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Woah – is all I have to say after reaching my 3rd trimester. All of a sudden, some of the pregnancy discomforts that disappeared during my 2nd trimester seemed to come back overnight. I’m feeling more fatigued and sore all over my body. How about you mamas out there – did some of your pregnancy symptoms seem to come back overnight once you reached the 3rd trimester?
And while I’m sure these symptoms didn’t truly pop up overnight, I do definitely notice that I feel significantly different week to week now. Fortunately, these feelings are still pretty mild, but they are having an impact on my motivation to work out. Between the fatigue and the lower back pain, workouts are tougher now than I ever remember them being. Even with a lot of modifications to accommodate for this rapidly growing belly 🙂
But when I find my motivation waning, I always try to remember how much better I feel after doing something active during the day. It usually brings an energy boost and good feeling, knowing that I did something good for myself during the day. I told myself that I would do something active every day during the pregnancy to not only have a healthier pregnancy but also a – hopefully – smoother and quicker recovery. So for all of you soon-to-be mamas out there looking for a little motivation too, these are the workouts that I am doing during my third trimester.
I decided to start the week off with a bang and do a 20 min. HIIT workout. Since I am not as familiar with modifications for the 3rd trimester, I have started leaning more heavily on classes from home workout apps. One of my favorites that I discovered during my 2nd trimester was the Phoenix HIIT series from Alo Moves.
I just started the 3rd trimester series, and even with the modifications, I broke a serious sweat. This HIIT workout focused on leg strengthening, something that I know is extremely important for labor and delivery, as well as postpartum recovery.
These HIIT workouts are set up in a TABATA style, with 4 different exercises per set. One of the biggest suggestions I found helpful was to use a wall for balance. For any of you who have been pregnant before, or are just experiencing it now, you know that your balance is challenged the larger your belly gets.
Today’s workout included split squats, wall-sits, reverse lunges, and a few other exercises to target the legs. And trust me, I felt them right away. This workout only requires a light set of dumbbells to complete.
It was pretty toasty outside here in Texas, and since my body heats up much more quickly while pregnant, I opted for an indoor workout. I went back to my Alo Moves app to complete a prenatal yoga class. Can you tell I’m a super big fan of this app right now 🙂
The Prenatal Glow series by Briohny Smyth has been one of my go-to workouts for both my 2nd trimester and now my 3rd. It works great because the classes are typically around 30 min. long, which just about everyone has time for.
The 3rd trimester series of classes has a lot of modifications for the rapidly growing belly during this time 🙂 There are flow classes for when you are feeling more high energy and restorative classes for when your body is calling for less intensity.
I did the upper body flow class, and after years of playing sports and lifting weights, I can for sure say that there is a lot of room for improvement in my upper body mobility. This class was challenging for me, but still very accessible. And I can definitely say, any time I spend time on my mat, I always leave feeling better than when I started.
I’ve given up running for the duration of my pregnancy, it put too much pressure on my bladder. I’ve found that the larger I grow, just going out for a walk is plenty of exercise (especially if there are any hills along the way).
There is a great path near our home where I can make a 3 mile loop. This used to be my go-to running spot, but now it changed to my morning or afternoon walk. Our temperatures have been slowly rising, which has had be doing my walks earlier in the day to avoid the heat of the day. I’ve definitely noticed the more pregnant I am, the longer it takes me to cool down after being out in the heat.
The great part about including a 3 mile walk in my exercise for the week is that it gives me the opportunity to clear my mind. Walking allows me to work my way through any stresses I may be experiencing, and return from my walk tired, but mentally refreshed.
I also shamelessly love dancing while listening to my music out on a walk 🙂
Have I mentioned yet that it is getting crazy hot in Texas yet? Even though it’s only May, some of these days have been feeling like our full-blown summer days in July and August. Carrying around an extra 25 pounds has definitely has made me heat up more than I ever use to. Fortunately for me, our neighbors are our close friends and have a large pool in their backyard. And if any of you mamas in your third trimester have not spent time in a pool yet, I would highly recommend it.
Being in the water is one of the first times during the third trimester that it felt like my body was able to relax. The water helps the heavy feeling of your center of gravity shifting with your growing belly. The pool is also a great way to get some exercise without feeling like you’re going to overheat. I created a circuit workout to do in the pool which combined some cardio and strength moves.
The circuit was 4 rounds of:
- 10 running laps around the pool
- 4 laps of walking lunges
- 25 push-ups (using the pool staircase)
At first glance, my Friday workout probably doesn’t seem like your “typical” workout. I usually end up being the one to do the yard work around the house, since it’s something that I really enjoy. And with being pregnant, I haven’t stopped doing the yard work. Previously I used to mow then lawn and then go workout, but especially in the third trimester, mowing the lawn is now my workout.
Our yard is not huge, but with a push mower, it feels plenty big. Using a push mower requires strength from the chest and shoulder muscles, but also your leg muscles. It also requires muscle endurance to continually push the mower across the lawn.
Did I mention how great I think walking is as exercise? What’s great about taking a walk on the weekend is that my husband can join me. We went for a 3+ mile walk, where I was completely sweat-soaked by the end of it. But it really is a great way for us to spend some time quality time together before the baby comes. We have none of the usual distractions around when we are out for a walk, and this lets us talk about whatever we have on our minds that day.
The other great part about having my husband with me during the walk is that he is there to spray me down with the hose when we were done. And I cannot tell you how refreshing it felt. When you are this far in your pregnancy and the temperature as above 95 degrees, your body heats up really fast. I will definitely start using the hose more often to help my body cool down after any outdoor workouts.
Sunday I chose to be a rest day. Even though these workouts are not as intense as my previous workouts where I felt I really needed a rest day to recover, I still felt as though a rest day was call for. When your pregnant your body is already doing a great deal of work day in and day out. And after a week of activity my body was craving a bit more rest then I had been giving it so that is exactly what I did.
Staying active during pregnancy doesn’t always mean a workout is needed. Sometimes staying active is as simple as doing some of the needed chores around the house or walking the dog. Especially in the third trimester, it is very important to pay attention to how your body feels and do what is needed for you to be your best self and take the best care of your growing baby.
What have you been doing for your workouts – let me know in the comments below.