When I got pregnant I knew I wanted to stay active, but I also wanted to be smart about it. I remember feeling lost because I couldn't find any good information about how to exercise other than "walk", or "stretch", or "take some deep breaths". And no, I'm not being sarcastic - those were real recommendations for exercise. I wanted to be a little more active than just breathing haha, so I got certified in pre/postnatal exercise and asked my Doctor a million and one questions.
From my own experience, my certification, and talking to my Doctor, these are what you need to go to safely exercise while pregnant (please make sure to consult your own medical professional before starting any exercise routine:):
You don't need to modify yet, but you DO need to tone it back when necessary. Exhaustion, fatigue, and nausea are the worst during the 1st Trimester and it made it soooo hard for me to exercise! Even though I set a goal to do something every day, sometimes I simply couldn't. That's okay!! Your body is adjusting to a lot and the baby is growing the fastest during this time. On days you feel good, take advantage! On days you don't, rest up! It's not going to hold you back from being active later on in your pregnancy. Just do what you can!
SECOND & THIRD TRIMESTER:
This is when it gets tricky. The bump has made it's debut so there are some ground rules for that:
- Don't lay on your stomach (for obvious reasons)
- Don't lay on your back (it puts pressure on vena cava vein which is no bueno)
- A little ab separation is normal, but you don't want them to really split (diastasis recti) because then you get that pouch after having your baby. To prevent this: no exercises facing the ground (push ups, plank, mountain climbers etc.). No exercises on your back where both feet are off the ground (leg lifts, bicycles, etc.) No twisting exercises (bicycles, russian twists, etc.)
Those are the standard "no-no's" of pregnancy and the things to be cautious of. Other than that...there really aren't any specific recommendations which is why it can be so frustrating!! The good news is, you can continue to do whatever you were doing before you got pregnant except for the exercises listed above! If you weren't active before, YOU CAN STILL EXERCISE!! Obviously don't start training for something insane, but start with 15 minutes of exercise 3x a week!
The main thing is to listen to your body, because everyone is different! If you feel any of the below, it's a sign to stop that exercise, slow things down, or modify the exercise:
- light-headed or dizzy
- any pain in stomach or pelvic region
- overheating (make sure you're CONSTANTLY drinking)