Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
4 minute read
5 Mar 2020
11:40 am

Staying fit while pregnant: ‘It can be done’

Wesley Botton

Gone are the days when pregnancy is an excuse to let your fitness levels slide, and some athletes are proving that you can even perform at an elite level up to the third trimester.

A pregnant Alysia Montano during Day 1 of the 2017 USA Track & Field Championships at Hornet Stadium on June 22, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

Though each individual is different, and various potential concerns need to be considered beforehand, exercising while pregnant can be healthy for expectant mothers and their babies. And while they may compete at a higher intensity, the performances of elite athletes have repeatedly proved that fitness levels can be maintained to a relative degree during pregnancy. Perhaps most notably on South African soil, the results produced by marathon runner Irvette van Zyl in recent years have indicated that pregnant women can compete at an elite level even into the third trimester. In 2016, seven months into her pregnancy with her first...