This post is by OYS writer Melissa. See her other posts here.
If you read my post last month on working out during your first trimester, then you already know that I am expecting my second child right now. If not, please read it here. This month I am coming to you with my thoughts and suggestions on exercise during the second trimester.
The second trimester…hopefully you are feeling a little bit better now in terms of morning sickness and nausea. If not, it should subside soon. You are actually supposed to feel a resurge of energy now, as your body is past the most difficult part of creating a baby. These next three months are a great time to take advantage of that energy and work out as much as you can.
Benefits of Continuing to Exercise
Your body is still working hard to help your baby grow into a healthy little creature, so you need to treat yourself the same way. Keep eating right and moving your body in order to keep up your strength for delivery day, as well as for the many sleepless nights that will come after. As I said in my first post, it is also much easier to bounce back post-delivery when you have been exercising all along. It still takes work, but if your body has been continuing to move all along, it will be easier to drop the pounds you gained and get your figure back into shape.
As always, please consult a doctor before exercising during pregnancy. If you have been a regular exerciser, then your doctor will probably tell you that you can continue whatever you are doing, but please double check before doing any of the suggested moves. I have heard such a variety of responses that different women get from their doctors about exercise. Some suggest keeping your heart rate under 140, while others say this is an outdated recommendation. My doctor suggests using the rate of perceived exertion. Make sure you can breathe, your body temperature is not getting too high, and lower the intensity if anything feels uncomfortable. I think this is pretty sound advice. Another concern I have heard women share is that they are afraid of doing something to hurt the baby. Again, if your doctor gives you the okay, then rest assured that you will not hurt the baby. There is again a variety of different responses about any movements that should not be done. Some doctors say not to lie on your back after the first trimester, others say as long as it’s for a short period of time it’s okay. Some doctors say go ahead and do abdominal work, even though it’s pointless. Others say not to do any at all. My best advice here is to talk to your own doctor and do what feels right to you.
In the second trimester, you will probably start to notice your balance get a little wobbly. After all, you are carrying extra weight in front that was not there before. Sometimes even walking is a challenge. So you will need to be careful with which exercises you do at this time. The last thing you want to be doing is falling down. Be aware of your center of gravity and how it has changed.
For this routine, start by doing 20 minutes of your favorite cardio – walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, elliptical, etc. Then perform the combination strength-training moves. You will need a set of light dumbbells. Do 8-12 reps. If you feel up to it, do 2-3 sets, going back through the moves again. Always cool down and stretch.
Move #1 – Stationary Lunge with Shoulder Press
Begin with your right foot forward. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand up by your right shoulder. In a straight up-and-down movement, lunge down as you press your right arm straight up. Then straighten back up as you bring your arm down. Do 8-12 reps on this side, then the same on the left.
Move #2 – Squat with Biceps Curl
Start with your feet apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Sit back into a deep squat as you curl your right arm up, then come up and lower your arm. Then sit back into a squat and curl with your left arm, then come up. That is one rep.
Move #3 – Plie´ Squat with Upright Row
Start with your feet apart with your toes turned out to the side, and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your body. Tuck your butt underneath and squat straight down as you pull your right arm up. Then come up out of the squat and lower your arm. Squat down again, this time pulling up with your left arm, then come up and lower your arm. That is one rep.
Move #4 – Crunch and Extend
Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Touch your right elbow in to your left knee, then extend your right arm straight out and your left leg straight back and up. That is one rep. Do 8-12 reps on this side, then the same on the other.
Move #5 – Leg Lift with Arm Flip
Start lying on your left side with your legs stacked one on top of the other. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand in front of you, letting your elbow rest on your hip. Lift your top leg straight up as you flip your bent arm back. Then lower your leg and arm. That is one rep. Do 8-12 reps on this side, then the same on the other.
See more exercise posts here.
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