Pregnancy and exercise: it’s ok to start in the 2nd trimester

At 23 weeks, I started to pop and at the same time, I became really uncomfortable. I couldn’t stand the thought of becoming more uncomfortable in the 3rd trimester so I started to think about what I could do that would help. Some of you may laugh and suggest that I just need to accept uncomfortable! While you may be right, I also wasn’t going down without a fight 🙂

After much thought, the only conclusion I could came to that may help with feeling uncomfortable was (drum roll please…) exercise. Here’s what says about exercise in pregnancy:

Exercise does wonders during pregnancy. It boosts mood, improves sleep, and reduces pregnancy aches and pains. It helps prevent and treat gestational diabetes and may keep preeclampsia at bay. It prepares you for childbirth by strengthening muscles and building endurance, and makes it much easier to get back in shape after your baby’s born.

Regarding exercise, I had heard that whatever you were doing prior to pregnancy is safe to do while pregnant. But what if you weren’t exercising at all prior to getting pregnant? You see, walking (20+ minutes a day) and taking the stairs was the extent of my exercise program prior to our BFP. But now that it’s winter, I’m not even getting the same walking exercise that I used to.

I decided that I wanted to try working out 3x a week. I picked a low intensity video that’s 20-30 minutes long. At 23 weeks, I kept to my goal and did the video 3x that week. I’m 24 weeks now and have done the video twice. I’m enjoying adding exercise to my week so much, I only wish I started sooner! I usually do the video at some point in the evenings but today, on Christmas eve (with so much to do), I started my day with the video. No regrets, it was the perfect way to start a busy day!

Here’s what I’ve noticed in the short time that I’ve started to work-out in pregnancy:

– it has helped with fatigue so much! we came home from Christmas shopping on Saturday and while I was very tired, I did the video. the exercise gave me my energy back!

– I feel much less uncomfortable in week 24 then I did at week 23. A simple thing like getting out of bed in the morning is easier.

– maybe this is coincidence, but I’ve also noticed in the last week that my skin is clearing up. Both my face and lower legs are clearer than they’ve been so far in pregnancy.

To be honest, I’ve doubted myself at times wondering if maybe I shouldn’t begin to exercise in the 2nd trimester. I obviously don’t want to harm our baby. But then I read about all the benefits of exercising in pregnancy and I figure better late than never?! And just yesterday, my husband sent me the following story about Alysia Montano, an Olympic athlete who competed at nearly 8 months pregnant! Check out her story via the link under the photo. Incredible! I’m encouraged that exercising (even if I’m starting in the 2nd trimester) is healthy. And that it’s likely to help make pregnancy easier for me (less uncomfortable, more energy, etc). I’m going to continue to keep my exercise low impact and strive for a goal of 3x per week. This may not last forever, but at this point in time I look forward to my next work out. Maybe it’s because I’m not doing this for weight loss. My focus for working out is centered around it helping me to feel less uncomfortable. Here’s to not going down without a fight 🙂

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