Morning sickness. Nausea. Fatigue. Feeling like you got run over by a truck by 10am. Clothes not fitting like they used to. Sound familiar? They are some of the most common symptoms of the first trimester of pregnancy. But this pregnancy, I have discovered a profound truth I didn’t believe with the previous two pregnancies – exercising really does give you more energy! When I would run, go to BodyPump, or take a Barre class between weeks 8 to present (12 weeks), I would feel tired in the afternoon and evening, but not to the point where I would have to attempt my second nap of the day at 2pm. And the best part – I would sleep so soundly that night! Here are some tips I’ve discovered for maintaining a fit first trimester:
- Stick with your established routine as much as possible. I try to run at least 3 times every week, alternating with rest days and cross- or strength-training days.
- Learn what time of day works best for you. Does fatigue hit around 3pm? Try to fit in your workout in the morning.
- Meet up with a friend. If I didn’t get to run with Marion, I don’t think I would have been able to get some of my runs in at all! Knowing someone is waiting on you to run or go workout is a huge motivating factor for me! I’m much more likely to skip a workout if I know I have to do it solo versus doing it with a friend! I was running 5 minutes late to a BodyPump class which I was seriously thinking about skipping, except I had told Dani I was going to try and make it, and she set up my station for me so I kind of “had” to go. So glad I did!
- Strategically placed coffee. The American Pregnancy Association recommends no more than 150-300mg of caffeine daily. This is good news for us coffee lovers! So if you know you are going to crash in the afternoon, try and put off your coffee fix until then! It has helped me go to a 6pm Barre class! Also, try the placebo effect – drinking either decaf coffee or tea to try to trick your brain/body into feeling more energized!
- Try to move a little each day – even if it’s just a 10 minute walk! Sometimes that’s enough to get you through the evening routine; sometimes that’s all you can do – and that’s ok!
- Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t “keep up” with your pre-pregnant self. You are growing a human!!! Energy will return and nausea will (hopefully) disappear between 12-15 weeks, and you can return to exercise then. But if you just need a week or even a month’s break from the gym, rest without guilt! And even if you aren’t able to go back to your previous levels of activity with the dawn of the second trimester, I promise it will come back in the end!
What are your tips for maintaining a fit first trimester?
NOTE: I have had a “easy” first trimester, if there is such a thing. I have not had any morning sickness, just plenty of general fatigue and nausea. Each pregnancy is different for each woman, so these tips may or may not work for you. Always discuss exercise guidelines with your doctor before embarking on a new exercise regimen.