It was my first pregnancy that convinced me that exercise should be a regular and consistent part of my daily and weekly routine. Having developed a firm commitment to exercise in the last three years, I find myself not only enjoying my workout routine during my second pregnancy but depending on it for relief from pregnancy aches and pains.
I have discovered now more than ever before that consistency in a prenatal exercise is essential to a healthy pregnancy. In early pregnancy I continued to do my regular workouts without any need for modification. My goals at the beginning of this pregnancy was to maintain muscle tone and core strength as well as to ensure a healthy pregnancy. The biggest challenges I faced during the first trimester was morning sickness and fatigue but exercise often times improved both of these things albeit temporarily.
Once I began to show, my regular workouts were not longer possible (too much tummy time and jumping). After doing a considerable amount of research on prenatal workouts, I found a challenging prenatal workout that provided not only cardio and strength training but also stretching. While the workout was challenging in terms of core strength and stamina, it did not provide the level of cardio I was looking for in a prenatal workout. That’s when I discovered a dance cardio workout (not a prenatal workout) that provided a good sweat and was easy to modify for pregnancy.
Now that I am in my third trimester, I am realizing that if I had not been working out through my entire pregnancy, I would not have the core strength, flexibility, and balance to do these workouts at this point in my pregnancy. Even though I am experiencing a lot more discomfort particularly in my lower back and hips, I am still doing my prenatal pilates and dance cardio workout regularly without a problem. I am also finding that both of my workouts are really helping to relieve my late pregnancy aches. When it comes to working out during pregnancy, the benefits are seemingly limitless!