Nausea, constipation, fatigue, back pain, water retention … these are just a few of the common pregnancy complaints that I have experienced throughout this pregnancy. In fact, as I write this blog, I am sitting on the couch with a heating pad attached to my throbbing lower back 🙂 But, what have I done to relieve all of these symptoms throughout the past 33 weeks? – Exercise!
The first trimester is often filled with nausea, constipation, and fatigue for most pregnant women. I was no exception. The only time I truly felt “normal” and energized was when I exercised. So, I split my workout up into two time slots an made sure to prioritize a daily exercise routine. A few girls have asked me a great question recently – “How do I get started on an exercise program during the first trimester of pregnancy if I did not workout prior to conception?” My answer – first, talk to your doctor and get permission to exercise. Second, start a walking program. I start most of my gym clients out on a walking program regardless of whether or not they are pregnant. It is not safe to “hit the ground running” with an exercise program. But rather, start slow and build endurance until you can walk or do a cardio machine for 60-90 minutes per day.
The second trimester is typically much more pleasant and enjoyable physically. Take advantage of this time and continue exercising to prevent more of the pregnancy aches and pains. I felt awesome throughout my second trimester, and was tempted to slack off on my workouts, but I knew that if I kept in shape, my body and baby would thank me in the third trimester 🙂
Now, I am part-way through the third trimester. I have suffered from severe lower back pain, constipation, and fatigue. But, I have not missed a single workout, and I truly believe I am much better off because of that. I have been able to keep excess weight off (I am currently at 24 lbs gained by 33 weeks) and I feel energized after my workouts. It is sometimes necessary to be more creative with your exercise routine. For example, if you have back pain like I do this week, try the elliptical or stair stepper. If the hormone relaxin is causing shin splints, try walking on an incline or doing the stationary bike.
Most importantly, don’t use fatigue, nausea, back pain, constipation, etc, etc, etc, as an excuse not to work out. Exercising properly and safely will help these ailments. If you are still unsure about how to get started or what to do for a safe workout, talk to a trainer, your doctor, a fit pregnant girl you know – or email me 🙂
Best wishes on your journey to maintaining a healthy pregnancy!