitness to help you stay in shape with your precious cargo on board.

Hi Mamas and Mamas to be,

I get a lot of questions about dos and don’ts for exercise during pregnancy so I wanted to take some time to cover them for you fine ladies so you can start your pregnancy exercise off right, at pretty much any point in your pregnancy!

For the most part you do not have to be afraid of exercise during pregnancy like previous generations were. Pregnancy is typically not a state of illness and we should be trying to keep our body moving as intended and eating healthy for our growing baby and us. If all you are able to do is active core breathing and walking and a bit of stretching you will be SOOO much better off than if you sat down or lay still for 40 weeks.

Most of these recommendations are based on a ‘normal’ pregnancy. If you have any specific health issues, you may need modifications to the advice.


-moderate intensity exercise 3-4 times a week for 30 - 45 minutes

-stay well hydrated and have a light snack before and or after exercise

-low impact cardio and strength training

-exercise in a well ventilated space

-ensure you can breath comfortably and can speak clearly while exercising

-practice active core breathing and posture improvement daily

-enjoy moving your body that is growing a wonderful baby

-ensure you are exercising in a safe space and doing safe exercise for your pregnancy

-gently stretch after each workout


-workout in a hot space, i.e. hot yoga or humid weather

-exercise flat on your back after 14 weeks (simply elevate the shoulders)

-exercise on all 4’s or in plank after 20 weeks

-dangerous, extreme or contact exercise or sports while pregnant

-DON’T do crunches or sit-ups

Choose exercises or activities that you enjoy. If you were a runner before pregnancy and aren’t comfortable running, you can speed walk and do hill climbing.  If you like swimming, do prenatal aqua-fit.  If you like weightlifting and strength training then you can continue doing so but may have to lower the weight you are lifting progressively as your pregnancy progresses and don’t do excessive overhead lifting.

I love circuit training and active core breathing, and love doing it while I am pregnant.  I prepare 30-minute circuits for myself so I can fit in cardio and strength training into one quick workout and keep my intensity level moderate. Circuits are great for many reasons but mainly they are efficient and interesting, which are really the key to keeping up with anything, especially fitness routines.

Me at 18 weeks pregnant with my second child, Maximus.

I want pregnant women to be able to move their bodies and keep them strong while pregnant as it can really help to prevent negative posture adaptations, reduce body pain and stiffness, help reduce stress and anxiety. Exercising while pregnant can help you by giving you strength and endurance for labour and delivery and help you recover more quickly after birth.

I hope this helps clear some questions up for you! If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. I would love to chat with you more and help you with your prenatal fitness and health goals.

Note: Please ensure that you seek medical advice before starting, stopping or changing your physical activity level or diet.

Have a fantastic pregnancy! These moments are fleeting so be present!


Stephanie Riley-Sookram, PTS, PFS, Advanced Core Rehab Specialist

Warrioress Fitness