I have received lots of questions regarding my prenatal workouts and how my workouts changed during my pregnancy. Throughout my pregnancy I questioned my mom-friends about what workouts they liked, where they found good maternity workout clothes without spending a fortune, and anything else I could think of. Here is some information of what worked for me. I hope you or a friend find it helpful!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a prenatal specialist and I always checked in with my doctor about any activity. I highly recommend you do the same. My doctor is a big proponent of “what you did before is what you can do now” and that’s what I went with. It worked great for me! I also found that during and after my pregnancy I became more in tune with my body and it was blatantly clear what felt good to do and what didn’t, when I needed more rest, more nourishment, etc. My advice over all else is listen to your body and rest when you need to, move when you need to, and eat well!
Before becoming pregnant my weekly workouts included: running, Pilates, weights, yoga and barre, both at home workouts and attending classes. Here is a look at my workouts, by trimester, during my pregnancy.
- Run/Walk or Walk (30 mins 4-6 times a week)
- Pilates (2 times a week, most weeks)
- Weights (1-2 times a week) For me this also included exercises with light weights or no weights like squats and lunges.
Workout adjustments: I was lucky to only have about 3 weeks of nausea, but I did experience some serious fatigue. Physically my body felt fine running I had no discomfort but I was pretty tired thus my runs turned into run/walks and then into walks. The days that I was extremely tired I could usually at least muster up the energy to walk and it always made me feel better. Toward the end of my first trimester (weeks 9-13) my energy and therefore my workouts started to pick up a bit and working out helped me increase my energy! I didn’t feel the need to modify my Pilates Practice at all during this time and since I don’t lift extremely heavy weights I didn’t feel the need to modify those workouts. My goal was to maintain my fitness, not make any big advances, and keep my energy up.
Weird Cravings: loaded potato skins, macaroni and cheese, bacon These are things I rarely ate before but my husband was quite excited to hear of these cravings as they are weirdly all his favorite things, and happily prepared them for me. Luckily, it didn’t last too long and to Sam’s disappointment I was back to my usual kale chip cravings in no time, haha!
- Walk/Elliptical (4-5 days per week)
- Pilates/Barre DVD (2-3 days per week)
- Weights (2 times per week)
Workout adjustments: Around week 14 my energy returned! That is also around the time that full on running felt uncomfortable. I could just feel a slight pressure…errrr baby when I ran so I stuck with a quick paced walk. On really cold or rainy days I’d change it up with the Elliptical.
This is also when I felt like I needed to modify my Pilates practice. Anything lying on my stomach was out, other than that I kept my practice almost completely unmodified until about 20 weeks. At 20 weeks I reduced my range of motion, and laid off some oblique work because that’s what felt right for me.
I also got a recommendation from a friend (thanks, Mo!) for this awesome Prenatal Barre DVD by Suzanne Bowen. LOVE that DVD. It is broken up into 4 20-minute segments: Arms, Core, Legs, Butt, Cardio, Stretching. I would either do all of it on its own or pair 1 or 2 with a cardio work out. I especially love the Arms routine! They recommend 1-4lb weights, I used 3lb because I already had them but 2 probably would’ve been fine, 4lb would be pretty intense! It sounds easy but it’s not, trust me.
Weird Cravings: PB & J, I am not sure why I stopped eating this after age 10 but this is the perfect prego snack: filling, protein + carbs, and portable!
This is also when it became apparent I needed to find some maternity workout gear! Click here to read about my favorite maternity workout gear.
These workouts stayed mostly the same as my 2nd trimester.
- Walk/Elliptical (4-5 times per week)
- Weights (1-2 times per week)
- Pilates/Barre (1-2 times per week)
Workout Adjustments: Towards the end of the third trimester the fatigue came back and I started to slow down a bit. My weekly routine consisted of walking, light weights and gentle pilates/barre. While I was more tired I was still feeling good!
Weird Cravings: PB & J cravings stayed and I got a really weird craving for gummy candy. The whole foods gummy bears are amazing, or they were…I haven’t craved them since, nor did I have any interest in gummy candy before being pregnant! So strange.
Remember to listen to your body! If you have any other suggestions or questions, leave a comment, email me, or find me on social media!