What I did differently this time around & My favorite FREE Prenatal Exercise Routines
My first pregnancy and second pregnancy have been different in terms of my physical activity levels. In the first pregnancy I became more nervous to do anything as I got to be farther along. I was more cautious. It was just such a new feeling and the things other people say can get to you. “Put that box down! It’s too heavy for you!” Although others have good intentions in looking out for your and your baby’s safety, they are NOT your doctor and you are not obligated to listen to anything they say. That may sound harsh but it’s the truth. Pregnancy can be overwhelming enough and is not the time to hear out everyone else’s worries, criticisms, and unsolicited advice. Keep it simple. Find the doctor that YOU approve of and just stick to their advice.
Throughout my first pregnancy I mostly just walked and ate whatever I was craving, whenever I craved it – which honestly turned out to be fine for me. It was a lot of fruit smoothies, cereal, PB & J, and an occasional burger or nuggets and milkshake binge. I delivered a healthy 10 lb 3 oz baby girl via cesarean (Thank God for Science!) Yes, it was a big baby but no I did not have gestational diabetes. My husband and I were also both 10lb babies and our mothers were also 9lbs + when they were born. Genetics! My weight gain was within a normal range and within about 18 months I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight and was in decent shape again. Getting back in shape could take less time or more time. People are so quick to praise the “bounce back” and shame the women that hold onto extra weight for a while. I am not one of these people. I think the healthiest thing to do is ignore that pressure and criticism. Every pregnancy is different. Some women are able to work out and lift weights through the entire 40 weeks and get right back to their regular routine after birth. Others face complications during or after pregnancy where they are instructed to do bed rest or take it easy. There are so many factors that come into play throughout pregnancy that are beyond your control. You don’t have to justify anything for anyone. It’s nobody’s business. It’s up to you to move towards your goal at a pace that works for you.
Now here I am towards the end of my second pregnancy. I will be 35 weeks as of tomorrow. This time around, I went to the gym throughout my first trimester and still stuck to my normal routine of 20 minutes of cardio on the elliptical or treadmill followed by 10 to 20 minutes of strength training. Then the pandemic started, and gyms shut down. I decided to cancel my gym membership even after they re-opened – which saved us about $70 per month and I have switched to home workouts.
I did my own routine through most of my 2nd trimester. I was doing a mixture of kickboxing, jumping, and light weights/strength training for about 20 to 30 minutes per day at least 3 times per week. Eventually, the bump grew larger and listening to my body, I knew that I needed to adjust my routine to something more tailored for prenatal. That’s when I stumbled upon these awesome yoga and exercise routine videos on YouTube. Even nearing the end of this pregnancy, I still do at least one of them almost every day! Having a more consistent exercise routine has allowed me to retain more muscle this time around and I feel stronger now than I did through my first pregnancy when I was only walking. The best part is, the only things you need are a yoga mat and some workout maternity wear! I recently bought a new soft Amazon Basics Exercise Mat. Here are my favorite equipment-free workout routines that I would recommend to others:
Body Fit By Amy
25 Minute Prenatal Bodyweight Workout—No equipment workout for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimesters (My Favorite Routine!)
Sarah Beth Yoga
PRENATAL YOGA for Beginners (10 minute Yoga) Safe for ALL Trimesters | Sarah Beth Yoga (This one is short and easy to sneak in before work in the mornings)
These routines have made a huge difference in helping my energy levels and sanity. I found that keeping moving with a more solid fitness routine has really helped reduce my fatigue. In most cases, regular exercise is good for pregnant women! Those of us who are sitting in an office five days per week need to make sure we find ways to stay active. Make sure that you are approved by a doctor for exercise first. Every pregnancy is different. I have been fortunate enough to not have any complications that kept me from being able to exercise. My next baby is likely to be another c-section which means several weeks of recovery time before I can exercise. After I have the baby, I plan on sticking to these workout routines for at least a couple weeks after recovery before getting into anything more strenuous. Listen to your doctor, your body and only do whatever works for you!
My Favorite Maternity Yoga Shorts
Exercise Mat From Amazon Basics