Women’s Health During First Trimester of Pregnancy – Exercises

2022/03/16 Home Education and advice

Women’s Health During First Trimester of Pregnancy – Exercises

By Malek Grami

First Trimester of Pregnancy : Exercises Program

How many exercises can I do and what are the ideal exercises for me?

Before beginning any exercise program, you should always consult with your doctor. This is to ensure that you have all the information necessary to create a personalized exercise program that takes into account your medical history and any complications to your pregnancy.  The goal of all exercise programs in the first trimester is moderation. Aim for an intensity that does not exceed 90% of your heart’s maximum beats per minute. Stay well hydrated and try to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes each day. If you’ve never exercised before, you can start with 5 minutes a day and gradually build up to the goal of 30 minutes a day.

For advices, please read this article.

First Trimester of Pregnancy : Types of Workouts

Here are eight different types of workouts that are perfect for first trimester and will help you maintain your overall health while keeping you and your baby safe.

Kegel exercices

Kegel exercises, or pelvic floor exercises, strengthen the muscles that support the abdominal organs, including the uterus, vagina, intestines, and bladder. These exercises help maintain control of bladder function and may reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and urinary incontinence.

To start the exercise, you must have an empty bladder and then squeeze the Kegel muscles. Hold the contraction for 5-10 seconds before relaxing. You should try to avoid using the surrounding muscles such as the buttocks, legs, and abdominals.

Walking and Running

Aim for a moderate increase in your heart rate. Always start with a comfortable heart rate before gradually increasing your speed. To better track heart rate, use an app on your mobile device or a smartwatch.

1st Trimester exercise


Known as one of the safest exercise methods for pregnant women, swimming combines cardiovascular benefits with muscle building in the arms and legs. Swimming can also reduce swelling in the hands, ankles, and feet and is a great low-impact workout for women with lower back pain.

Dancing (and other aerobic exercises)

As long as your dance routine does not include jumping or twirling, feel free to get your heart pumping to your favorite music. You can also consider joining a group aerobics class designed specifically for moms-to-be. You’ll feel safe knowing that every move has been designed for your well-being by an experienced instructor.

Stationary Bike or “Spinning”

If you are already comfortable on a bike, you can continue to do so during your first trimester. However, starting in your second trimester you should switch to a stationary bike at home or in a spinning class to avoid the risk of falling.

1st Trimester spinning


Yoga helps tone muscles and improve flexibility without putting pressure on sensitive joints. Even though yoga is a great activity for pregnant women, there are things to avoid:

Avoid Bikram and hot yoga classes, as a pregnant woman’s body cannot evacuate heat as efficiently.

Avoid all poses that require you to lie on your back, which will put pressure on your vena cava and may cause you to feel short of breath, dizzy, and/or nauseous.

For optimal heart health, combine your yoga sessions with a light jog or swim session once or twice a week.

Pilates and Stretching

A once-a-week Pilates workout can build core strength, improve balance, and ease lower back pain.  As with yoga poses, you will want to avoid Pilates moves that have you lying on your back. Be careful not to overwork yourself, especially with stomach stretches.

Even if you do not take formal Pilates or yoga classes, stretching for several minutes in conjunction with cardiovascular exercise is essential for a complete workout.


Although strength training is generally safe if you follow the guidelines for pregnant women, please consult your doctor before starting a new weight training program. Always move in a slow, controlled manner, either with free weights or on weight machines. Do not lie on your back or hold a weight on your stomach.

Precautions and advice

Now that you know the right types of exercises to stay active during the first trimester of your pregnancy, let’s talk about the precautions to take while you exercise.

All forms of exercise can be harmful if they:

  • Put too much pressure on the uterus and fetus
  • Put excessive pressure on the joints, muscles, and bones
  • Lead to overheating of the body
  • Cause dehydration
  • Require you to lie on your back

It is important to remember that every pregnant woman should speak to their doctor before starting any new exercises or workout routines. To support you during your pregnancy, we also have a team of health professionals who are available to help you at all stages of your pregnancy. This team includes physiotherapists who can help with pelvic floor rehabilitation, massage therapists who are certified to massage pregnant women, osteopaths, and acupuncturists.

It is normal to have questions when trying something new. We now offer the possibility to schedule a FREE orientation call with a therapist to help you decide!

Associated services


Find a clinic

Click on your region

See all clinics on a map See all clinics on a map