Embarking on a pregnancy workout journey was at the bottom of my list of priorities after emerging from the cloud of morning sickness during my first pregnancy. During my second pregnancy I was determined to keep a closer eye on my pregnancy weight to ensure that baby and I remained as healthy as possible. Once my doctor gave me the all-clear around 13 weeks, I started a few pregnancy-safe exercises, however, my first experience with Braxton Hicks contractions made me nervous about doing anything beyond my regular day-to-day routine.
The advice I have when looking at safe pregnancy workouts is to listen to your body, know when to slow down and stay hydrated!
Safe Workouts for Every Trimester of Pregnancy
30-minute walk on a treadmill using the hills setting, or an incline of 4-6
25 x 3 goblet squats, with or without weight. I prefer using one 12-20lb free weight
20 x 3 lunges with 10-12lb free weights
15-20 minutes on the stair-climber machine. Pregnancy workouts are different in the sense that the goal is not to overexert yourself. Make sure you choose a setting where you can still carry on a conversation, or sing the words to your favorite song while on the stairclimber, so you don’t overexert yourself. Also, use the hand railings as you get further along in your pregnancy, to reduce the risk of falling or becoming off-balance while working out.
If you don’t have access to gym machines, consider taking a 30-minute or 1-2 mile walk around your neighborhood or park, depending on the type of terrain and weather conditions outside. This is a simple pregnancy workout that is completely free and can be done no matter your fitness level before pregnancy.
Comfortable Pregnancy Workout Gear
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Packing on those baby pounds during the second trimester may mean your old workout clothes no longer make the cut to cover your growing bump. I made it a point to search for a few pregnancy workout pieces that would allow me to mix and match while staying cool and comfortable. Doctors recommend mild to moderate exercise of about 30 minutes, several times a week. It may sound ambitious, but something as simple as a walk in the park helped me to hit that quota. Also, consider a new pair of walking shoes, to give your feet the support they need as your center of gravity changes and you pack on the pounds.
Track Your Pregnancy Workouts
On days when I don’t get to fit in an actual workout, which is, unfortunately, more often than not, I wear my fitness tracker and try to clock as many steps as possible during an 8-hour period. As a stay at home mom, my daily routine varies from day to day, but I try to average 8,000 steps per day. That may not sound like much, but when you weigh more than 15 pounds over your average weight, normal tasks can turn into a pregnancy workout. 3
When I was still working during my first pregnancy, I kept my daily step goal at 10,000 and was able to hit that on most days. But the number of steps should not be the only figure you’re eying on your tracker. The number of calories your tracker records is a good estimate of how your body is burning energy. Above all, make sure you don’t overdo it.
What are your go-to pregnancy exercises? How do you deal with the aches and pains of a growing bump?