How To Work Out Safely During The First Trimester
You would never attempt to run a marathon without training. So why would you attempt to tackle labor and delivery – a marathon in itself – without preparing your body?
Having a fit pregnancy has little to do with maintaining your figure and more to do with strengthening the key muscles used during birth.
“Labour is an endurance event,” says Geralyn Coopersmith, Director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute. “You really want to be in tip-top condition to the extent that you can. That said, it’s not a time in your life where you’re going to be gaining fitness but rather maintaining what you already have.”
If you exercised before getting pregnant, keep it up! Just remember: You have a very important little passenger aboard your growing ship. Plus, you might be experiencing some icky early pregnancy symptoms. When exercising in the first trimester, Coopersmith suggests keeping the following guidelines in mind:
Do What You Can Do — No More
If you wake up and you feel dreadful, you need to cut it back. “The goal is to move,” Coopersmith says. Rather than powering through your normal routine, you might just go for a slow walk and do some gentle stretching. “On days where you’re feeling really badly, take a nap,” she recommends. “You can start back up tomorrow.”
If you were a hot yoga fanatic before becoming pregnant, you need to find an alternative routine. “Overheating is incredibly dangerous for the baby,” Coopersmith says. It’s best to avoid exercising in warm temperatures along with staying out of the sauna or hot tub.
Keep Snacks And Water On Hand
When you’re pregnant, your blood sugar levels can drop suddenly, which can make you feel nauseous and dizzy. Coopersmith recommends keeping snacks on hand at all times in case these symptoms hit during your workout. Along with that, you need to make sure you properly hydrate before, during, and after your workout. You need to have about 10-12 glasses of water regardless of your exercise regimen. For every hour of exercise, add another glass of water.
Do Kegel Exercises
Focusing on strengthening the pelvic floor can help during vaginal delivery and also to prevent urinary incontinence during and after birth. The best way to discover the movement: Activate the muscles used to stop the flow of urine.
My experience: As a morning exerciser, I found that I had to take it easy during the first trimester. Rather than running sprints on the treadmill, I walked on an incline. Rather than performing three sets of 20 burpees, I did one set of 12 inch worms. Once the nausea and exhaustion settled down, I found myself revisiting some of my favourite workout routines.