Being able to stay active during pregnancy is important, but you may have some questions as to how to stay fit during pregnancy. Here are some helpful tips!
How to Stay Fit During Pregnancy
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When I first got pregnant, I was so excited! I had been dreaming of this day for so long. Everything was going to be perfect, and I was never going to get morning sickness. Ha! A few days later, reality set in. A baby was going to be growing inside my stomach! I started to worry about everything including gaining weight and getting out of shape. I was bound and determined to stay fit during pregnancy. Here are 7 tips to help you stay fit during pregnancy. And guess what? They work!
*Disclaimer- each woman is different and may have different limitations. If your doctor has advised you to limit activity during pregnancy, please follow the doctor’s orders! Otherwise, here are a few tips to help you maintain a healthy level of physical activity during your pregnancy.*
Starting Active Habits
Normally, during the first trimester of pregnancy, it is perfectly safe to maintain normal exercise habits. Some moms worry about hurting the fetus or causing damage to their unborn baby, but this is very unlikely (unless your doctor advises otherwise). Feel free to continue running, attend HIIT or spin classes, and enjoying weightlifting.
However, if you are reading this, you might be thinking, “Oh no! But what if I am not active currently? Where do I begin?” Listen up! There is hope. Walking will become your new best friend. Walking is one of the best ways to stay fit during pregnancy, and it is perfect for beginners. Start by walking one mile a day, and slowly increase mileage as you feel comfortable.
First Trimester Tip
Be sure to attend your first prenatal doctor’s appointment, and come with lots of questions! Spend time discussing with your doctor what a healthy level of activity looks like for you, and plan accordingly. Staying fit during pregnancy improves the outcomes for both the mother and the baby, both in delivery and in recovery. Discuss ideas with your doctor for staying fit during pregnancy.
Start by creating a sustainable exercise routine that you will be able to stick to throughout pregnancy. Keep in mind that the further along you are in your pregnancy, the less you will be able to do.
When I found out I was pregnant, one of my initial thoughts was, “Yay! Now I can start eating for two!” Oh, how naive I was! Although it can be tempting to binge on treats and candy, it is important to remember the importance of eating healthy.
Make sure to eat whole grains, whenever possible. Brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and whole-wheat bread are great ways to get fiber into your diet. Read labels carefully and seek out foods that are high in protein, and low in added sugars.
Of course, it is so important to eat 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables each day. Eat an apple with lunch, or try a green smoothie for dinner. It is critical that your baby gets nutrients, especially during the first few months of pregnancy. Taking a prenatal vitamin every day will ensure your baby gets adequate nutrients.
Eating healthy is an important aspect of staying fit during pregnancy.
It is hard to stay hydrated during pregnancy. Your body is working tirelessly to increase the volume of your blood in order to support your growing fetus. Dehydration will destroy all of those valiant efforts. So, with that being said, staying hydrated is an important aspect of staying fit during pregnancy.
Make sure to drink about 8-10 glasses of water a day. A great tip is to invest in a nice water bottle, that you love, to carry around with you. This gives you easy access to water all day, especially during exercise, which will help you remain hydrated.
Pro tip: Nausea and vomiting cause dehydration. If you have serious morning sickness, you need to be aware of the signs of dehydration. If you feel dizzy, extremely tired, have dark-colored urine, or are extremely thirsty, contact your doctor immediately.
Try Low-Impact Exercises
In 2nd and 3rd trimester, try incorporating low-impact exercises. Low-impact exercises are more gentle on your body and the fetus. Yoga, swimming, water aerobics, stationary bikes, and walking are excellent examples of low-impact exercises you can begin to incorporate.
Along the way, you might notice that even low-impact exercises can cause abdominal pain. Most likely this is due to the bodies natural process; the body allows the ligaments to stretch relax in preparing your birth canal for labor, causing pain.
Just do what feels comfortable. Listen to your body! If something starts hurting during exercise, pause, take some deep breaths, and modify your workout accordingly. Don’t be ashamed if you have to stop and go home. Your health and the health of your baby are your priority, so don’t overdo it trying to stay fit during pregnancy.
Schedule Time for Exercise
If you want to stay fit during pregnancy, it needs to be a priority. We all know that we make time for things that are important to us. Spend time each week creating a schedule. Make time for exercise every single day. 30 minutes is a perfect amount of time while you are pregnant. Don’t worry! You can do it in 10 or 5-minute increments if you would like. Aim for 30 active minutes a day.
If you work full-time, try walking for 15-minutes during your lunch break, and another 15-minutes after dinner. A great way to stay active is to park further away from the office or try using the stairs instead of the elevator.
Exercise with Multiple Kids
It can be difficult to find a spare moment to exercise, especially when you have other children at your feet constantly nagging for something. If your husband has a busy work schedule, he might not be able to watch the kids while you exercise. If this is the case- hope is not lost!
Try exercising with your children. They might enjoy walking to the park, or riding bikes around the block. There are even YouTube videos and free Apps that will allow you to do workouts from the comfort of your own home! What a great way to stay fit during pregnancy.
Exercise during your baby’s nap time, or strap them in the highchair with some snacks and do a quick workout video. Find a friend who can swap babysitting with you, and take turns exercising. My favorite thing has always been to buy a great jogging stroller and go for walks with my kids.
There are many benefits of regular exercise: reduced levels of stress, improved levels of happiness, increased libido, and it can help you sleep better. With so many benefits, who wouldn’t want to stay fit during pregnancy?
Get creative and make staying fit during pregnancy enjoyable! Whatever you do, make sure to listen to your body and drink plenty of water. Your body will thank you, and your recovery will be much smoother.
What are your favorite ways to stay fit during pregnancy? Share them with us in the comments!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!