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    7 Pregnancy Workouts You Can Do in Second Trimester
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    second trimester pregnancy workout
    23 May 2018

    7 Pregnancy Workouts You Can Do in Second Trimester

    10 mins read

    for Pregnancy
    1948 engaged
    As you enter into your second trimester of pregnancy, you will be relived as you won't experience morning sickness and fatigue anymore. But your body will experience certain changes during this time. To tackle these changes, it is important that you live an active lifestyle. Make this second trimester pregnancy workout a part of your daily routine and stay healthy.


    In this article

    Second Trimester of Pregnancy
    Changes in Body During the Second Trimester
    Safe Exercises for Second Trimester
    Tips to Stay Healthy during the Second Trimester
    Second Trimester Pregnancy Exercises to Avoid and Precautions to Take

    Second Trimester of Pregnancy

    The second trimester of pregnancy spans from week 13 to week 28. This phase is considered the easiest period in pregnancy as a woman regains her energy lost in the first trimester of pregnancy. When you enter the second trimester of your pregnancy, you will notice that those unpleasant moments of morning sickness, nausea, and fatigue will gradually disappear and you will feel a lot like your old self, except for the fact that your belly will start bulging out and more or less you will have planned several things for the arrival of your baby. To keep your baby safe and to stay healthy, you must start with second trimester pregnancy exercises.
    It is in the second trimester of pregnancy that a baby grows quickly. An ultrasound scan is also performed between 18 and 22 weeks to note the progress of a baby. Although the second trimester is a lot more comfortable than the first one, you may experience headaches, heartburn, constipation, and back pain during this time. Pregnancy workouts for second trimester can help you prevent this pain.

    Changes in Body During the Second Trimester

    Changes in the body are only natural during the nine months of pregnancy, but these changes become more obvious in the second trimester. Your baby will continue to grow and so will your belly. Nausea and morning sickness will have taken a back seat by now but be prepared to gain more weight during this time. Furthermore, your body will experience certain changes which are as follows:
    • Stretch marks on breasts, stomach, thighs, and buttocks.
    • Uterus expands.
    • Dry and itchy skin, particularly on the belly.
    • Breasts enlargement.
    • Pain in the back, hips, and pelvis.
    • Cramps in the leg.
    • Swelling in ankles, face, and hands.
    • Dental problems like bleeding and swollen gums.
    • Darkening of the skin, particularly around nipples.
    • Breathlessness and dizziness due to low blood pressure.

    Safe Exercises for Second Trimester

    Although it is considered normal for a woman to gain weight in pregnancy, the amount of weight gained should be in optimal amounts. Excess weight gain while pregnant will only lead to complications during labour and delivery. All pregnant women focus on eating healthy foods to provide nutrition to her growing baby and in order to stay in shape. But relying merely on nutritious foods to have a healthy pregnancy is not sufficient. Exercising during pregnancy is also necessary, hence you should not do away with it. Focus on staying healthy during this time if you want to prevent severe pain during labour. You can try these safe second trimester pregnancy workouts and you will notice that your sleeping pattern will improve and even your body pain will subside. These exercises can also help in normal delivery.
    1. Walking:
      A pregnant woman walking

      Walking is one of the safest pregnancy exercises. It is recommended throughout the nine months of pregnancy, so you need not think twice before making it a part of your pregnancy workout plan.
      How to do: Since walking is recommended during the first trimester as well, so by now you will be comfortable with it. Move your arms as well while walking to strengthen your upper body as well.
      Benefits: Walking at a fast pace is good for the heart. Walk for around half an hour in the morning or evening, three to five times a week, to stay fit.

    2. Kegel Exercises:
      A pregnant woman doing kegels

      How to do:
      • Sit on a hard chair and with your back straight.
      • Try to squeeze in your pelvic muscles tightly; if you don’t know how to do it, imagine stopping yourself from peeing midway.
      • Retain this position for around 10 seconds.
      • Then release; do 4-5 reps. of this exercise.

      Benefits: Kegel exercises when performed during pregnancy will improve the blood circulation to the genitals and tone up the vaginal muscles. Practising Kegel exercises makes the birthing process easier as the pelvic muscles are strong.

    3. Swimming:
      A pregnant woman swimming

      How to do: First warm up by swimming slowly. Do simple strokes that don’t tire you out. Swim on your front and gently kick your legs. Don’t arch your back.
      Benefits: Swimming during pregnancy keeps your body cool and the water of the pool also supports your extra weight. Swimming also helps in reducing swelling from the ankles and feet. It builds endurance; furthermore, it promotes sleep which is a basic requirement during pregnancy.

    4. Cycling While Sitting:
      A pregnant woman cycling

      This exercise can be performed at the comfort of your home. You can cycle while watching your favourite TV show.
      How to do:
      • Sit on a chair.
      • Lift your left leg up and move your leg as if you are pedalling a bicycle.
      • Do this 10-15 times, although don’t over-exert yourself.
      • Come back to normal position and do the same with your right leg.

      Benefits: Cycling is an effective second trimester pregnancy workout. It is a low-impact cardio exercise which will keep your heart and weight in check.

    5. Cat-Cow Pose:
      A pregnant woman doing cat-cow pose

      Cat-cow pose, also known as Marjaryasana, can be performed during the first six months of pregnancy.
      How to do:
      • On a yoga mat, get down on your knees and arms in a way that your back is in a table-top position.
      • Your knees should be hip-width apart and arms should be perpendicular to the floor with palms touching the mat and look straight.
      • Inhale while raising your chin up and tilt your head backwards. Lower your spine, your back should be in a concave position.
      • Hold this pose for some time.
      • Then exhale and drop your head and chin down while arching your back.
      • Stay in this position for a few seconds and return to normal position.

      Benefits: Marjaryasana strengthens the spine and improves flexibility of the shoulders and neck. It also tones the abdomen.

    6. Side-lying Exercise:

      During the second trimester of pregnancy, lying on the back is not recommended as it is uncomfortable and also not safe, so you can perform second trimester exercises by lying on one side.

      How to do:
      • On a yoga mat, lie down on your left side and support your head with your forearm while keeping your feet together.
      • Now, bend your knees at an angle of 45 degrees.
      • Raise your right knee as high as you can and hold this position for a few seconds.
      • Return to normal position and do the same by lying down on the right side.
      Benefits: These exercises are good for inner thighs and for your core muscles.

    7. Planks:
      A pregnant woman doing planks
      Image source

      Planks is a core exercise safe to practice in the second trimester of pregnancy.

      How to do:
      • On a yoga mat, get down on your hands and knees. And your wrists should be under your shoulders.
      • Slowly, lift your knees off the mat in a way that your legs are straight and your body is parallel to the ground.
      • Your back shouldn’t arch; hold this position for 2-3 breaths.
      • Return to normal position.
      Benefits: Planks are generally done to get strong abs, however during pregnancy, planks can prevent back pain.

    Tips to Stay Healthy during the Second Trimester

    Exercises surely help to stay fit during pregnancy, but exercising alone is not enough. Pregnancy is a time when everything should be done with caution. In the second trimester of your pregnancy, follow these tips to stay healthy.
    • Stay hydrated; drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily.
    • Eat foods rich in fibre and low-fat protein.Include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
    • To stay active, exercise daily.
    • Avoid smoking and quit alcohol, and limit caffeine intake.
    • Don’t consume unpasteurized milk and other dairy products.
    • In the second trimester, your daily calorie intake should be between 300 and 350 calories.
    • Avoid eating raw sprouts.
    • Lastly, avoid doing strenuous exercises that could hurt your stomach and back.

    When you are pregnant, no matter how much information you gather, it always seems less. So along with the second trimester pregnancy tips, here are some pregnancy tips for every trimester.

    WATCH: A 5-minute workout plan for the second trimester

    Key Takeaway:

    If you don’t find enough time to workout during pregnancy, here is a 5-minute workout for you. Do these exercises and stay fit:
    • Sumo squats followed by regular squats.
    • Alternative reverse lunges, while doing it keep your front knee behind the toe.
    • Standing side crunches with left leg, and then with right leg.
    • Donkey kicks (on hands and knees) with right leg. Then 'Donkey pulse' with right leg.
    • Donkey kicks with left leg, followed by ‘Donkey pulse’ with left leg.
    • Lastly, do push-ups on knees. And if you feel uncomfortable during this workout take a break.

    Second Trimester Pregnancy Exercises to Avoid and Precautions to Take

    Exercising during the second trimester is safe and is generally recommended to keep you stay fit and healthy. However, you should do everything with caution. There are certain exercises that should be avoided during this time.
    1. Exercises That Involve Lying on Your Back:

      After the first trimester of pregnancy, avoid doing exercises that involve lying on your back. Avoid lying flat on your back for long periods of time as during the second trimester your uterus expands which could compress the blood vessels and reduce blood circulation to your baby. Also, it may make you feel dizzy.
    2. Advanced Abdominal Moves:

      Avoid abdominal strengthening exercises during the second trimester as muscles are weak during this time, hence it will make you feel uncomfortable. Abdominal moves like full sit-ups and double lifts should be strictly avoided as it can put pressure on your abdomen. So, think twice before you do anything.
    3. Holding Breath for Long:

      During the second trimester of pregnancy, don’t perform any yoga asana that involves holding your breath for too long. As your baby is growing at this time, he needs ample amount of oxygen. A constant flow of oxygen is required for the good health of you and your baby.
    4. Excessive Weight Training:

      Weight training is good, but don’t perform any exercise that involves heavy weight training.
    5. Standing for Too Long:

      After the first trimester, don’t perform any exercise or yoga asana in which you have to stand motionless for too long as it can restrict the blood flow to the body parts. So avoid yoga asanas like ‘Tree-pose’. 
    6. Contact Sports and Aerobic Exercises:

      Contact sports like basketball and soccer should be avoided during pregnancy; even if you doing for fun, don’t even a small injury can hurt your baby. Similarly, don’t perform any high-intensity aerobic exercises. Also, avoid jumping and sudden movements. You are carrying a baby and it’s not just you alone. So, be a little cautious and watch before you walk so that you don’t fall.

    As a precaution, avoid wearing high heels when you are pregnant and don’t stress yourself for the things that are beyond your control.
    The second trimester of pregnancy will be a wonderful phase if you do these safe exercises and follow a healthy diet plan. Start jotting down names for your little one who will soon be with you. Focus on the positives, take maternity leave, spend some good time with your family, and have a happy pregnancy.

    A pregnant woman


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