What types of changes can I expect from my body and how do I need to modify my fitness routine?
When it comes to the changes of the body during pregnancy there are A LOT, but there are a few key changes that we need to focus on when it comes to your fitness routine.
In your first trimester your body is going to be trying to make more blood for you and for the baby. (By the end of your pregnancy you will have 45% more blood in your body.) Until that happens your heart is going to be working overtime to pump enough blood to you and the growing baby. What that means for you is that you are going to get winded VERY EASILY. Just walking up steps or bending over to pick something up might make you
short of breath and you will be wondering “when did I get so out of shape?” Have no fear, this to shall pass, but in the meantime take it a bit easier on the cardio. Don’t push quite as hard as you normally would. On a scale of 1-10 you should feel like you are between 5-7 in terms of difficulty. If you do get short of breath or light headed stop what you are doing, sit down, and drink water.
By your second trimester you will start feeling better. Morning sickness will
subside and your energy will come back. Another thing that will show up is your baby bump! This is a very exciting time as you actually start to look pregnant. Your growing belly brings about another change in your fitness routine. After 14 weeks you no longer want to lie on your back for sleep or exercise. That means no more crunches. It is still important to work your core muscles. This will keep your lower back from aching and will make delivery much easier. There are a few ways you can continue to work your core. You can do all of your crunches standing up. It might sound crazy but it works. You can also hold planks for 20-60 seconds at a time. These exercises will keep your tummy muscles strong and you feeling great.
Finally, the third trimester arrives. You will start to feel sluggish again, but this time it will be because you are carrying around extra weight. You might develop the pregnancy waddle and you will surely be wondering “When is this baby going to get here?” Relax you are at the end of a great journey. Enjoy these last few weeks because, believe me, life will never be the same. As for your fitness routine….DON’T QUIT ON ME NOW!!!! If you
have exercised throughout your entire pregnancy it is important to keep going at the end. If you choose to stop working out in the last trimester you may have a slightly bigger baby than you anticipated and you may gain a few more pounds than you would have liked. It is ok to take it down a notch. Go back to walking, swimming, low impact aerobics and light weight lifting. Remember it is ok to break your workout up throughout the day if you are too tired to do a full hour at a time.
Most importantly have FUN and listen to your body!