One day, you woke up to a positive pregnancy test and realized that your life changed forever.
Perhaps, like me, you were into fitness prior to conceiving and wondered how to continue safely. Or conversely, you hadn’t really been on any workout regimen, and wanted to start something for the health and well-being of you and your baby.
All of the questions and emails I receive regarding fitness during pregnancy has inspired this very post. My goal is to give women some common guidelines they can use during pregnancy to stay healthy and feeling good. But of course, you must consult with your physician- especially if you have special concerns with your pregnancy.
Alright, let’s get started:
Guidelines for a healthy, fit pregnancy:
1) Generally, it is safe to continue your workout routine in the first trimester as you were doing so prior to conceiving
2) If you were not working out prior to conception, it is a great idea to start a fitness routine. Obviously, you don’t want to start off doing CrossFit or Insanity during pregnancy, but walking, swimming, and the basic elements of fitness like bicep curls, shoulder press, and squats with light two pound dumbbells should do the trick.
3) Squat. Often. Why? Not only do squats help prepare your body for labor, but they give you great looking glutes!
4) If you are in pain or feel uncomfortable during your prenatal workout, stop. I had a woman write me an email and say that every time she jogged, her abdomen hurt. Clearly, if this is the case, listen to your body and rest. I recommended that she obviously speak with her doctor first, and try walking instead. She said the pain went away when doing so. No two pregnant women are like. What your pregnant friend may do during her pregnancy workouts may not work for you and the vice versa. Listen to your body’s intuition and wisdom, always.
5) Know that pregnancy fatigue is normal all throughout pregnancy. During my first trimester, I was exhausted. My workouts had to take a backseat to allow my changing body to begin growing new life. And now that sleep interruptions have begun, fatigue has taken on a new face. When I absolutely need to rest, I do not push my body. As pregnant women, our primary job is to nurture and grow our new baby. Generally, rest if you are over fatigued, and know the difference between exhaustion and indolence.
6) Plan your workouts. For me, that means incorporating my high energy toddler. We love going outside for walks and jogs. You don’t have to do anything fancy to feel accomplished for the day. A 10 minute walk is much better than nothing!
7) Don’t compare your pregnancy to anyone else’s. I look bigger than some pregnant women, and smaller than others. I follow pregnant women on my Instagram, but I don’t get caught up in the comparison game. Follow others for inspiration, but remember God prepared your body to carry your baby in your own unique way .
8) Drink water more than any other beverage. Avoid sodas. Aim to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats such as avocados. Should you indulge in cravings? Yes! But only in slight moderation. I may allow myself to have some ice cream in the evening, but I’ve already had my greens smoothie and 2 liters of water for the day
If you have any questions about this list, or comments you’d like to share, leave them below. I’d love to hear from you!