How My Workouts Changed Throughout Pregnancy

"How my workouts have changed" is probably the most common question I've been asked during pregnancy, so I figured it'd be helpful to have all the information in one place. When I first got pregnant, I felt like there was a lot of vague info (if any!) out there about exercising. So after doing  a lot of my own research, working closely with my Doctor, getting certified in pre & post-natal exercise, and from my experience here's what I've learned:

**I know I always say this, but every single pregnancy is different from the next. What works for one person may not work for another! The VERY best thing you can do is listen to your body and go off what feels comfortable for you, and what your Doctor has approved.**


This Trimester is easy for modifications because there aren't any! I wrote a more detailed post about exercising in the first trimester here ...but I'd say workouts are based more on what you feel up to, as opposed to what you're allowed to do. Nausea and exhaustion are so real and so challenging! I talked about finding motivation here, but what got me up and out of bed was knowing how good I'd feel afterwards and how much more energy I'd have!

My exercise during this time was hit and miss. Some days I'd be exercising how I did before I got pregnant, and other days all I could manage was a walk. I set a goal to do something 5 days out of the week. Some weeks those 5 days were awesome, and other weeks I would do 4 walks. It boils down to doing what you can! Even if your workouts aren't the best, it's still something. When nausea and fatigue simmer down, you've kept up that habit of activity and it's easy to jump back into things!


This is definitely the "honeymoon period" of pregnancy. Generally, nausea and fatigue start gone and energy levels are back! My exercises were the best during this phase and I'd honestly forget I was pregnant a lot of the time! I continued to teach spin classes 2x a week and still did a lot of interval training and weights. For me, I had to start making modifications around 24 weeks because that's when I "popped". I stopped doing exercises on my back, and modified more core routine because I wanted to avoid ab separation. Other than that, everything else was pretty much the same. I used the stability ball instead of laying on my back, and I created different core workouts instead of my usual ones. 


From my experience, this has been the trickiest trimester for working out. Modifications are easy, but with the extra weight and achy joints, and decreased energy levels...things get tough! Our ligaments and joints loosen up during pregnancy and I've really felt it during this phase. My hips and pelvis get achy if I over-do it, so I've really had to stay in tune with my body. I stopped doing plyometric movements (lunge jumps, jump squats, etc.) because it was too high impact for me. I've decreased my intensity with cardio, decreased my reps with weight training, and, as of last week, I stopped teaching spin until the baby is born. My main sources of cardio is the stationary bike (at lower intensity), walking at an incline on the treadmill, and long walks. I've also been preparing my body more for labour by incorporating the stability ball (workout posted here), and doing lots of squats and yoga.

I also have to say this, even if you've been previously sedentary, YOU CAN STILL START EXERCISING!!!!!! Obviously, if you've never run before, don't start training for a marathon. Or if you've never touched a weight, don't start going to crossfit. But you can still move! It's never, ever, ever "too late"! It's recommended to start with 15 minutes of light activity 3x a week, and build up from there (with Doctor's approval, of course). Don't feel like you're doomed just because you haven't been active before. There's still SO many benefits that you can get for you and that little one you're creating!