Looking to maintain or improve your fitness level during pregnancy? Today I’m sharing some top tips for staying fit and working out safely during pregnancy so that you can look and feel your best before and after baby arrives! A sample second & third trimester workout is also included for inspiration!
Today, as promised, I’m going to be sharing my workout with you for my second and third trimester of pregnancy as a follow up to my last post where I outlined my first trimester workout routine. Don’t want to leave ya hanging!
If you’ve been following along on my postpartum journey, I’ve been talking about how important it was for me to stay active throughout my pregnancy to stay strong and healthy and minimize the work I would have to do to get back in shape following the pregnancy.
And man, am I ever glad that I pushed myself to stay active. It was super challenging at the time because I was SO exhausted during pregnancy, but it’s made getting into shape after having the baby so much easier.
So I highly recommend that wherever possible you stay active during pregnancy. It can be so beneficial for both you and the baby!
Just to give you an idea of my routine, during the second and third trimesters, I set a goal of continuing to work out four days per week.
I made some slight modifications to my exercise routine but still continued on with my strength training. I modified my routine by doing slightly higher reps and lowered the amount of weight I was lifting. I also did about 3-4 20 minute sessions of moderate cardio every week, usually alternating between the treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical and stair climber.
While doing my workouts, I also adhered to several guidelines throughout the second and third trimesters.
Check out some of the recommendations that I followed below!
1. Always Warm Up
It’s really important to warm up the muscles before exercising, especially when pregnant. During pregnancy, the body produces the hormone relaxin (yeah, as if we need to add any more hormones to the mix), which loosens up the joints and can make the body more prone to injury.
We definitely don’t want to add any more discomfort during pregnancy (there’s enough of that going on) so be sure to warm up by doing some light cardiovascular exercise for at least 5-10 minutes and listen to your body!
2. Avoid Exercises Lying on Your Back or Stomach After the First Trimester
The biggest change I made during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy was no longer doing any exercises on my back or stomach, as it can decrease blood flow to the uterus. Totally not worth the risk.
It’s basically the same reason why you shouldn’t sleep on your back, which by the end of my pregnancy started to drive me CRAZY because I would just flop from side to side all night long. Pregnancy insomnia at its finest…but that’s a whole other post!
And doing exercises on the stomach is pretty self-explanatory. It just didn’t feel right putting pressure on my stomach knowing there was a baby growing in my belly.
The good news is that there are plenty of other exercises that can be done that don’t involve lying on the back or stomach. For instance, rather than doing a chest press lying flat on your back, try doing it on an incline.
You can always ask a trainer who specializes in prenatal exercise for some assistance if you’re looking for exercise modifications during pregnancy or download a copy of my second and third trimester workout in my free resource library!
3. Keep breathing
Oftentimes, many women feel that if they experience any shortness of breath during pregnancy, it’s a sign that they shouldn’t be exercising at all. But this totally isn’t the case.
The shortness of breath frequently experienced during pregnancy is actually often associated with elevated levels of the hormone progesterone (yes, another lovely hormone). Although many women might stop exercising as soon as they feel short of breath, exercise has actually been shown to help the placenta become more vascular, which helps protect the baby from oxygen deprivation and can allow more nutrients to get to the baby. That being said, it’s important to never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness.
If that occurs, it may be a sign that your body and your baby may not be getting the oxygen that they need.
So no, you don’t need to completely stop exercising when you feel short of breath, just remember to take frequent breaks and BREATTTHHHE during your workout sessions, inhaling and exhaling during each exercise.
4. Stay Hydrated
It’s always important to stay adequately hydrated during every workout, but it’s especially essential during pregnancy. Water not only plays an important role in the healthy development of your baby, but it can also help to form the placenta, which is how your baby receives nutrients during pregnancy. Water is also used to form the amniotic sac later in your pregnancy, so it’s really important that you drink up!
To ensure that you’re getting enough fluid, drink at least 8-12 cups of water every day. Also, strive to drink some water every few minutes during all exercise and avoid exercising in extremely hot weather to prevent dehydration. Additionally, keep an eye out for signs of dehydration including overheating and urine that is a dark yellow colour.
Here’s a quick tip — try filling an extra large bottle with water and sipping from it throughout the day — it’s a great strategy to measure how much water you’re actually drinking!
5. Check with your Doctor
Before starting any exercise program, always check in with your doctor frequently. Pregnancy is definitely not the time to experiment with your body’s new limits. Before I continued on with my strength training routine, I made 100% sure that I got the doctors approval first. And even when I got approval, I checked in again and again…just to make sure that the exercise I was performing was safe for both myself and the baby.
So there you have it! A few guidelines to follow. Now, for the juicy part.
You can download my second and third trimester workouts here!
Here are some of my fitness picks!
Looking for other pregnancy tips? Check out these articles:
Want to save this workout? Pin for later!
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