New Year, New Start: Pregnancy Workouts for Every Trimester

25 Weeks Pregnant in Kranska Gora, Slovenia on

25 Weeks Pregnant in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

Happy New Year!

We rang in 2016 beside Lake Bled in Bled, Slovenia, after six days of travel around the central and northwest parts of the country. My exercise this week was almost entirely “just” walking, but we’ve walked a lot. I hope that your holidays included some active time together with your family, too!

I packed workout clothes for the trip, and I even reserved a hotel with a fitness room for four of our six nights of travel. I got dressed in my FittaMamma gear during Small Shaw’s nap time and headed to the fitness center with a HIIT workout in mind when I learned that the center was closed for renovation.

I was determined to get at least one “real” workout in this week, so when the fitness center was closed, I had to improvise. Our hotel bathroom was large, so I used it to do 20 minutes of very quiet naptime HIIT. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to work out super-quietly in a hotel bathroom while you’re six months pregnant!

So in other news, here I am, six months pregnant (25 weeks) in beautiful Lake Bled, Slovenia with our adorable little Small Shaw:

25 Weeks Pregnant in Lake Bled, Slovenia on

25 Weeks Pregnant with Small Shaw in Lake Bled, Slovenia

I’m so close now to my third trimester. Just a week to go and I’m in the final stretch. Hooray!

Now that my belly is obvious, my hips are aching, and I’ve got the slightest little pregnancy waddle, I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m pregnant. So far, strangers haven’t said anything, but I’ve seen plenty of knowing glances at my belly from other women when we’ve been out and about.

I’m not sure if it’s my ever-growing belly, the holidays, or both, but I’ve been feeling especially introspective lately. Each time I reach down to try to tie my shoes or do something else that’s difficult to do around my belly, I compare this pregnancy to my first one:

How did I feel this time around with Small Shaw?

Was I this big this early last time?

Will I still be able to do power yoga now, or am I going to have to do so many modifications now that it’s not worth attending the class?

Will the dizzy spells I had in the third trimester of my first pregnancy return during this pregnancy?

We All Have Questions About Fitness & Pregnancy

I think it’s normal to compare one pregnancy to the next, and even to compare one trimester to the next. In the first trimester, my workouts were affected mostly by fatigue and morning sickness. Through the second trimester, I’ve felt mostly good, though there have been days when my schedule has made working out more of a challenge. I wonder what the third trimester will hold?

Lots of us wonder about pregnancy workouts, too. We wonder what exercises or specific exercise moves are safe and healthy at different stages of pregnancy. We wonder whether we should start working out (if we’ve been more sedentary) or if we need to reign things in (if we’ve been more competitive).

We wonder whether we should listen to our bodies on our tired days, or whether getting up to work out will help give us a second wind. We’re pregnant, our bodies are changing every single day, and every one of us has a ton of questions. All of us.

In the spirit of answering some pregnancy health and fitness questions, and in honor of all the new mommas who might be embracing healthy pregnancy New Year’s Resolutions, I thought I’d share a few trimester-specific resources I’ve found on FittaMamma’s website this time around.

Before I know it, we’ll be able to talk about postpartum recovery! Until then, let’s talk about the three trimesters of pregnancy, and some health and fitness tips for each:

First Trimester Exercise

During the first trimester, you can theoretically do just about everything* you could do before you got pregnant. I say “theoretically” because although you might be safe to continue your normal activities, you may or not feel well enough to continue the same level of fitness you had before.

Two of the biggest reasons you might find yourself slowed down in the first trimester are morning sickness and fatigue. Other things I noticed, personally (especially during my first pregnancy) were:

  • Increased breast sensitivity that made high-impact activity less comfortable
  • Difficulty with strenuous cardio (winded much more easily than before)
  • Trouble controlling body temperature on outdoor, summer workouts

As a runner, these small changes really impacted  me from early-on in each of my pregnancies. In each of my two pregnancies, I’ve managed to run until about six weeks. After that, the morning sickness, fatigue, and difficulty with strenuous cardio became too much for me. Running stopped being fun, so I put it on the backburner until after each baby was born.

Regensburg Frauenlauf in the Altstadt - MilliGFunk

6k Road Race, Six Weeks Pregnant in 2015

*Even though exercise is encouraged during normal pregnancies, there are still a few higher-risk activities that you might be better off skipping until after the baby is born. Read more here.

If you’re looking for more information about first trimester exercise, here’s a quick, 10-minute pregnancy workout you can try. As you approach the second trimester, these first- and second-trimester exercises will come in handy, too!

Second Trimester Exercise

In your second trimester, you’ll start to notice that certain exercises and positions just aren’t comfortable anymore. You’ll probably find that you can’t do anything that requires lying on your belly (no more cobra pose for awhile, I’m afraid), and you may start to struggle a little more with push-ups, simply because you can’t lower yourself down all the way anymore.


2nd Trimester of My Second Pregnancy, 2015

Twists become a bigger consideration during the second trimester, too. Generally speaking, I’m a big believer in listening to your own body. Pregnancy isn’t the time to push yourself into new peak yoga poses or to try to achieve other personal bests in your workouts.

Your baby’s safety should always be at the top of your mind, and deep twists can put that safety at risk. This short article explains more about how to modify yoga poses to be safe and healthy for you and your baby. Another good resource is this collection of pregnancy workout videos that are specific for the second trimester.

Third Trimester Exercise

During your third trimester, new challenges arise! From heartburn and a return of your first-trimester fatigue to the way your joints get all loosey-goosey from an increase in the pregnancy hormone Relaxin, this trimester can really challenge your fitness routines!

Pregnant - Daydreaming of Sushi and Beer - MilliGFunk

Third Trimester of My First Pregnancy, 2014

During my first pregnancy, I tried to walk as much as possible during the third trimester. This helped with water retention, and it helped me feel like I was keeping off extra padding in my legs and hips. I also did a good deal of lower-weight, higher-repetition upper body workouts to get my arms, back, and core ready for lots of hours of nursing and baby-holding.

This time around, I still plan to walk a lot, but I’m also hoping to stick with power yoga for as long as I can. HIIT workouts are new to me in this pregnancy, and they’ve been great during the first and second trimesters, too. Hopefully, I can continue those into the home stretch of this pregnancy.

Do you remember a few paragraphs ago, when I mentioned the hotel bathroom workout in Slovenia? This article is where I got several of the exercises from that I used that day. At 25 weeks, I figured I was close enough to the third trimester to benefit from checking out third-trimester-specific exercise options.

If you prefer videos, check out this collection of third-trimester exercise videos from FittaMamma, and here are 13 good cardio exercises that are safe for the third trimester.

Three Trimesters: An Active Pregnancy

Almost all of us wonder about pregnancy workouts, and what’s safe to do at each stage of our pregnancy. I hope that the resources I’ve shared here help you find answers to some of your trimester-specific workout questions. If you’re looking for more good information about pregnancy-specific workouts, be sure to download FittaMamma’s Free Pregnancy Workout Guide

I remember trying to find information about pregnancy workouts when I was pregnant with Small Shaw. It seems like good information was hard to find, and that personal experiences were even harder to come across. I really hope that my pregnancy & parenthood posts help you find a little bit of digital encouragement during your own active pregnancy!

Final Chance to Win!

Win a Pregnancy Workout Top in the 23 Week Giveaway on!

Today is the last day to enter to win this awesome, super-supportive workout tank from FittaMamma and MilliGFunk. Hop on over to my 23 Week Giveaway Post right now if you want your chance to win!

Fittamamma Logo Move Nurture Support-page-001

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by FittaMamma, who has graciously outfitted me with maternity activewear for my active pregnancy. FittaMamma supports active mammas by offering exercise tips, recipes, and maternity activewear that holds and supports your baby bump!

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  1. Thanks for another great post, Melissa!

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