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Working out during the First Trimester

The first trimester is one of the craziest time’s of pregnancy. Not only can it be an emotional rollercoaster for most, but your body is going through so many hormonal changes which may mean you aren’t feeling your best! A lot of people want to workout during the first trimester, but between battling food aversions, nausea and fatigue, they just don’t know where to start. So let’s discuss!

If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through Pronatal fitness. I am a mom of one, and became interested in pre + postnatal fitness as I was going through my own pregnancy journey!

(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).

Let me preface this by saying, ALWAYS listen to your body. If you have a day where you’re feeling energized and motivated, by all means get a workout in! But if it takes everything out of you just to make it through the day, please take that as your sign that you should not be working out!

For me personally, I was very nauseous the first 12 weeks or so of pregnancy. Some days I literally couldn’t get off the couch! I worked from home, so I was thankful that I could set up camp from the couch and not move all day (while snacking on saltines of course).

If you are wanting to get some movement in despite not feeling your best, here are some tips!

  1. Recognize that every day is going to look different. And this goes beyond just working out. Some days you will feel great, and others you won’t. This is okay! Having a more flexible workout schedule is key. Somewhere along the way we all got sold this idea that we need to workout 5-6x a week to see results and this just isn’t true! Aiming for 2-3 good workouts per week is awesome, and if you can only get in one, don’t sweat it. Any type of movement is great, especially during this time.

  2. Walking is VERY underestimated. Walking is literally one of the best things you can do for your body. And bonus points if you can do it outside in the fresh air! When you’re battling that first trimester nausea and fatigue, you’d be surprised what a change in scenery, fresh air and some sunshine can do. Even just a 10 minute walk around the block is awesome!

  3. Don’t beat yourself up for eating carbs. Okay hear me out - I LIVED off of bagels and crackers my first trimester. Like carbs were my one and only friend. First trimester, anything goes. You need food for energy, so eat what you can keep down. It won’t be like this the entire 9 months. Be kind to yourself. You’re growing a human!

  4. Focus on connecting to your deep core. The first trimester is a great time to really connect to your deep core muscles (transverse abdominis) and learn how to properly breathe. Not only will this help minimize your risk for diastasis recti and pelvic floor dysfunction, but it will give you a great foundation as you head into the later stages of pregnancy. Also focusing on overall strength training is wonderful to have a good base before your belly starts to grow!

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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

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