Ladies, it is safe to workout while pregnant (and even safe to begin an exercise program when you are pregnant). Over the next few months Leticia from Rockin Bods will give tips and advice on how to stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy for the 1st Trimester, 2nd Trimester, 3rd Trimester and all the way until after baby has arrived. Although there is tons of information out there, take it from our Zuri Girl Fitness Expert and Personal Trainer, Leticia Mora, as she is currently going through her first pregnancy! She is experiencing firsthand the highs and lows of pregnancy and what works and doesn’t during her own trainings.
Benefits of exercise while pregnant
Besides improving mood and energy there are many other healthy reasons to stay active while you are expecting. When you exercise, you will improve muscle tone, strength and endurance which can help later with your posture when your center of gravity is off. Staying fit will also help with other pesky pregnancy side effects such as constipation, backaches, bloating and swelling. Staying fit throughout your pregnancy may even help you cope with labor and prevent gestational diabetes.
Regular exercise also helps reduce excess weight gain and fat deposition. You do not have to worry that your exercise regimen will take away important nutrients or energy from the baby, the baby will always take what it needs from your body, exercising or not. Keeping active early in the pregnancy even enhances placenta growth!
The First Trimester
Alright, you have a bundle of joy on the way and this can be met with a myriad of emotions and most definitely, hormones. However, even when feeling not so great, staying active at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week can help with these feelings and the dreaded sickness that can accompany the first few months. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and energy, which can be especially lacking during these days.
If you have been working out before you found out the news, it is safe to continue with your workout program. It is also safe to begin an exercise program when in the first few months. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your exercise. Also be sure to wear comfortable clothing and take breaks to avoid becoming too hot. Stay in a well-ventilated area, fan on and window open.
If you are beginning an exercise program you can start with 20 minutes, three to five times a week at a level of exertion that falls between 11-13 of exertion on a 1-20 scale. For those of you already exercising, it is safe to exercise 40-60 minutes a day, 5 times a week at a scale of 14-16 scale of exertion.
When you are pregnant, be sure you can carry on a conversation during your workout. If you cannot, decrease the intensity. This is an easy way to monitor your intensity levels.
Types of exercise
You can maintain your current workout regimen if you are currently working out. Safe activities in the first trimester include, walking, running, swimming, stair climbing, weight lifting, aerobics, and cross country skiing. Any exercises that are weight bearing such as walking and running as opposed to swimming and cycling are more beneficial. You can continue to perform exercises in the supine position (on your back).
Although you may be keeping the first three months a secret, please tell your personal trainer you are expecting and that you would like it kept confidential. With this information, s/he can modify any exercise and intensity if necessary. If you are uncomfortable revealing your news, tell him/her you have a doctors warning to avoid extra strenuous exercise, need to keep activity levels at a moderate intensity and are now hoping to “maintain” your current fitness level as opposed to “increasing” it, your trainer will understand and should modify. Also, trainings such as Power Plate, SCUBA diving, hiking above 2500 meters and downhill skiing are not recommended during pregnancy.
It is also important to remember that doctors have different views on exercise during pregnancy. Some are more conservative than others. It is ok to seek a second opinion or even change doctors if you find that you two are not a good fit. It is important, however, that you always follow your doctor’s advice, whomever you choose to stay with, even if it’s advice you don’t like.
Staying fit during your pregnancy can have benefits for both you and baby. Although, the first trimester can be met with so many different feelings, exercise and healthy eating habits can help you pull through this crazy time!
Now onto the 2nd Trimester Pregnancy Fitness Guide Gals!
Written by Zuri Girl, Leticia Mora. A Personal Trainer since 2012 with a background in psychology and fitness, she makes personal training a perfect combination to motivate and get people on a healthy lifestyle track. She absolutely loves helping people to realize their goals. Since moving to Switzerland she has started Rockin Bods, a personal training company.