Welcome to the second trimester of your pregnancy! At this point, you're probably feeling more tired and maybe more prone to mood swings. Your baby has now grown to the size of an olive, and you're carrying more weight than before.
Are you ready to acclimate to your new figure? Pregnancy workouts and lifestyle changes will dramatically impact how you feel. During your second trimester, focus on reinforcing your sense of balance and stability.
We're here to give you pregnancy workout tips that help strengthen your body, so that you can manage and care for the new "baby on board." We're following up on the exercise guidelines for the mommy-to-be during her first three months
. Read on to discover prenatal exercises and health tips for your second trimester.
Pregnancy Workout Best Practices During Your Second Trimester
Amanda Dale, a certified prenatal trainer, says that it is important to exercise through this trimester. "It is the best way to avoid excessive weight gain—the type that makes your pregnancy uncomfortable in late-stage months." Expect to gain roughly 1lb every week for the next six months. Anticipate gaining this additional weight by eating very well and remaining active.
That said, do not overwork yourself by exercising for too long or too intensely. Amanda Dale says, "Moderating the time and exertion level is crucial during T2, so I try to keep clients closer to 30-45 minutes rather than the hour, and make sure we do a great deal of stretch and pain relief poses at the end of the workouts."
Also, be sure to strap on a heart rate monitor while exercising and stay in the "safe zone" so you don't overstress your body. Consult with your doctor to find out what is a safe heart rate for your body and wellness.
Find Your Favorite Core Strengthening Pregnancy Workout
Core strength exercises work to strengthen your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and the muscles around your pelvis. These are critical zones to keep strong during your pregnancy, since these areas will bear the brunt of your expanding tummy.
Colleen Riddle, ACE-certified personal trainer explains that during your second trimester, you should "continue to strengthen the core, however, you can no longer lay on your back. It’s also important to work on building strength in the upper back, hips, and glutes. With a growing belly and breasts, your upper back and shoulders will tire easily. That’s why it’s also important to stretch the chest muscles as well."
Pregnancy-Perfect Workout Programs For Your Second Trimester
- Water Aerobics: Walking is a popular choice among expecting moms, but it may not agree with everyone. So, Amanda Dale suggests taking your workout to the deep end. Exercising in water supports your body and is easy on the joints. The buoyancy provides a light resistance which urges you to push yourself, just the right amount. "Moms can also consider water aerobics if pregnancy weight gain has made walking or cycling uncomfortable, since it has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of pelvic and back pain," says Dale.
- Prenatal Yoga: Now that the belly and breasts are growing, turn to yoga to strengthen your back muscles. Amanda notes, "The second trimester is a great time to introduce or continue yoga, which helps relieve certain pregnancy symptoms such as swelling and back pain." Although, one must steer clear of asanas that involve lying on your back.
- Lunges: Sarah Ann Kelly, a prenatal and post-natal fitness expert recommends a leg stretching and core strengthening workout. "Your center of gravity shifts along with your growing belly, causing your balance to falter. This is the time to start practicing your balance with functional movements like walking or static lunges. The American Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians stress the importance of balance training to prevent falls and potential harm to your baby. Practice holding on to a stable object and progress to walking lunges, uneven lunges, and lunges on a balance product."
How are you keeping fit during your pregnancy? Share your experience in the comments below.