Working out was one of the last things on my mind after emerging from the first trimester filled with morning sickness, but the second time around, I was determined to keep a closer eye on my pregnancy weight to ensure that baby and I remained as healthy as possible. During my first pregnancy, 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.
With that being said, my second pregnancy has me in a different state of mind. I am more familiar with my body now and know the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and anything else I should be concerned about.
The number one piece of advice I have when looking at safe pregnancy workouts is to listen to your body and know when to slow down.
Safe Workouts for Every Trimester
30-minute walk on a treadmill using the hills setting, or an incline of 4-6
25 x 3 goblet squats, using one 20lb free weight
20 x 3 lunges with 10-12lb free weights
15-20 minutes on the stair-climber machine. 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.
If you don’t have access to any of these 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.
Comfortable Clothes & Shoes
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 pieces of workout gear 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.
Fitness Tracker / Apps
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. 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?