I had two completely different pregnancy experiences. For the record, being pregnant in the first place is not my favorite thing. I know some really enjoy it, but not me.
One of the main differences between these two pregnancies had to do with exercise.
My first pregnancy landed me on house rest for the three months prior to him being born, nearly doubling my weight, high blood pressure and an awful delivery experience and a much longer recovery period in regards to my fitness level.
What I wish someone would have told me with my first pregnancy was,
“Get off your lazy butt and exercise! Every ache, pain, tightness and uncomfortable feeling is completely normal.”
Instead, as my baby grew, I backed off exercise almost completely and put both of us in more harm than if I had kept exercising. I thought everything I was feeling was going to cause me to go into labor and so I worried that exercise would make it worse or hurt me or the baby I guess.
I took an entirely different approach with my second pregnancy. I didn’t let up on exercises unless it was something I physically couldn’t do, because the growing “basketball” was in my way!
I actually found that once I started exercising I felt better and it helped alleviate some of the nausea I was having in the first trimester – which became a total motivator for exercising on the days I really didn’t want to.
Because I continue to get questions about what I did during my second pregnancy to stay in shape, I’m now sharing it with you!
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So here’s my secret: Don’t stop exercising!
At minimum do cardio, even if it is 20 minutes of walking each day.
My goal was to not really add anything new to my routine, but rather since I was already exercising and had a routine, continue to do what I had been doing. And do that daily cardio!
I was determined that I would exercise throughout my second pregnancy nearly every day. That I would maintain what routine and workouts I could and was doing prior to my pregnancy. It actually became a challenge against myself.
As my pregnancy progressed, I referenced workouts and the routine I was doing pre-pregnancy making modifications and backing off as my body told me; otherwise I went as hard as I could, like I normally had been doing.
The goal wasn’t to get in better shape, try anything new, it was about doing what I was able to as my pregnancy progressed.
A couple of main modifications or changes I had to make as I was in my second and third trimester were to back off plyometric and I also didn’t do exercises where I would have to lay on my tummy.
In some of the yoga workouts I would modify the move or wouldn’t do it. I also would change exercises to be more simple moves verses complex (multiple exercises in one).
My Exercise Routine during my pregnancy was:
Tuesday/Friday: arms and a few leg exercises
Saturday/Sunday: yoga or cardio
Remember, this was my typical routine pre – pregnancy. I just modified intensity and exercises as needed to accommodate my baby bump as it grew. It may or may not be appropriate for you.
I changed up the arm workout every three weeks to helped me avoid plateaus. If I had just done one all the time and never changed it up I wouldn’t have kept benefiting from the workout.
For yoga workouts here were my two favorites!
The benefits of exercise aren’t just during pregnancy either.
There are huge benefits postpartum if you exercise throughout your pregnancy.
I had c-sections for both of my deliveries and having a strong body helped me move and recover more quickly. It also helped me get back to my prebaby body a little faster too.
3 Tips For Exercising While Pregnant
- Use the routine and workouts that you are currently doing as a foundation
- If you aren’t doing any exercise, but want to start while pregnant, take it easy. Start with walking and light, body weighted exercise
- Listen to your body, it won’t be easy but it shouldn’t be painful, gradually modify exercises and your routine as your body needs you to
So here’s to you, exercise, and a healthy, happy pregnancy!
Have any questions about this topic, just ask below in the comments! I can’t wait to talk with you!
Check the additional content on Hint of Happy that you may find helpful as well!
- What do I need in my Hospital Bag When I Have My Baby? (checklist included)
- Pregnancy and Postpartum Workouts under the Exercise section of the Hint of Happy Healthy Lifestyle page
- 9 Month Pregnancy Workout Plan
- Healthy Lifestyle Coaching