ALWAYS… LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
This is the hardest part of pregnancy for many women. The main reason is “morning sickness”, due to hormonal changes in your body, usually starts between weeks 4-8 of gestation. Morning sickness can be misleading, just because it’s called “morning” sickness doesn’t mean you only experience it in the morning. You may be lucky enough & have no symptoms at all or only have morning sickness in the morning or you may be just plain miserable and feel sick & vomiting all day. However if that is you, just remember that by 9 months (well actually 10) you will have a cute bundle of joy in your arms. In general your sickness should be gone by 14-16 weeks, however some experience morning sickness their entire pregnancy. Even if you feel too sick to exercise during your first trimester don’t’ think it’s too late, get moving in your second trimester once you are feeling better again.
Back to exercise & your first trimester:
If you have been an avid or regular exerciser prior to becoming pregnant you may continue exercising the same as before. However, you will probably need to decrease your intensity & time. Remember you aren’t exercising to lose weight. You are exercising to stay healthy, maintain your muscle mass, & prepare your body for a healthy, & fast labor (no guarantees, but defiantly increases your chances).
Never exercised a day in your life or haven’t for a long time? No worries. This is not the time for you to go out and learn a new sport, but a great time to get walking, possibly biking, try pilates, yoga, or lifting light weights to keep your muscle mass you currently have. You will need your strength for labor & delivery as well as after your little one arrives.
I highly recommend finding a trainer who is knowledgable about prenatal fitness. I personally love pilates during pregnancy. I had great results with both of my pregnancies & I did pilates along with walking & biking during both. Pilates is great for teaching you how to recruit & strengthen your deep pelvic floor & core muscles you need for labor, delivery & recovery. Of course this includes my Prenatal DVD’s! You will find exercises that can help strengthen your body to prepare you for delivery & life as a mom! Not to mention the exercises are very functional, designed to help you feel good & give you more energy (yes working out really can give you more energy, even though it may seem hard to get started). For that reason the workouts are short most are 8-12 minutes with only one that’s 20 minutes. Plus the bonus section where I’ll teach you about those deep core muscles (your pelvic floor & transverse abdominals), with images to help
*Check with your Doc to make sure you are cleared to exercise during your pregnancy*(You may go through a period where you need to take it easy but after a few days or weeks you can get moving again)
- Aim for 30-60 minutes of cardio exercise everyday (yes, walking counts).
- Aim for at least 3 hours/week of cardio to maximize benefits
- Aim for strength resistance exercise 2-4 times/week. (Lightweight exercises, pilates, & yoga, count)
- Stay hydrated. Always carry a bottle of water, preferably not plastic. (If you are thirsty you are dehydrated)
- Wear layers so you can easily remove outer ones when you get warm
- Don’t exercise outside in hot humid temperatures or indoors for that matter either (If its hot inside)
- Wear good supportive tennis shoes
- Remember, your body is changing so your balance may not be as good, just be aware.
Oh & STOP DOING CRUNCHES!!!!