When it comes to working out during pregnancy, I know it can raise a lot of questions or even anxiety about the types of things that are safe to do! I am by no means a doctor or physical trainer ... so I'm just going to speak on what works/feels best for me but make sure to check with your OBGYN if you have concerns.
I think the most important thing you can do in general is to MOVE. This can mean anything from taking a walk or going for a swim to a more intense aerobic exercise or yoga. I will say, the later I got in my pregnancy the first time around - swimming and yoga felt AMAZING! Being in the water made me feel light and buoyant and yoga was super relaxing. At the start of my pregnancy, for the first 13 weeks or so - it was really difficult to workout; I was happy if I did something twice a week. The nausea and lack of energy is really taxing on your body, so make sure to cut yourself some slack. If you're nearing the end of your first trimester you'll be feeling that energy make a come back, so hang in there!
Just a side note as well - with my first pregnancy, once the second trimester hit, I tried to maintain workouts 3-4x / week. I think this kept my weight down (I gained 32 total pounds) and I KNOW this helped with the type of recovery I had. My body bounced back pretty quickly and I was able to resume exercising about four weeks postpartum. Keep that in mind when you're working out ... not only is it great for you and the baby, but it's also going to help you AFTER baby and make things easier in the long run!
Here are a few tips to help you stay fit during your pregnancy ...
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated! This is so important. I always fill my water bottle at the start of the day and try to maintain drinking a steady flow of water throughout. If you're exercising, you should definitely be drinking even more than you normally would! I find that drinking water and making sure I have the right amount of fiber in my diet helps combat that lovely side effect of pregnancy called constipation. (I know...such a joy right?!)
Tip #2: Fuel your body! It's hard to muster up the energy to work out in general let alone when you're pregnant and attempting to on an empty stomach! If you like to workout in the morning, try to eat something 45mins - 1 hour prior to exercise! I like to eat oatmeal with berries and half a toast with peanut butter! Oatmeal keeps me full longer and I always have enough energy to get through my workout. I make sure to bring a snack to munch on after my workout as well (usually a banana or a granola bar!)
Tip #3: Find an exercise that you enjoy! This is KEY. If you are a member of a gym you don't like or attending classes that don't mesh with where you're at - you'll make excuses and wind up not doing much of anything! The important thing is finding something you look forward to doing that will keep you motivated longer! I have recently started doing a 45-minute boot camp class Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. It's pretty intense...but I feel SO good after and it's nice to get a sweat in. The instructor helps me modify certain exercises too, which helps! Because I LOVE the way it makes me feel, I look forward to the class! Finding a workout buddy to keep you on task helps too!
Tip #4: Listen to your body! Your body is going through a TON of changes. If you need a day to rest, do it. If something doesn't feel right and you're in the middle of a class - stop. It's not worth the extra push to injure yourself. Personally, I started having sciatic pain around 20 weeks. It's been really painful and at times, certain exercises trigger it more than others so I have to just listen to what my body is saying and back off if need be. I also have a lot of pelvic pressure so sometimes the jumping exercises feel less than good. I modify the exercise to whatever I can handle - again, as long as you're up and moving that's half the battle and to be applauded!
Tip #5: Don't be afraid of weights. You don't need to give up weight-training just because you're pregnant. Of course, I don't think this is a time to take up power-lifting, but weights are GOOD for you. Contrary to what you might think, lifting weights can actually alleviate muscle aches and pains associated with pregnancy. It also prepares your body for labor and birth ... and as I mentioned above, helps you "bounce back" quicker postpartum!
I hope you found these tips helpful! Again, make sure to consult with your doctor about whatever programs/exercises you want to do - it's always nice to get cleared by them first!