Finding out I was pregnant was one of the happiest days of my life. But deep down I wasn’t looking forward to expanding. My body is my work and I sort of felt like I’d be losing my identity. I’m a real gym bunny!
I wasn’t going to be silly though and restrict my calories or go mad in the gym. A healthy bump equals a healthy baby after all.
I popped into see Gideon at KX gym, who gave me a safe exercise programme to follow (I will share this in a later post). It was here that I also decided I wanted to do my pre-natal exercise course too. If I was going to carry on working out then I wanted to know that I was doing it safely & effectively.
During the first trimester lots of changes are happening.
Firstly, your blood vessels increase dramatically but there isn’t enough blood to fill them, which causes something called Vascular Underfill. This is why people tend to feel sick, dizzy and tired. Their blood pressure will also drop.
I also noticed that my heart rate was high. I always wear my Polar FT60 when working out and straight away noticed that my HR was 10-15 Beats per minute higher than normal. This is basically to accommodate the bigger blood vessels, which don’t have enough blood in them so your heart has to work extra hard to pump this blood through these expanded vessels.
Don’t worry there are some benefits! The excess progesterone pumping through the body is said to improve lung function! You may feel you are over-breathing though. I noticed this in the simplest of tasks like walking up the stairs. I felt so unfit! Don’t worry, you aren’t, it’s just your body adjusting.
Lastly increased insulin resistance (when your body’s cells cannot take in glucose so it ends up circulating round the blood stream and causes fat storage) can result in excess fat storage but as pregnant women we know and expect this. During the whole pregnancy you’re going to put on around 24 – 33 pounds, so there’s no hiding from weight gain!
So there you have it. These are all the things you need to look out for and be aware of when exercising during the First Trimester.
One other thing that is absolutely vital is that you make sure you don’t overheat when exercising. It can damage the baby and cause abnormalities.
I was so lucky that I only had the odd day of extreme tiredness and sickness so didn’t miss too many sessions. Most importantIy I DID listen to my body and sleep in when I needed to or just stay at home and have a big nutritious breakfast. That is the secret when pregnant. You need to listen to what your body and baby is telling you and go with it.
Pregnancy most certainly isn’t the time to reach peak fitness or break records, it’s literally for maintaining what you already have and making your pregnancy and birth that little but easier.
Please contact me if you have any questions or need some advice – I’ve been through this trimester and come through the other side so will happily help others who need some support or advice.
* Thank you to Premier Training International for allowing me to learn all about Pre & Post-natal exercise through their Award in Designing Pre & Post natal exercise programs course