The most critical time of your pregnancy is during the first trimester. While the fetus will only measure about 4 inches long at the end of three months, all of its major functions have started to form. Now is not the time to skip meals or try to cut down on calories, both you and your growing baby need the extra nutrients but don't forget to watch your pregnancy weight gain. There are also many benefits to maintaining an exercise program for the duration of your pregnancy. Not only will a pregnancy workout help to improve your condition, but it will reduce many risk factors associated with pregnancy, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise is also good for the developing baby too so it's important that an expectant mother try to exercise between three to four times a week. Exercise can not only help you maintain a healthy weight during your pregnancy, but it can also help to counteract post-partum weight gain as well.
Pregnancy Workout In The First Trimester
Any aerobic exercises should be switched from high impact to low impact, to avoid any risk of injury. If you were a runner or enjoyed dance, then you may want to consider taking up swimming or even cycling instead. One of the most beneficial of the pregnancy workouts are squats. This exercise helps to strengthen the leg muscles as well as the muscles in your back and those around your uterus as well. Prenatal yoga is another beneficial exercise as it helps to increase your flexibility as your body changes and decrease swelling that often occurs. Yoga is gentle on the body and has been shown to help ease the pain of labor.
Pregnancy Workout In The Second Trimester
As you enter your second trimester, exercise will allow you to sleep better at night and help you to keep your energy levels up. It's important that you keep your heart-rate under 140 beats per minute while exercising so you can avoid straining yourself or overheating. It's now safe to start doing some light weight training, to help build and strengthen muscle. You can also take up walking, which is easier on your joints, and can be just as beneficial as running. Be sure to slow down if you get out of breath, you should not be panting while walking.
Pregnancy Workout In The Third Trimester
Many women feel that once they enter their third trimester that they can no longer exercise. The truth is, exercise is still very safe and recommended in the final trimester. Since your uterus has grown and the baby is now heavier, walking is still one of the best exercises you can do at this stage. Walk for as long as you're able without getting winded. You can continue with weight training, but opt for lighter weights and lift them while sitting down. The pool is a beneficial exercise in your third trimester since the water will help ease the strain on your joints and allow you to do more exercises such as leg extensions and leg curls.