As I am now moving into the final trimester of my pregnancy I wanted to talk more about pregnancy exercise. Specifically how you can adapt your training through each of the trimesters. I wrote a little back at the start of my pregnancy about the first trimester, as I struggled a lot. You can read the post here. Each trimester brings its own issues, and body changes which can affect how we exercise and what we can do. Whilst it is important to stay active in pregnancy it is also important to adapt your training.
The First Trimester
During the first trimester it is generally advised that you can continue as normal with your exercise routine. As long as you feel comfortable. However nausea and fatigue may mean that you do have to scale back your activity. I focused on lighter weights, shorter workouts and generally staying active. If you haven’t exercised before pregnancy but would like to then walking or swimming may be great options for you. Check with your midwife or GP first however.
The Second Trimester
Usually this is the time when you get some of your energy back. Morning Sickness has usually subsided and so you may feel you can do a little more when it comes to exercise. Pregnancy Yoga is a good option from this stage, usually you can take classes from 14 weeks onwards. But make sure it is pregnancy specific. If you have been doing high impact sports up to this point you may want to consider switching to something a little lower impact, such as swimming and walking. You are still safe to lift weights, but be wary of your changing shape. Also any exercise done lying flat on your back should be avoided from now on.
The Third Trimester
The final trimester is likely to see you feeling more fatigued, and suffering from increased shortness of breath. This again may lead to exercise taking a back seat. As long as you are feeling OK however you can still continue to exercise. Low impact activities may again become more relevant. Any weight training should be lighter, and isometric exercises (such as the plank) should be avoided. I will definitely be doing more swimming as this trimester continues and reducing the amount of weight I lift. As I get further along in this trimester I will focus more on resistance band, and body weight workouts alongside swimming. Make sure you are following my Instagram as I will share some workouts on there for you.
Whilst staying active is generally encouraged during pregnancy, there are some activities which should be avoided. These include martial arts, competitive sports such as netball, hockey and tennis, and climbing, skiing and horseriding. Issues such as being hit by balls, bumping in to people, falling over. Also these sports tend to involve the sudden changes in direction at speed which can be particuluarly tough on the pregnant body. You may also want to consider avoiding certain gym classes such as body combat and boxercise for this reason.
One of the biggest changes for me during pregnancy has been to listening to my body. If I feel too tired to do any exercise I don’t. In the past I may have worked through this tiredness but that is just not worth it in pregnancy. Your body is already working super hard to grow a mini human, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t exercise as much as usual.
*Always check with your Midwife or GP to ensure you are safe to continue with any exercise routine, or before you begin a new exercise programme. There will be certain situations where exercise is not advised so always be cautious and stop if something doesn’t feel right*