How to adapt exercise in the first trimester

Can you exercise in the first trimester?

If you’re in the first trimester congratulations on your pregnancy! There is so much to take in and exercise can suddenly seem confusing, so in this post I want to help simplify it for you and help you stay active.

It can feel like an emotional rollercoaster from seeing those little lines to your first scan, I think you feel every emotion under the sun. There may not be a lot happening externally but a whole lot is happening internally.

Exercise is an amazing way to stay connected to yourself and prepare your body in the best way for the rest of your pregnancy journey.

Here are my top tips for staying active in the first trimester:

1. Spend time connecting to your pelvic floor, core and breathing

Your pregnant core, pelvic floor and breathing pattern will change a lot during pregnancy so it is so helpful to connect with them now and understand how they work. You can spend time strengthening all three of them to help your birth and postnatal recovery. You can find out more about how to do this in my free guide.

2. If you're feeling well in yourself you can continue your current workouts

If pregnancy is being kind to you and you still feel like yourself then you can continue your current workouts, just remember to slow down or reduce sets if you are feeling fatigued and to stop ‘pushing through’ it. Be mindful of how much pressure you are putting on your pelvic floor and core when lifting or doing impact exercises and remove the risk of falling from a height.

3. Make sure to rest and stay hydrated especially if you have any sickness

It’s very important to stay hydrated and get your rest. Your body is working so hard right now you can give it a helping hand by resting and taking it easy if you need to.

4. Don't workout if you don't feel up to it

You may find you don’t feel up to working out in the first trimester, that’s absolutely fine you will usually feel more like yourself in the second trimester and can continue then. Don’t put any pressure on yourself.

The first trimester is the best time to start listening to your body if you haven’t before. You may be feeling more tired, experiencing nausea or just not feeling like you. If so this is the time to taper back and reduce or stop your workouts. Take this day by day and remember that you will feel more human again in the second trimester!

5. Include single-sided exercises to work on any imbalances in the body

It’s quite common to have imbalanced muscles, meaning your right glute may be stronger than your left. An imbalance like this can cause your pelvis and surrounding muscles to not work optimally. As your bump grows and your joints and muscles have increased demand from the increased weight you can experience aches and pains. So the first trimester is the best time to look at this and work on balancing your muscles.

I hope this has helped you, if you’d like to find out more about exercising throughout pregnancy you can get your free copy of my how to adapt exercise in pregnancy guide, just click here.

Lucy is a pre & postnatal corrective exercise specialist and mum. She is on a mission to empower, educate and inspire women during pregnancy and motherhood to feel fit, healthy and body confident.

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