How To Stay Fit In The First Trimester
The first trimester in pregnancy is often like something you’ve never experienced before- even if it’s not your first pregnancy! You can read all about my experiences here. If you’ve been a fit person up until you got pregnant you may be wondering how to stay fit during this stage or you may be looking at starting something new! Regardless, there are a few tips and priorities when it comes to stay fit in those initial thirteen weeks.
For most women, the first trimester comes with its share of annoyances. Food aversions, sickness, tiredness and all around crappy energy. Somehow, you never think that it will be as bad as it can be until you’re doing it (again!).
Now, I’ve mentioned before that I am a very routine oriented person. And thus, the first trimester is pretty much my crypt tonight. I hate it. I know I should love it, growing a human and all that but I hate it.
So let’s be clear on the biggest, most important things you can do in the first trimester: survive. Yup, seriously. That’s my big advice. The first trimester in pregnancy is literally all about survival. This means if you need to rest, do it. If you can’t fathom working out because you’ll spew everywhere: don’t. If you can only eat tomato and cheese toasted sandwiches: do it.
Literally, focus on doing what – and anything- you can before you focus on anything else.
Since I am a routine oriented person workouts still occurred during the first trimester for me but they changed drastically. Really and truly I had to fight for my workouts. There was about a two hour window each day when I felt well enough and had enough energy to rock some activity.
And of course, those two hours changed week by week so my scheduled changed with it. On top of that I wasn’t as fueled as I normally was so the workouts I was doing obviously needed to be scaled back.
Below are just a few of the guidelines I give to all my first trimester mamas
Don’t start any jumping/high impact activity
If you were previously doing high impact activities it’s up to you if you continue. I personally advice many of my clients to switch over but it’s your call. In the very very early weeks hard landings (jumps) can jar the attachment of the baby.
As you progress, your body still has a bit more difficulty controlling your landings/jumps since ligaments are starting to stretch. This makes it harder for your hips to stay in proper position.
If you previously were not active but want to do something start with walking, yoga or light strength training are all amazing options. But beginning activities like crossfit, kickboxing, plyometrics or pole dancing are not a great idea.
Listen to your body
I know that this sounds like crap advice but unfortunately I’ve found it to be more true than anything. For myself especially, some days in the first trimester I still felt great lifting heavy. I had energy, I could push it a bit and I felt good. Other days, lunges bugged my hips and I couldn’t get my breath in carries. On those days I switched up my routines and rocked something different.
Being active throughout your pregnancy is amazing but you do need to learn to tweak things as you go along.
Take it day by day and adjust as you need to.
Monitor & Adjust Your Intensity
The word intensity is misleading. For most people it means go hard with sprints and be sweaty and dripping. That’s how you judge a workout. But it’s far from the truth. Intensity can be the amount of weight you’re lifting (heavier is more intense to your central nervous system). It can be a high volume workout with lots of sets and reps. It can be plyometrics or intervals. It can be a lot.
Intensity is something you need to keep an eye on and adjust. For the majority of people the intensity of your workouts in pregnancy decreases. Or the workout becomes intense in different ways.
Maybe you do a few less reps or sets when you’re feeling a bit more tired (or nauseous!) one day. Or perhaps you swap a lifting workout for a pilates one. Regardless, find what works for you and adjust as necessary. The goal of pregnancy isn’t t be intense and smash results. It’s to remain active and comfortable throughout it.The goal of pregnancy isn't t be intense and smash results. It's to remain active and comfortable throughout it. Click To Tweet
Make sure you can breathe
Again, this sounds like obvious advice. But given our definition of intense is often breathless and sweaty most people need to address this. Throughout your workouts while pregnant you should be able to hold a conversation.
You shouldn’t be gasping, begging for breath. If you’re struggling to breathe that much so is the baby. Instead, take a few more rests and o adjust a position and keep control of your breath.
You can most definitely stay active in your first trimester (and throughout your pregnancy!). But it takes some forethought. I personally maintained a five day workout split but two of those days became much lighter than normal.
Part of your workout regime in the first trimester will be determined by your previous fitness level. If you’re still in doubt, please please please contact a qualified trainer to help set you on the right path.
Don’t forget to pin these preggo tips!
You may not be able to rock the same routine you always have but you can definitely stay active on those initial thirteen weeks. Remember though, the first rule of this trimester is survival: so rock that first 😉
What about you- did you workout in your first trimester?