I recently referred to the first trimester as the best three month nap of your life and that really is an excellent description. I can say, without a doubt, that fatigue was the biggest symptom of my first trimester. More so even than nausea or headaches or nasal congestion.
As someone who has had trouble sleeping on and off for years, the first trimester was a glorious return to easy, no effort sleep. But as someone used to working out and cooking dinner every night after work, I was shocked by how little I felt capable of for the first three months of my pregnancy. I routinely fell asleep in the car on the way home from work at 4:30pm, could barely manage to reheat leftovers for dinner, and passed out cold well before 7pm for a sold 8 weeks.
So what did that mean for my workout routine? It meant that I had to be gentle with myself, listen to my body, and take a step back my workouts. I went from two workouts a day 5-6 days a week to one workout a day, 7 days a week.
I have done a midday workout for years, since I’m lucky enough to have an office gym, and have had a calendar reminder set up in my Outlook for years to ensure that I don’t schedule things during that window. It’s a habit that really paid off, because that workout window became my only time to workout during the first trimester. I was awake, still had energy, and was usually excited to move my body. Sometimes I was tired or busy or just plain not in the mood, but I went anyway. If I wasn’t up for much, I’d just walk on the treadmill.
But, for the most part, knowing that time was my only chance to stretch, move, and break a sweat, meant that I looked forward to it.
When I found out I was pregnant I immediately started Googling workout modifications and prenatal workouts and started a long list of questions for my doctor. Her response? Do what feels good and when it becomes uncomfortable, stop. Simple right?
Note: Be sure to talk to your doctor about your individual needs and chat about changes you’d like to make in advance. What worked for me may not work for you, so it’s always best to discuss with your doctor prior to making any shifts in your lifestyle and activity levels, especially during pregnancy.
So, since I was physically feeling okay and didn’t have much nausea at 9:30am, I turned to the Tone It Up app. I started an 8 week weightlifting and strength program almost as soon as I found out that I was pregnant, and loved it. I felt strong and empowered. And on days that I felt bored, I supplemented with whatever other types of workouts sounded appealing.
I also ran and took Mighty Pilates classes on weekends for most of the first trimester.
With the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, staying active was a great way to show my body some love and I’m glad that I kept myself motivated.