First Trimester Fitness

October 9, 2009 at 4:01 am Leave a comment

Congratulations, you have just found out you are pregnant, now what?  It is your first trimester and you are probably feeling many things including excitement, fear and nausea.  Many women would like to continue to exercise throughout their pregnancy or start a new exercise program for themselves and their babies but they don’t know exactly what to do.  If this is you keep reading. 

There are a few things you need to know about working out in your first trimester. 

FIRST off it’s OK to workout while you are pregnant (as long as you have been cleared by your physician) in fact it will probably make you feel better sometimes. 

SECOND, you should take it slow, if you are new to fitness don’t try to push yourself to far to fast.  Start easy with walking or swimming and add in resistance training as you  feel more comfortable. 

THIRD, watch out for dehydration.  Dehydration can limit nutritional flow to your baby and predispose you to premature labor.  Drink water before, during and after your workouts.

FOURTH, wear exercise clothes that breathe, such as cotton or supples.

Lets not forget ladies that your body is about to endure a lot of changes.  Your hormone levels will be rising so you will feel tired, crabby, hungry, not hungry and most likely SICK.  Listen to your body, if you are feeling good it is ok to give yourself a little extra push in your workout that day.  If you are feeling bad take it easy or take the day off. 
Try to be consistent in your workouts though.  Studies show that you need to maintain a consistent workout routine from start to finish in your pregnancy to gain all of the benefits of exercising while pregnant. 

Now that we have talked a little about what to expect from your body in the first trimester lets talk about how you should work it.  You will want to strengthen your upper back and shoulders.  This will help support your growing breasts.  You will also want to work on strengthening your legs they will be carrying around a lot of extra weight over the next 9 months and you will need them to be strong during labor to assist in pushing out your bundle of joy.  Your chest is going to feel tight so you will want to take time to stretch it a little each day.  Your lower back will also feel tight because it will be in a perpetually flexed position during at least the latter half of the pregnancy.  However you will want to work on strengthening your lower back muscles then stretch them.

To strengthen your upper back

Bent  over rows:  Use a  weight that is comfortable to lift (3-8lbs is usually a good size).  Bend your knees and bend forward at the waiste.   Keep your back flat and draw your belly button in to your spine.  Your arms should be hanging in front of you with your palms facing your thighs.  Squeeze your shoulder blades and pull the weights up so that your hands are on either side of your breasts.  Lower the weights back down and repeat.  Try doing 10-20 of these

bent over row

To strengthen your shoulders

Shoulder press:  Hold a weight in each hand (3-8lbs) draw your bellybutton in to your spine.  Raise the weights up next to your ears with your palms facing forward.  Slowly and with control push the weights up until your elbows are almost fully extended.  Lower the weights back down next to your ears.  Repeat 10-20 times

0906-shoulder-press_preview

To Strengthen your legs

Squats:  Stand with your feet hip width apart and your toes facing directly forward.  Draw your bellybutton in to your spine.  Slowly bend your knees and stick your booty back (like your squatting over a toilet to pee).  All of your weight should be in your heels, keep your toes behind your knees.  Push back up and squeeze your booty at the top.  Try doing 10 squats and work your way up to 20.

squats

You MUST get clearance from your doctor before beginning ANY exercise program.  If you have pain, discomfort, or dizziness STOP all exercise and consult with your physician.

 I hope these exercise help get you started on a fun and fit road through your pregnancy.  What is your favorite way to exercise during pregnancy?

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