I never used to be a gym-goer. Last year we joined the Y and went three times a week without fail for 11 months. At that time, I stepped in a Lego and ended up with a foot infection and couldn't work out for eight weeks. Then we got lazy for another 4 weeks. But we are finally back at it.
Any exercises to avoid? I usually make the rounds on the Cybex circuit. Hubby and I walk two miles together first and depending on time constraints, end with another 15 minutes of cardio on the elliptical.
Any machines that I shouldn't do now? I read one article that said nothing with an upward motion like some of the chest press machines. But I didn't understand why. And I avoided some of the less controlled exercises--not exactly free weights but the machines you stand up to use and can adjust for biceps and triceps? I forgot what that's called. (This multi station thing: http://www.cybexintl.com/products/jungleGym.aspx)
I was wondering this myself.
I stopped going to spin class and have just been using the elliptical or treadmill for 40 minutes on a low intensity. I spotted the day flyer a decent workout, so I've gotten neous(although I think the spotting was from DTD not gym)
I'm an avid exerciser. I have always been told you can keep doing whatever workouts you did prior to pregnancy. And being pregnant is no reason not to start! First trimester you may notice you have less aerobic capacity, you will get winded and out of breath more easily. The only exercises you should avoid are things that are risky.... Like dirt biking or horseback riding because the baby could be injured if you fall. I have never heard to avoid chest exercises. Running, jogging, spinning, swimming, all of that is fine.
There is an old rule not to let your heart rate get over 140 because there is the thought it might shunt blood from your placenta to feed your muscles. It seems that some doctors agree with this and others don't. I don't know what the real answer is because of seen plenty of info that goes both ways. If it hurts stop, if you are out of breath slow down, just use common sense.
I have a hard time spinning in the 3rd trimester because my knees hit my belly and it's annoying!! Right now I'm working out at home with Jillian Micheals DVDs. I find myself pausing it often to catch my breath! Just modify as needed.
Women who exercise during pregnancy have less weight gain, less likely to get GD, have easier shorter labors and quicker recoveries. I totally recommend it :)