First Trimester Training

Recently discovered your pregnant? Amazing! Not so sure how you can stay with your fitness routine or keep active while pregnant? We spoke to Kalila mommy and Personal Trainer Catherine Kerr for some solid advice about being active during your first trimester. Here’s what she had to say to new moms who are struggling with being active during the first trimester:

First of all, congratulations on your fantastic news! You must be over the moon (hopefully not just over the trash bin with morning sickness!)  At Kalila, we understand the trials that come with being pregnant in the first trimester…fatigue (and lots of it), nausea/vomiting and possibly the biggest lack of all – motivation.

The reason why you are so tired is due to the increase of progesterone your body makes at this time, but it is crucial for the health of your growing baby. Before getting tough on yourself or pushing yourself too far, take a moment to realize that you’re body is working around the clock to form all the essential parts of your little one so it’s perfectly fine to go easy on yourself.

What you can do when you are feeling this tired is find an alternative for your training. For example, if you had planned to do a 5k run but are too tired, go for a 30 min run/walk. Just get the body moving and I promise you it will help you feel more energized. When I was pregnant in my first trimester, I had to stop running altogether as it made me want to pee all the time so I took up swimming instead, which took the pressure of my bladder.

Staying healthy and fit when you are pregnant is one of the best things you can do for yourself and baby. You probably aren’t noticing a lot of major bodily changes yet, other than feeling like you need a lot more rest. If you didn’t exercise regularly before you got pregnant, now is the time to start and get into a good habit without pushing yourself too far. Begin with a low level of exertion and work up to 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week. If possible, get a trainer who has knowledge of pre and post pregnancy training. You’ll want to be sure to follow classes or programs that are suitable for pregnancy and always let any fitness instructor know you’re pregnant so they can accomodate you.

Looking for some different types of exercises that you can safely do during first trimester? Here are my recommendations:

Pilates – Pilates builds up your core muscles and strength which will help with your pregnancy. Avoid poses where you lie on your back or over twisting of the mid section. Do this once a week either at home with a pregnancy pilates video or with a trained prenatal instructor.

Yoga – Again, yoga builds strength and balance, keeps muscles limber and teaches you various breathing rhythms, which will help during your labour. Avoid backbends/ over twisting of the abdomen/ headstands/ lying on your back/ Bikram yoga. I would try and fit as much of this into your week as possible, even if it is only 20 minutes a day.

Swimming/Aqua aerobics – whilst pregnant I was swimming about 3-4 times a week as I just felt so comfortable in the water and it really revitalized me. It also kept me cool and was a good all over body workout. I would suggest 3-5 times a week about 30 minutes each session.

Walking – an easy stroll in the park helps to get you moving and if you have other children they can also join in. I would suggest 3-5 times a week up to 30 minutes at a time.

Running – if you are embarking on this for the first time I would suggest another form of exercise as its not the best time to try a new sport. If you are already a runner, do what you can, don’t push yourself and stop when you are tired. Aim for 2-3 times a week about 30 mins each session.

Weight Training – this will help the body build strength and help you prepare for carrying the extra weight. Try not to lie flat on your back or lift weights above your head. I would suggest 2-3 times a week.

Before any exercise make sure you do a warm-up and 5 mins before the end some light stretching. Keep hydrated and stop if you feel quesy or are having any abdominal or pelvic pain.

The best advice I can offer? Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy doing it!

Catherine Kerr is a personal trainer with over 20 years experience. She lives and works in Milan, Italy and is a regular Kalila Community contributor. You can check out Cath at her site: