First Trimester Exercise

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

How is the first trimester going for YOU?

That is the most important question to ask, when it comes to exercise and the first trimester.

– The second question is: what does your doctor think you should be doing?

In many cases, the mother’s health is strong and the doctor does not set limitations for the first trimester. Some women do not modify their regular routine during that time. In other cases, the patient and/or doctor has reason for concern in exercise. Problems range from gestational diabetes to previous pregnancy complications.

However, here are some considerations when exercising during that first trimester:

  • Morning sickness. If you are experiencing extreme morning (or all day) sickness, you may be limited on the time and frequency of exercise. For some women, a light workout relieves some symptoms, but for some women, it could exasperate symptoms, especially on an empty stomach.
  • Speaking of an empty stomach, a pregnant woman should not exercise without eating a little something first. When a pregnant woman’s blood sugar drops, she is likely to get sick or lose consciousness. Most pregnant women need to a strict eating schedule and should always have a snack available, just in case that blood sugar drops.
  • Pregnancy hormones cause the joints to stretch easier than when you are not pregnant. Therefore, you must modify stretches and extreme movements to make sure you are not overstretching or overextending. A personal trainer certified in prenatal fitness can help you with this.

Depending on the doctor’s recommendation, many exercise types are acceptable during the first trimester, such as:

  • Yoga
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Water Aerobics
  • Tai Chi
  • Light, seated weight lifting

How do I work, or not work, my abdominal muscles in the first trimester?

The best thing to do during the first trimester is to do pull the abdominal muscles in and up during workouts, to make sure you are not poking your muscles outward. The muscles will grow in the direction they are pulled. Typical abdominal exercises, such as sit-ups, are not recommended. While working on pulling abdominal muscles in and up, think also about the pelvic floor. Pull those muscles in and up during exercise, and many times through the day, to strengthen the pelvic floor for delivery. It feels like holding your urine for several counts, and then releasing that feeling.

When choosing a group exercise class or workout video, make sure it is designed particularly for prenatal exercise. A perfect example would be the Shannon Miller Pregnancy Bundle Pack.

  • This pack will get you set for Prenatal AND Postnatal exercise, as well as a Cookbook designed to give your baby and yourself optimal nutrition.
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