Why Exercising in Your 2nd Trimester is Awesome

For most women (sorry if you are not most women), the 2nd trimester is a time of renewed energy.  Nausea usually subsides or at least only rears its ugly head when blood sugar is low.  In fact, the 2nd trimester is when most women feel up to easing back into a fitness routine.

This is the ideal time to solidify healthy habits so you can enjoy the many benefits of an active pregnancy throughout your pregnancy and beyond.

Here are just a few of the benefits of exercise during your 2nd trimester.

Prevent Gestational Diabetes
Regular exercise helps to regulate blood glucose levels and maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.  These are two of the gestational diabetes risk factors that we can control.  

Prepare Your Core
Your growing uterus puts pressure on your abdominal wall, pelvic floor and connective tissues. Now is the time to connect with and strengthen your deep core muscles like your pelvic floor and transverses abdominals.  Your 3rd trimester self will thank you.

Protect your back
As your uterus gets heavier it pulls your pelvis forward increasing the curve in your lower back.  Having a strong core (see above) helps to take the strain off your back as you progress through your pregnancy.  Strengthening your glutes, and stretching your low back and hip flexors will help as well.

 

Accolades for Exercise in the 1st Trimester

Did you know that the SOGC recommends that all healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies do both cardio and muscular conditioning exercises throughout each trimester?  It’s true! You can read their guidelines here.

So let’s talk about the benefits of exercise during the first trimester.

More energy
Many women report feeling extra fatigued during the first trimester.  No wonder! So much is happening during these 12 weeks.  During the first trimester, your baby grows faster than at any other time. By 12 weeks, your baby's bones, muscles and all the organs of the body have formed. All that embryonic development is taxing on mom’s body.

Here’s the good news: Many women find that exercise actually increases their energy. This is even more so if the exercise is outdoors and/or with others.  Try going for a light to moderate walk outside and test the waters.  How does it make you feel? If you find your energy improving, then take it up a notch to a brisk walk.
 
Less Nausea
Ok.  So we understand that there is nausea….and there is NAUSEA.  We are not suggesting you head out for a power walk with your barf bucket.   But lets say you have light nausea.  You might find that exercise helps to prevent, reduce and even curb the nausea all together.

Prepare your body
Though you may have been feeling tired and or nauseous, the major physical changes of pregnancy are yet to come.   Maintaining or gently improving your fitness levels now, will help you better deal with postural changes and muscular imbalances of the 2nd and 3rd trimester. 

Stress management
When do I tell my boss? What if I have a miscarriage? Where am I going to put a baby in my 600 square foot condo?  Confirmation of pregnancy, planned or not, can be a very stressful time.  Many women keep their pregnancies private for the first 3 months.  This means they often have to cope with this stress on their own.  Exercise is a proven stress buster.  Even more so if exercising with a like group or exercising outdoors.  

Safety First
Ready to get moving? Awesome.  Please be sure to listen to your body and talk to your healthcare provider before resuming or beginning a fitness program.  We also recommend reviewing the guidelines for exercise during pregnancy.