Most experts agree that when you’re expecting, it is important to keep moving. Not only does it help pregnant women avoid back pain but also enhances energy and promotes a better body image. Also, active pregnant women bounce back faster to their pre-pregnancy shape. Recent studies shatter many myths that scare women about exercising during pregnancy.
However, we recommend consulting your health care practitioner before starting any new exercise or bringing about diet changes. Each pregnancy is different and is influenced by various factors such as hereditary conditions, prior fitness levels,and overall lifestyle. This is why it is imperative to talk to your personal physician about what sort of exercises and diet is safe for you and the baby.
Being fit doesn’t mean that you have to make a big commitment towards food or buy fancy gym equipment. The following tips will help you establish a routine that will help both you and the baby stay happy and healthy:
1- Avoid excessive sugar and refined carbs
While this applies to any person who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle, pregnant women should take extra care of what they eat. Refined carbs and sugar have no nutritional value and will only lead to extra pregnancy weight and fluid gain. Excess blood sugar can also cause you to develop gestational diabetes, which isn’t healthy for you and the baby.
Keep away from processed food like white bread, cereals, white pasta and baked goods such as cakes and cookies. If you’re having strong cravings for sweet food, then try to eat fruit to satisfy the urge. Don’t reach for fruit juices because they are mostly loaded with sugar. More importantly, they lack all the fiber of the fruit.
2- Eat fat and protein
Most women are often concerned that fatty food will lead to even more weight gain. However, this is a myth. Instead of reaching for so-called ‘ low-fat healthy options’ choose full fat and wholesome foods such as olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, salmon and so on. Make sure to include high-quality meat sources, full-fat dairy,and eggs to get the needed dose of protein, monounsaturated,and polyunsaturated fat. These are excellent sources of vitamins A, D, E & K that are directly absorbed into the bloodstream.
You will notice an immediate sense of fulfillment and these foods will also help with the baby’s development. So, it’s a win-win situation.
3- Drink loads of water
We can’t stress the importance of drinking enough water. Ensure that you stay hydrated at all times as it can help keep tiredness and pregnancy nausea at bay. Also, it also helps you avoid eating too much.
So, keep a water bottle handy and drink at least 2 liters of water a day- even more if you are exercising.
According to doctors, it’s okay to continue with most of the activities that you did before pregnancy. Even if you didn’t do a lot of exercise before getting pregnant, we still recommend you to stretch those muscles to stay active throughout the 9-month period.
However, as we discussed earlier, it is important to talk to your personal physician and listen to your body. There will be days when you feel that you can conquer the world and on other days you wouldn’t even want to get out of the bed. It’s perfectly fine to allow yourself to laze around on the sofa, especially during pregnancy.
But if you are looking for an excellent way to boost your energy levels during pregnancy, we recommend you to start with 15 minutes of exercise 3 times a week. Gradually increase it to a 30-minute session every day. Remember to wear exercise gear to support your bump. Do ask your doctor to recommends belly-wrap and waist trainer that can be used during and after pregnancy.
Here are some physical activities and sports that are safe to do during pregnancy- but again, only after you get a go-ahead signal from your doctor:
- Prenatal Yoga
- Lightweight training
- Low-intensity aerobic activity such as bike riding, walking, Stairmaster, aqua aerobics and so on
- Specifically designed routines for pregnant women that can include Pilates, calisthenics, and Kegel exercises
Pregnancy is a beautiful experience. You’re fostering another life inside yourself, so it is best to listen to your body to enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy.
You can even download a pregnancy app that will record and support your fitness journey during pregnancy.
How do you take care of your body and maintain your fitness levels during pregnancy? Share your experiences with us in the comments below and motivate fellow readers too: