First trimester was an adjustment, both nutritionally and exercise-wise. The sleepiness and afternoon nausea added a real challenge to my workout routine. The tricky part (after finding the motivation to actually work out) was finding the right exercise intensity level. With all the conflicting information, I was terrified I caused harm after any workout session that left me a little winded. But, it’s amazing what our pregnant bodies do to adapt. I couldn’t push it as hard and I definitely enjoyed a few more off days during those first 13 weeks.
3 Tips for the First Trimester:
- Sign up for a race! I led a training group for a half marathon taking place at week 17. This was a great motivator to keep me moving on those mornings I really wanted to hit the snooze button! Whether it’s a 5k or marathon, I highly recommend registering for an event (or 2 or 3) to keep you moving during those first few months. Just don’t beat yourself up if you slow down considerably! And, remember to take it easier during your training — limit sprints and hills, and keep it at conversation pace.
- Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated during pregnancy is super-important; since you’ll be keeping up a steady workout regimen :), it’s even more important. Be sure to plan ahead — I went skiing at 12 weeks (I kept it to easy slopes and was very cautious) and was sure to carry my camelback for easy access to H2O.
- Aim to keep your current diet, but if you can’t, find healthy cheats: Eating for two only means you’ll have to lose for two; no thanks! Ideally, a pregnant lady is at her healthiest – no drinking, cheese restrictions, vitamins, etc. But let’s be honest, changing hormones during pregnancy means it’s even harder than usual. I was drawn to carbs – chips, crackers, pasta, etc. But I stuck to pop chips, whole wheat crackers and whole wheat pasta without added sugar. Don’t get me wrong, I gained a significant amount those first four months (definitely more than recommended); at least it was somewhat healthier calories!
Key first trimester takeaway: Enjoy it and don’t be too hard on yourself, BUT don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to leave all of your good habits behind!