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Exercises for a Workout Routine for the First Trimester of Pregnancy

Whether you're used to hitting the gym on a daily basis, you work out only occasionally or you're looking to start, pregnancy doesn't preclude you from exercising. Before you begin a first-trimester exercise routine, however, consult your doctor to ensure that you don't have any physical restrictions. After getting the go-ahead, pick a routine that works for your individual fitness level and doesn't put excess stress or strain on your body.

RELATED: How to Exercise for a Healthy Pregnancy

Warm Up

Starting your workout routine with a slow warmup is a must given that your cardiovascular system will react differently to exercise than before you were pregnant, Geralyn Coopersmith, director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, told "Women's Health Magazine." Start by stretching. Next, move into a few simple exercises. For example, try a body-weight squat. Spread your feet past shoulder width, put your hands behind your head, bend your knees to squat down and then push your body back up. Complete 12 repetitions.

Strength Training

Muscle strengthening exercises, such as pelvic lifts or tilts, require you to lie on the floor while bringing your lower abdomen up and down. This type of physical activity can help you keep your body toned as your abdomen grows and you start putting on baby weight. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists notes that this type of back-on-the-ground exercise is only advisable during the first trimester. During the second and third trimesters, a back-down position exercise can reduce the flow of blood to your baby. You can also add to your routine by holding a weight in front of you while squatting or doing modified push-ups with your knees crossed and touching the floor.

Cardio Workout

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that healthy pregnant women should get a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. If you aren't an athlete or don't already have a workout plan in place, ease yourself into exercise by walking. The American Pregnancy Association recommends that you keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute during the first trimester. You should also avoid overheating when exercising, so slow down if you begin to feel too hot. Start with a moderately brisk mile-long walk three times per week, KidsHealth recommends. Swimming is one exercise that you can incorporate into your first trimester fitness routine without running a substantial risk of overheating, according to the association.

RELATED: What to Eat in the First Trimester

Relax With Yoga

In addition to using exercise to rev up your heart rate, you can include an activity that will slow you down and relieve stress. Yoga is a way to reduce anxiety and keep you physically fit during your pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. During the first trimester, most healthy pregnant women can do most of the basic yoga poses, according to "Yoga Journal." If you're new to yoga, consult a professional or sign up for a prenatal class. When doing standing poses, such as Tree Pose or Eagle Pose, stand near a wall in case you lose your balance. If you're feeling the beginning body aches of pregnancy, incorporate open-seated twist poses to alleviate lower back pains.

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