Keeping your exercise routine going during your pregnancy is probably one of the best decisions you’ll make. Not only will it ease symptoms such as swollen feet, tiredness and backache, but you’ll also be delivering essential nutrients and hormones to your growing baby.
In the early months you may not feel pregnant at all and your regular exercise routine is ok to continue with. There are 2 factors to consider though during this stage and they are, 1, your core temperature and 2, your heart rate.
Try to monitor these two areas closely by wearing a heart rate belt or activity activity tracker and being conscious of how hot you are feeling during your workout. If you do become too hot, stop exercising and take a break to hydrate.
During the next two trimesters your amazing body will become super efficient at regulating temperature naturally. Your internal thermometer will have a lower set point at which you start to sweat upon exercise. Despite this, exercising sensibly is still fundamental here.
At any stage in your pregnancy you may want to consider lengthening the duration of your warm up and increasing intensity gradually. You are no longer working out for any gains in fitness, more like maintenance of your current level. Put it this way, now is not a good time to try Tabata or HIIT! You can definitely apply the same structure to your workout of 30 second durations and 15 second rests, but avoid any maximal output and exertion.
Consider the following training goals during your pregnancy:
- Maintenance of good posture as your centre of gravity changes
- Strengthening of your core muscles and pelvic floor
- Cardiovascular exercise like swimming to release stress and encourage happy hormone release.
- Pilates or yoga to help with relaxation and breathing in preparation of your impending labour.
Whatever you decide to do, your workout should feel right for you. Try not to put any pressure on yourself to sticking to your routine 100%. Listen to how your body feels and if one type of training isn’t right, change it to something that feels better for you.
I remember vividly when I was pregnant, the most challenging workout for me was yoga. My enormous bump literally got in the way of all the forward folding and twisting. Just remember to be flexible in your approach and alter your plans for training if necessary. Your instructor should be able to give you lots of options and advise as you progress through.
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