Phew! Your morning sickness is diminishing, your energy levels are increasing, and you’re feeling much better overall.
Welcome to your second trimester (weeks 14 to 27)!
While many of the symptoms of the first trimester have subsided, your baby bump is finally starting to show. You’re probably wondering what these new changes mean for your exercise routine. Can you work out more? Or do you have to take it easier?
Even though you probably feel much better in your second trimester, your body is still undergoing a massive transformation so it’s important to be mindful of your body’s limits and adopt a safe approach when it comes to exercise.
The benefits of exercising during pregnancy
Staying active during pregnancy is important and can have a significant positive impact on your health and wellbeing. Pregnant women who exercise report many benefits including less back pain, more energy, better body image, better moods, a lower risk of gestational diabetes, better sleep, and a faster return to their pre-pregnancy shape after they have their babies.
Pretty great, huh? Before you lace up your sneakers, let’s cover some important do’s and don’ts of exercise during your second trimester so you can stay as healthy and safe as possible.
Exercise do’s during your second trimester
Generally speaking, your exercise routine can remain the same as in your first trimester, with a few added precautions (which we’ll go over in a minute). You should continue focusing on low-impact, low/moderate-intensity exercise such as yoga, Pilates, walking, indoor cycling, swimming, low-impact aerobics, and using light free weights.
Take advantage of having more energy and feeling better. Does that mean you should start training for a Tough Mudder or take up running even though you’ve never run before? Absolutely not. However, you can use the boost in energy to try to get some activity in every day—even if that’s just a brisk walk around your neighborhood or a 15-minute yoga session.
Some other important tips to keep in mind:
Keep your doctors in the the loop—it’s always best to update them frequently about your exercise routine.
Always stay hydrated and have a substantial snack thirty minutes to an hour before exercise.
Try adding in core exercises that engage your transverse abdominis (the deepest layer of abdominal muscles) and pelvic floor muscles—these will help relieve tension and pain in your back.
Exercise don’ts during your second trimester
Now that we’ve covered what is good in terms of exercising during your second trimester, let’s cover some things that you should avoid doing:
Don’t engage in exercises with a risk of falling. If you love cycling, for example, switch to indoor cycling which is much safer.
Don’t push yourself too hard. Just like in your first trimester, you should not break more than a light sweat.
Don’t do exercises that involve sudden jerks or movements.
Don’t lie on your back for longer than a few minutes, as this could affect your blood supply and make you feel nauseous or dizzy.
The bottom line
The further you get into your pregnancy, the more important it is to listen to your body. Just because moderate exercise is considered safe, doesn’t mean you have to do it if you’re feeling horrible. Try your best, aim to move every day, and thank your body for working so hard for you and your baby. Self-care is key!
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