Your Guide to Working Out While Pregnant
You've likely heard it before. Working out while pregnant has many great benefits. Not only to baby, but also to you.
Things like, women who workout while pregnant have improved sleep and lower blood pressure. They could experience easier labor and delivery. Which also helps with recovery time after baby is born.
Baby could also experience a better night's sleep, a boost to brain health, a lower BMI and fitter heart.
All this to say that having a pregnancy workout routine is very beneficial. And something you'll want to consider if you're already pregnant, or trying to conceive.
Disclaimer: I'm not a certified personal trainer. All of these tips come from my personal experience of working out during my entire pregnancy. Please consult with your doctor prior to starting any workout regimen while pregnant.
Your 3-Step Guide to Working Out While Pregnant
1. Start Slow
Now, if you've never worked out before getting pregnant, or it was very sporadic, it's crucial you take things slow.
It's actually just as important to start slow, even if you were an avid exerciser before getting pregnant.
There's so much that goes on in your body during the first trimester that you're likely just not used to. At least that's definitely how it was for me.
Exercises that used to be easy for me made me very winded.
There's over 40% more blood pumping through your body during the first trimester, which can increase those feelings of lightheadedness.
Starting slow will allow you time to get used to all of these new things happening in your body, and really get a handle on what feels good for both you and baby.
Exercises I did during first trimester included:
- low impact cardio
- bodyweight exercises
- medium-heavy weighted workouts
2. Increase Your Routine - If You're Ready
During the second trimester you may experience a boost in energy. I know I did!
This was the perfect time for me to increase my pregnancy workout routine.
You're likely more comfortable with the changes that are taking place and have learned what exercises are working well for you.
My workouts for pregnancy during this time started to include:
- slow-paced runs
- higher intensity cardio
- increased weighted exercises
I had been a runner for a long time, but when we started to go through preparations for IVF and the actual process, I cut out running.
But once the second trimester hit, and I was feeling really good, I decided to add it back in.
Granted it was very slow, but the high I received just by being out there was enough.
That's probably one of the biggest things to take advantage of with a pregnancy workout: the energy high!
I knew the days that I didn't workout would cause me to feel sluggish. A good morning workout provided me with energy throughout the day. It also gave me easier mobility, and less back pain.
3. Listen to Your Body
I know this one is said a lot, but it's extremely important for you to listen to what your body needs.
It was especially important for me during the third trimester.
While the second trimester had brought on increased energy and the ability to push myself a little further with my workouts, that all changed with the third trimester.
Baby is heavier, maybe sitting lower, and exercise could become a little more cumbersome.
This is not to say it should be cut out of your routine completely.
No, what I'm saying is that your workouts during pregnancy are going to look a little different.
They may be slower. You may become winded more easily. Laying flat on your back is not a possibility.
But there are still plenty of ways to keep going throughout the third trimester.
My pregnancy workout routine through the third trimester included:
- low impact cardio (no jumping)
- light to medium weighted exercises
- bodyweight exercises
Healthy You = Healthy Baby
Working out throughout my entire pregnancy had been a goal of mine, and one I accomplished.
We now have a beautiful, healthy baby girl.
I had a more intense labor than I was expecting, which included three hours of pushing. But I don't think I would have been able to go that long if it weren't for working out while pregnant.
I used an at-home workout routine, which made it so easy for me to go at my own pace during each workout.
I'm looking forward to getting back into working out as soon as my doctor gives me the go-ahead.
But for now, we're enjoying all the snuggles with our little one.