by Mike Naylor
(continued from home page)
As a father of four healthy kids, I learned from the folks at the Family Life Center, the first trimester is the most crucial to your baby's development. During this period, your baby's body structure and organ systems develop. Unfortunately, most miscarriages and birth defects occur during this period, and hopefully, as the medical field continues to learn more about the onset of these conditions, the more predictable they will become and the better chances of eliminating them will be apparent.
In addition, your body also undergoes major changes during the first trimester. These changes often cause a variety of symptoms, including nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness and frequent urination. Although these are common pregnancy symptoms, every woman has a different experience. For example, while some may experience an increased energy level during this period, others may feel very tired and emotional.
During the first trimester if you are overly tired, unpredictably nauseous, and scared that each move you make will harm the baby, you should then consider focusing on working out during the initial three months to help increase your energy levels and minimize many pregnancy induced discomforts.
You should develop a simple workout plan. If you are a non-exerciser, start with brisk walking or by taking up a prenatal yoga class under supervision of a certified instructor. Always make it a point to spend at least 30 minutes working out during the initial months and gradually increase your time and pace with the kind of regimen you follow. Always warm up before you proceed to exercise. Either walk on treadmill at a slow pace if you are doing weights at gym, or go for a stroll in the park to prepare your body for exercise. While working out at the gym, ensure that you take rest between every two sets and drink water to keep hydrated during exercise.
The second trimester of pregnancy is often called the "golden period" because many of the unpleasant effects of early pregnancy disappear. During the second trimester, you're likely to experience decreased nausea, better sleep patterns and an increased energy level. However, you may experience a whole new set of symptoms, such as back pain, abdominal pain, leg cramps, constipation and heartburn, and somewhere between 16 weeks and 20 weeks, you may feel your baby's first fluttering movements.
Working out during the second trimester of pregnancy generally feels great! After battling nausea and fatigue during the first trimester, most women feel a surge of energy, stability, and overall fitness. You need to make the most of this energizing phase of pregnancy. Consider adding the following to your fitness plan:
You have now reached your final stretch of pregnancy and are probably very excited and anxious for the birth of your baby. Some of the physical symptoms you may experience during this period include shortness of breath, hemorrhoids, urinary incontinence, varicose veins and sleeping problems. Many of these symptoms arise from the increase in the size of your uterus, which expands from approximately 2 ounces before pregnancy to 2.5 pounds at the time of birth.
This phase can be very boring, as your body might feel heavy and you could be too tired with all that weight you have gained. There will be so many days during the final weeks of your pregnancy when even shoulder stretches or moving arms and ankles will feel like too much work for your body — and that’s normal. Keep in mind that even a little exercise in the third trimester will help you feel fresh and energetic, so do as much as your body allows.
Here are some less stressful exercises you might want to consider as you now can see the finish line in the distance:
Finally, although these are safe exercises that you can do during your pregnancy, you need to keep basic precautions in mind:
Have a great holiday season, and I look forward to hearing from you on your New Year resolutions.
Love you all, Coach Mike