31/01/2020 by Rich Levy 0 Comments
5 Ways to Stay Healthy and Fit During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body will go through so many changes. On top of this you have to confront with morning sickness, first trimester fatigue, back pains, being more and more difficult to carry out simple activities and food cravings. It’s no wonder that staying healthy and fit sounds like a difficult job.
In this article, I want to share with you some tips and tricks to help you stay healthy, energised and fit during pregnancy.
Staying fit during pregnancy
You already know that being fit and having a healthy diet is good for your body and mind, no matter if you are pregnant or not. But especially during pregnancy having healthy habits can bring so many benefits like having more energy, enjoying an easier labour, losing postpartum weight faster and most importantly ensuring your baby is healthy as well.
Yes, you need more discipline during this period in your life, to be able to stay fit. It’s normal as you are going through so many changes. But there are some ways in which you can motivate yourself to continue with your diet and exercise plan:
1. Learn how to work out during pregnancy
You can still work out during pregnancy, of course if you have the okay from your doctor. It’s so important to still be active during this period. You will feel more energised even if you chose to switch your gym workouts with walks, swimming, bicycle rides and so on.
If you are determined to keep up with your gym sessions, then here’s what you need to do:
- Switch your high-intensity cardio workouts to exercises with a lower impact. In this way, you reduce the stress of a high-intensity workout on your body (which can be a bit too much during pregnancy). Swimming, walking or jogging at a steady-pace are also considered lower-intensity workouts. So, you can give these a try.
- If you want to continue with your weight training, I recommend going for lighter weights and increasing the number of reps. Just make sure you don’t push too hard and you listen to your body during the workouts.
- Try a gentler workout like Pilates. These often incorporate pelvic floor exercises, which are really important during pregnancy as these muscles can become weak while you are carrying a baby.
2. Understand your cravings and keep up with your healthy diet
If you are experiencing cravings during pregnancy, especially if you feel like having junk food or weird food combinations, then you might need to check your diet. Cravings can be a source of lack of nutrients in our bodies.
On a short-term cravings are not so harmful, however if you crave for fries and ice cream during the whole pregnancy, this is not really ideal for you and your baby’s health. So, to ensure that you are both enjoying a healthy diet you can include into your meals the following nutrients and minerals:
- Iron – you can find this in salmon, read meat, beans, eggs and leafy greens
- Calcium – include dairy products and dark green vegetables into your diet
- Folate – you can get this from cereals, rice and vitamins
Another important aspect is to not fall into the trap that you are pregnant so you need to eat for two. Instead of focusing on quantity go for the quality of your meals.
3. Less sugar
A recent study shows that increased sugar consumption has a negative effect on your child’s memory and intelligence. Hence avoiding sweets is something you should consider during pregnancy.
Craving for sweets is not an excuse to eat tones of sugary products every day. What you can do instead is finding some substitutes such as fruits, healthy snacks with less processed ingredients, or you can make your own healthy deserts. Also, you need to be careful not to overeat, even if these snacks are healthy.
4. Stay hydrated
Hydration is essential, especially when you’re pregnant. Water plays an important role in the development of your little one and also helps to form the placenta and the amniotic sac. During this period, you should keep drinking at least 2,5 litres of water every day. To make this process more enjoyable you can buy a colourful water bottle and you can add flavours like lemon slices, different berries, mint leaves, cucumbers, ginger slices.
5. Learn to listen to your body and take a break
During pregnancy, you might go through a superwoman, nesting phase. You will feel like you need to get everything ready, as soon as possible, before your baby is born. While this is perfectly normal, as you only want the best for your bundle of joy, you need to stop and listen to your body.
Don’t push yourself more than you should when you feel tired or you are experiencing morning sickness. Make sure you rest when you feel a lack of energy. If you don’t feel up to, skip a workout day or just go for something much easier (like a walk in the park).
As it can be an emotional time for you, due to all the changes in your life, I recommend practicing meditation as well. You can spend 10 to 15 minutes every day to calm your mind, think of positive thoughts, relax and find the emotional peace you need.
Remember, everyone’s journey with pregnancy is different. Keep these tips in mind. At the end of the day, don’t forget to listen to your body.