Congratulations! The first 12 weeks of your pregnancy is surely one of the most exciting times of your life, as your tiny baby takes shape inside you. It can also be one of the more challenging. Hormonally you can be unsettled as never before, and physically you are no longer allowed the release of hardcore exercise.
On the one hand, you will want to do everything you can to stay fit. A strong and healthy body will help you in labour, mitigate back pain and do a huge amount for your energy and mood. On the other, you are creating a whole, marvellous new person, and you have to know when and where to give yourself, and your body, a break.
First trimester exercise tips
- If you simply feel too sick, too tired, then don’t force yourself sport.
- At the same time, resist the temptation to be lazy. Even 20 minutes of gentle swimming can help you feel vastly less sluggish – helping your circulation and maintaining muscle tone – and will (let’s appeal our vanity now) also help ward off cellulite.
- Depending on your skills and level of fitness before your pregnancy, high intensity work outs such as spin or interval running are not a great idea. Nor are impact sports such as boxing, or anything where you could fall, like skiing or riding.
- You can continue with the exercise you most enjoy, so long as you can modify it to your changing body. For example, if jogging is a daily passion, continue to run but make sure your heart rate does not spike (wisdom used to be to keep it below 140 beats per minute; for more up to date information click here).
- It makes sense to combine cardio with strength and something a little zen. Both pregnancies I found that a mixture of pilates, yoga and swimming hugely helped my body.