One of the many exciting parts of my job is I get to develop workout plans for girls in the early stages of pregnancy. Many times, girls contact me via Facebook or my website within days of finding out they are pregnant to inquire about safe exercise routines in early pregnancy. The good news is, most women can maintain their pre-pregnancy level of fitness throughout the first trimester. Intense exercise is generally safe in the first trimester of pregnancy if intense exercise was practiced pre-pregnancy.
Here is an example of a week of workouts for one of my clients who is in the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Day 1: 800 calories on cardio machines: elliptical, stair stepper, arc trainer. 85% HR;
- Day 2: 4 mile run
- Day 3: rest
- Day 4: 800 calories on cardio machines (see above), sprint workout, plyos, body weight strength training
- Day 5: 3 mile run
- Day 6: 1 hour of plyos and body weight strength training
- Day 7: 4 mile run
As you can see, this particular client is still maintaining a very intense workout routine and feeling great. Like always, it is important to stay properly hydrated and fueled for workouts. Recently I advised a girl in her early stages of pregnancy to scale back on cardio workouts if she continues to throw up from morning sickness. She was not able to stay properly fueled, and in that case, it is better to take it easy. However, as a general rule of thumb, workouts help to relieve many pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester (nausea, constipation, fatigue, etc).
What is your experience with workouts in early pregnancy?