EXERCISING BY THE TRIMESTER
Pregnancy is by far one of the world’s greatest miracles. Trying to understand how a human being with all their intricacies are formed in just 40 weeks is impossible and leaves one absolutely amazed at the end of it. This time is divided into 3 trimesters that are characterized by various changes and experiences all of which must be taken into careful consideration for a safe and healthy pregnancy. Be sure to avoid exercises where you need to lie on your back or stomach. Do not run and bounce during any exercise. Boot camps, ab exercises and marathons can wait till the baby can cheer you on. That said, exercise prescription also FAITHFULLY adheres to these trimesters and here is how exercise should be structured during pregnancy.
This trimester is the most crucial in the formation of a baby. Here the vital organs are formed and hence the need to eat a balanced diet along with taking Folic acid and sometimes Iron supplements to ensure a healthy baby. Morning sickness and abdominal discomforts are experienced due to implantation and hormonal changes. There are also drastic emotional changes and increased fatigue that may be dealt with by simple pick me up exercises. Exercise is sometimes prohibited during this stage but one can consistently engage in-
Light cardio workouts 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes e.g. a brisk walk, jog, aerobics or a swim
Very light weight training.
Zumba or dance based exercises.
Here now your body is getting used to the little person living in you. This trimester is a lot simpler and changes come gradually as opposed to the previous trimester. Weight gain is more evident and you can no longer hide the bulge as your baby finds comfort in your enlarging uterus. There is movement that is more noticeable as they start to kick (especially in the middle of a meeting). Leg cramps are also common and exercising is easier during this trimester so give it some adequate time and plug into-
Full body strength training- this is no time to go heavy on the weights but training with weights or using your own body weight twice a week can be very beneficial. It will help regulate weight gain and strengthen your muscles and joints.
Pilates is an AMAZING way to stay fit during your second trimester 2-4 times a week.
Walking- this always takes the prize. In comfortable and well padded sports shoes, take a 30 minute walk at least 3 times a week.
Due to getting tired faster, you can do an interval training workout of as little as 10 minutes at home or at the gym.
Try circuit training that has all exercise components including cardio, stretches, strength and endurance.
They say it’s darkest before dawn. Waking up gets harder, walking seems more strenuous and how do I tie my laces again? This home stretch is tough but bearable and knowing it is just for a while can keep you going. Slowing down now is inevitable but DO NOT grunt to a halt, trust me, you will feel worse. You are getting heavier as the baby doubles in weight here. Your calorie intake is required to increase by around 20okcal. Balance is also altered due to a change in your centre of gravity and back aches almost seem normal. Your feet swell after a long day and yes, you heat up pretty quickly as well as loose breath fast but here are some tips to stay energized-
Take a 15-30 minute walk daily. If you can do a brisk 2minutes after every 3, you will gain much more.
Stretch every evening if possible after a warm shower or after taking a walk.
Weightless strength training which includes lunges, squats, glute raises etc.
Water based exercises like aqua aerobics and swimming are highly recommended.
Dancing for at least 20 minutes daily can get you sweating and happy too.
All in all, enjoy exercising during this time, it aids sleep and keeps your mood up and helps you stay healthy.