top of page

Women Are Amazing: Combining Fitness and Pregnancy

As the 2020 Olympics come to a close, we saw an incredible shift for women athletes - particularly athletes who are mothers. It's about time but pregnant athletes and new moms are more visible than ever! Our very own Stax instructor (and amazing mom) Alex shares her perspective on pregnancy fitness and staying healthy after pregnancy.

Pregnant woman on an indoor spin cycling bike
Stax spin instructor Alex featuring baby Coco

"Pregnancy is not an illness," says Alysia Montaño and at these last games (and the past games), mom athletes came out and proved it. In fact, 22 Olympians have competed with a baby bump.

  • Lindsay Flach competed in the 2020 Olympic trials with an 18-week baby bump

  • Martina Valcepina won bronze at the 2014 Sochi games while pregnant with twins

  • Nur Suryani Binti Mohamed Taibi competed in the 2012 games while 34-weeks pregnant

  • Cornelia Pfohl competed twice while pregnant! Once in 2000 (winning bronze) and again in the 2004 Olympics while 30 weeks pregnant

You probably saw a picture of runner, Alysia Montaño. She’s been dubbed the “pregnant runner”. Her photo recently resurfaced from the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships of Montaño running the 800m while eight months pregnant. Not only is she an incredible athlete, but she launched the nonprofit, &Mother, an organization aimed to support a woman’s choice to pursue a career and motherhood.

These all-star women are showing the world that life (and fitness) doesn't stop when you have a pregnant belly. You can grow a new life and still compete in the highest arenas. And that is incredible!

Pregnant woman running at competition event
Montaño running the 800m at the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships. EZRA SHAW/GETTY IMAGES

Catching up with our own athlete, Stax instructor Alex, we talked about how her fitness changed during and after pregnancy.

In 2020, Alex was just one of the over 370,000 Canadian women and over 3,747,000 women in the US to give birth. And like so many other women, Alex underwent a massive adjustment in how she practiced and viewed fitness during pregnancy.

Staying active during pregnancy

Sharing the same sentiments as Montaño, Alex said "being pregnant isn’t a handicap but it’s an experience."

There’s a common misconception when it comes to being motherhood that you shouldn’t be exercising while pregnant. But she knew that staying fit and staying healthy while pregnant was the best thing for her baby.

In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week - like stationary biking.

But being active didn't mean pushing herself to the same limits as pre-pregnancy.

Alex's 4 tips on how to stay healthy during pregnancy

Alex shares her 4 tips for staying fit during pregnancy:

  • Listen to your body. Things start to hurt but acknowledge and respect that discomfort. On days when she felt nauseated, she rested.

  • Adapt exercise to how your body hurts. When she experienced back pain during pregnancy, she stopped doing standing sprints on the spin bike.

  • Check-in with yourself mentally. Learn which days to take a break and give your body the rest that it needs, vs. the days where you may just be feeling lazy or not motivated. Any movement is good movement!

  • Check-in with yourself physically. If something feels wrong, don’t push through physical pains or injuries.

Getting back into fitness after pregnancy

After the miracle of growing a new life and then giving birth, Alex admitted that she fell back onto old thought patterns and wanted to push herself and go, go, go! But quickly she realized that she was going to make some adjustments.

Have patience with yourself. Have patience with your body.

Being a mom makes you a warrior, and giving yourself that grace to accept your new body (and your new life) is important.

Alex's 4 tips for Fitness after pregnancy

  • Do core exercises for engagement and activation. Keep your core muscles engaged during all exercise

  • Go to pelvic floor physical therapy - the greatest thing you could ever do is discover your pelvic floor. Go as soon as you get pregnant and throughout your pregnancy (hello kegel exercises!)

  • Take what you can get. It’s okay if you don’t get the workout in because the time will come. There are going to be weeks at a time that you can’t exercise. Make your mental health a priority. Walking is a great way to get out of the house and is amazing cardio for your mental wellness

  • Celebrate the changes. We celebrate the fact that you lost 20 lbs after a baby way more than we celebrate the fact that your body created life. There’s so much power in being a woman and owning that.

Not everyone has to compete on the world stage. Staying fit and healthy before, during, and after your pregnancy should be a priority. But in this day of toxic social media remember: fitness will come, weight loss will come, strength will come, whatever it is you need, it will come.

Being fit and healthy means everything to Alex. It means longevity, mental wellbeing, being a better wife, a better mother, and a better friend.

When Alex needs to take the time and be reminded that she is so much more than "just a mom", coming to the Stax studio helps her feel that and makes her feel amazing.

Recent Posts

See All

1 comentário

Alissa Hasia
Alissa Hasia
19 de out. de 2023

Yes, I have seen these photos. photography is a passion for me, I look at a lot of different things. Recently, I looked at competitive swimming pictures and it amazed me. Each shot reflects the majesty and endurance of the athletes who have crossed the water in search of victory. These pictures captivate us with the dynamics of movement and the graceful grace of the swimmers, taking us into a world of incredible achievements and willpower.

bottom of page