Tips to keep your workout going during pregnancy
There’s something about making it to the 14th week of pregnancy that has moms-to-be smiling more, feeling less stressed, and definitely noticing an increase in energy. Maybe that’s why the second trimester is often referred to as the “honeymoon period.” During this time, nausea typically subsides, an increase in energy occurs, emotions even out, sex drive returns, and you start to feel the baby move around in your tummy.
If you were active prior to pregnancy, maintaining an exercise program is probably high on your list of priorities. After all, the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of staying active are countless. Most health experts will tell you exercise helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling, and may help decrease your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery. Additionally, it has been shown to increase energy, improve mood, promote muscle tone and muscle strength, helps you sleep better, may improve your ability to cope with labor, and makes it easier to get back in shape after childbirth.
There’s no one way to keep your workout going during pregnancy, but there are many strategies that can be helpful.
Make a date
Get into the habit of scheduling your workout by making an appointment with yourself. Write it in your date book or put it in your phone and treat it as seriously as you would a doctor’s appointment
Use the buddy system
Knowing that a friend is waiting for you to show up for a workout is sometimes all you need to get out the door. Choose one or two friends who are regularly active (bonus if they’re also pregnant) and schedule a class, walk, or swim date once or twice a week.
Binge watch your favorite show
If you enjoy cardio machines, one way to stay motivated is to cue up your favorite television series and only watch it while working out.
Buy some new exercise gear
Treat yourself to some comfy new pants and workout tops that compliment your growing body and feel good on.
Mix it up
Avoid boredom by doing a variety of activities and exercise. Here’s a sample five day workout:
- Day 1: Walk/jog 30 to 45 minutes — stretch when finished
- Day 2: Prenatal pilates class or video
- Day 3: Full-body light weight training workout and 20 minutes on favorite cardio machine — stretch when finished
- Day 4: Prenatal yoga class or video
- Day 5: Walk/jog 30-45 minutes or take a low-impact exercise class — stretch when finished
Get creative with your steps
Tracking steps is all the rage right now, so why not put your fitness tracker to use and aim for 10,000 steps a day? And in case you need some ideas for getting your steps in, try walking back and forth the next time you’re on the phone, or doing laps around the soccer field while your older child practices. If work consists of sitting most of the day, get up and go for a short walk every couple of hours.
Sign-up for a prenatal class
Prenatal yoga and pilates classes both offer a safe and supportive environment for women. Designed with the changing body in mind, these classes help you stay fit and prepare your body for childbirth.
Exercise at home
If getting to the gym has been a bit of a challenge for you lately, consider investing in a few prenatal workout videos. With a variety to choose from, these workouts range in time from 15 to 60 minutes and focus on pilates, yoga, low-impact cardio, stretching, and bodyweight exercises.
About the author:
Sara Lindberg is a freelance writer focusing on parenting, health, and wellness. She is passionate about all things fitness and health and loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and son.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Second trimester pregnancy: What to expect.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, June 21 2017. Retrieved July 12 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20047732.
- “Exercise After Pregnancy.” American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians. Frequently Asked Questions, Labor, Delivery, and Postpartum Care 131. June 2015. Retrieved July 12 2017. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Exercise-After-Pregnancy.