Once you enter your second trimester, your body has now begun to feel the changes that pregnancy brings. In addition to your growing belly, you may see a change in energy levels, and a disruption to your sleep patters. Maintaining a consistent exercise regime during the 2nd trimester can aid in increasing your chances of successfully sleeping through the night, and keeping your energy levels high. At this point in your pregnancy it is helpful to remember that you may not be able to do some activities with the same rigor as you did previously. In general, make sure you check in with your body and breath as you exercise, and stop if you feel you may be pushing yourself too much.
What is appropriate?
Aerobic activities, weight training, and relaxation techniques are all suitable ways of exercise during your second trimester. One thing to remember is that as your pregnancy progresses your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which loosens your joints in order to prepare your body for labor and delivery. As result of your body producing relaxin, you may feel more flexible than you really are. This, coupled with your added weight gain, can put you at risk for pulling or straining a muscle. In order to prevent injuries, remain mindful in any activity you engage in, and if you feel as though you are achieving a level of flexibility you have not experienced before, pull back to avoid any potential injury to your body.
Swimming: Swimming has been shown to be a great option for women who many not have been active prior to pregnancy. Swimming is a low resistance activity that still provides your body with a great workout. When swimming, remember to take breaks often and check in with your breath. It can often feel wonderful as you progress through pregnancy to feel buoyant in the water.
Walking: Walking can be a great way to get daily exercise without putting too much added strain on your body. As your gait changes with time due to the added weight you will be carrying, make sure to keep your hips tucked under to prevent you from arching your back and causing more strain for your lower back.
Running: If you have been a runner prior to becoming pregnant, then you can usually keep your routine during your second trimester. One thing to keep in mind is, as your belly grows larger your center of gravity will shift, causing you to be more likely to fall. In order to reduce this risk make sure you run on a flat and smooth surface.
Weight training: If you opt to do weight training during your second trimester, do this activity while sitting down. As you the baby and the placenta grows your total volume of blood has increased. Because of this, when you stand up, you may feel dizzy or lite headed, making weight training difficult if not done while seated.
Yoga: Yoga is great way to keep your body in shape during pregnancy. Many classes also incorporate breathing and relaxation techniques that you can practice for labor. However, as stated above, the release of relaxin in your body may cause you to feel more flexible and bendy then you really are. Therefore, practice all poses with care and never stretch too much. Keep in mind that leg lifts, back bends, lying on your belly, and poses that cause extreme stretching in your pelvis and stomach can be harmful and therefore should be modified. Ask your yoga teacher to point out ways to modify poses for your pregnant body.