Optimizing Your Pre Pregnancy Workout Routine

Pregnancy is a transformative journey and staying active plays a crucial role in ensuring a healthy and comfortable experience. Sure, some of you might wonder, “Is it really safe to exercise while I’m pregnant?” The resounding answer from healthcare providers is yes! In fact, a study has found that women who exercised throughout pregnancy had reduced risk of preeclampsia (41%) and gestational diabetes (38%). 

But here’s the thing: your pregnancy pre-workout routine might need some tweaking to accommodate your changing body and ensure safety for you and your growing tiny human. That said, this article will guide you through optimizing your pregnancy pre-workout routine for a safe and effective exercise experience. 


Consult your doctor

Before getting yourself into any pre-workout routine and exercise program, it’s crucial to get the green light from your doctor or midwife first. Essentially, they’ll need to review your medical history, assess your current health status, and provide personalized advice. Some conditions, like certain heart diseases or risks of preterm labor, might require you to limit or avoid certain activities. Your healthcare provider can guide you on what’s safe and what’s off-limits. 


Think hydration first

You’ve probably heard about the importance of staying hydrated during pregnancy, but it’s even more critical when you’re working out. Your body needs extra fluids to support your growing baby and maintain amniotic fluid levels. So, aim to drink at least 8-12 glasses of water daily, and have a water bottle handy during your pre-workout and workout sessions.  


For an extra hydration boost, consider drinking some pregnancy-specified preworkout beverages like Mamasupps pregnancy safe pre workout drink mix. Not only does it help you stay hydrated, but it’s also specifically formulated to provide energy boosts for pregnant women. If you’re exercising in hot weather, it’s even more important to increase your fluid intake, whether it’s water or a specialty pregnancy pre-workout drink, to prevent dehydration. 


Take your pre-workout meals and snacks 

When you’re pregnant, your body’s nutritional needs skyrocket. In fact, research from UC Davis Health shows that pregnant women need about 340 extra calories per day in the second trimester and 450 in the third. This is especially true when you’re staying active, as your body requires more nutrition and prenatal supplements to support both your workout and your growing baby.


That said, don’t even think about hitting the gym on an empty stomach. A small, easily digestible snack about 30-60 minutes before your workout can provide your body with the energy it needs to power through your routine. Think whole-wheat toast with avocado, a banana with nut butter, or Greek yogurt with berries; these options offer a perfect blend of complex carbs and lean proteins. 


For those early bird workouts or when you have more time to digest, consider a proper pre-workout balanced diet meal about an hour before exercising. You can opt for heartier choices like scrambled eggs with whole-grain toast, oats topped with nuts and fruit, or a peanut butter banana sandwich. These meals can keep you fuller longer and provide a steady energy release. 


Schedule your workouts smartly

According to studies, up to 98% of pregnant women experience significant fatigue, particularly in the first and third trimesters. This makes timing your workouts not just a preference but a strategic move for a more effective and enjoyable exercise routine. 


Many moms-to-be find that mornings are their golden hours for fitness. There’s a good reason for this: after a night’s rest, your energy levels are replenished, and your body is primed for activity. Plus, if you’re among the 57% of women who experience morning sickness or vomiting up, you’ll be glad to know that nausea often eases up as the day progresses. A morning workout can help you capitalize on those post-breakfast energy spikes before queasiness sets in. 


But what if the thought of a morning workout makes you want to crawl back under the covers? If that’s you, consider shifting your routine to afternoons or early evenings. By this time, your energy levels may have rebounded, and any morning sickness has likely subsided. An after-work gym session could be just the thing to shake off the day’s stress. 

Warm up thoroughly  

A proper warm-up is always important, but during pregnancy, it’s non-negotiable. Your body produces relaxin, a hormone that loosens ligaments to prepare for childbirth and the delivery process. While this helps your pelvis accommodate your growing baby, it also makes your joints more susceptible to injury. So, always start with 5-10 minutes of gentle cardio like walking or stationary cycling, followed by dynamic stretches such as arm circles, leg swings, and torso twists. 


Be comfy

As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll likely feel warmer due to increased blood volume and metabolic rate. Thus, staying cool becomes even more important during exercise.


Choose a cool, well-ventilated space for your workouts. It’s also best to wear breathable, moisture-wicking, comfortable maternity clothing that allows your skin to breathe. If you’re exercising outdoors, opt for early morning or evening sessions when temperatures are lower. And don’t forget to keep sipping that water. 


Make time for recovery and rest 

In your eagerness to stay fit, don’t overlook the importance of rest. Remember, your body is working overtime to grow a human, and that’s a workout in itself! So, allow ample time between sessions for recovery. Listen to your body’s need for sleep, too. If you’re exhausted, it’s okay to swap a workout for a nap. Quality rest supports your baby’s development and helps prevent burnout. 


Wrap up

Optimizing your pregnancy pre-workout routine isn’t just about maintaining your pre-pregnancy fitness level; it’s also about adapting to support your changing body weight and growing baby. By making thoughtful adjustments, you can enjoy safe, effective workouts that boost your health and well-being. Every pregnancy is unique, so what works for one mom-to-be might not work for another; but the ultimate goal is to stay active in a way that feels good to you. 



1. “Physical Activity Behaviors and Barriers in Multifetal Pregnancy: What to Expect When You’re Expecting More”, Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8068193/  

2. “Pregnancy diet: Common myths and what you should eat during your pregnancy”, Source: https://health.ucdavis.edu/blog/good-food/pregnancy-diet-common-myths-and-what-you-should-eat-during-your-pregnancy/2021/03  

3. “Prevalence and course of pregnancy symptoms using self-reported pregnancy app symptom tracker data”, Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10567694/