How do I stay fit in pregnancy? Well, it might be challenging to stay active and eat well while pregnant. Fatigue and morning sickness in the first trimester, as well as other later-onset illnesses like back discomfort, make it challenging to exercise and make smart decisions.
However, it is well recognized that keeping up good behaviors when pregnant has several advantages. It can help you have a less difficult labor, shed postpartum weight more quickly, and have more energy throughout your pregnancy.
Exercise and wholesome nutrition are also beneficial for your baby. A recent study even discovered that a child’s later cardiometabolic health may be impacted by weight gained during pregnancy.
However, being aware of these realities does not make remaining healthy any simpler. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be craving fries and ice cream rather than salad. You’ll probably feel too sick to go to the gym as well.
Without a question, extra self-discipline is needed to maintain health throughout pregnancy. But there are strategies that I’ve found useful for keeping me inspired to exercise and eat healthily throughout the arduous months.
How Do I Stay Fit in Pregnancy?
Here are six things I did to stay motivated and active. (Plus, common prenatal health misconceptions busted!)
Examine Your Diet to Better Understand Your Cravings
Yes, cravings during pregnancy exist. I yearned for juicy cheeseburgers during the first half of my pregnancy. This meat-craving behavior was odd for me because I had been a practically complete vegetarian up until my pregnancy.
Although cravings aren’t always understandable, we might consider the nutrients our bodies may be lacking.
Maybe I needed more iron, protein, and fat, which are three elements found in red meat, for myself. Cheeseburgers are convenient to eat for every lunch and supper, but I knew the long-term consequences wouldn’t be good for me or my unborn child.
I tried to cook high-protein meals, such as those that had chicken, fish, and beans. The majority of the greasy restaurant cheeseburgers I desired were swapped out for heartier, leaner options. These nutritious meals kept me full and content, which helped me control my cravings.
Your diet should include various minerals and nutrients, particularly calcium, iron, and folate, to make sure you and your baby get what you need.
What to Eat While Expecting?
Vegetables and dairy products high in calcium include dark greens.
Leafy greens, red meat, salmon, beans, and eggs are all good sources of iron, which helps to maintain a healthy hemoglobin count.
Foods fortified with folate, a crucial vitamin that lowers the risk of neural tube abnormalities, include cereal, pasta, bread, and rice. Prenatal vitamins should also be taken.
Related: What To Eat When Pregnant?
Relax to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Pregnancy may be an emotional rollercoaster, with feelings ranging from anxiety over potential problems to concern over your ability to be a good parent. I would lie awake at night in bed throughout my third trimester hoping to feel my baby kick to let me know they were okay.
I experimented with a few various methods to let my thoughts unwind and, ultimately, my body as well.
I’ve occasionally used meditation to unwind my mind for 10 to 15 minutes before bed. Other times, I would get in touch with new and pregnant mothers to offer support and to talk about my worries.
I would write down any tasks that were running through my thoughts in my phone so they wouldn’t keep me from falling asleep.
Above all, I was able to find mental and emotional serenity by developing a calming ritual before bed, ensuring that both baby and I received the necessary rest.
Make an Effort to Move Each Day
Even though I frequently worked out before getting pregnant, I struggled to find the energy and enthusiasm to do so when I was pregnant. It was the best choice I ever made that I would move at least once per day.
It might be a midday stroll, a morning swim, or a yoga stretch while I watched “This Is Us” episodes. When I ran out of time, I would occasionally kneel down and perform 20 lunges while preparing dinner.
There were also days when I neglected to work out. I made an effort not to criticize myself and promised to try again the next day.
I discovered that I slept better and felt more energized when I forced myself onto my yoga mat or out into the street for a stroll. I also had the impression that I was better prepared for the labor itself.
While the majority of workouts are safe, especially ones you completed before getting pregnant, there are certain that you should avoid. Avoid engaging in any risky activities, such as rock climbing or skiing. High altitudes and any exercises performed while lying flat on your back should also be avoided.
As a general guideline, when exercising, pay attention to your body and keep in mind that your goal is maintaining your health, not setting new records.
Eat Less Sugar
My biggest want in the second half of my pregnancy was sugar. The memory and intelligence of your youngster, however, are negatively impacted by increased sugar consumption, according to a recent study. I didn’t completely deprive myself of sweets, but I did establish a strategy.
For me, that meant not making any initial treat purchases. Every time I went to the grocery store, I would eye a box of cookies, and I knew that if I bought them, I would eat the entire box in one sitting.
This strategy worked since there were no cookies left to refuse, as opposed to having to do it again.
I satisfied my sweet desire instead by choosing whole foods like fresh apples and dried mangoes.
For you, this may mean choosing a brand with less processed components or purchasing smaller packets rather than bulk quantities. It’s not about completely avoiding sugar, but rather about developing a habit for intelligent snacking.
Choose a Water Bottle that You Enjoy
It’s important to stay hydrated, especially during pregnant. Water is crucial to the growth of your child and aids in the formation of the placenta and amniotic sac.
Dehydration can be problematic at any time, but it’s crucial to prevent during pregnancy.
While pregnant, the Institute of Medicine advises consuming roughly 10 cups (2.3 liters or 77 ounces) of total liquid daily. I travelled with my Nalgene water bottle to assist me get the recommended amount of water intake. Find a water bottle that you like to drink from.
If you grow to dislike the taste of plain water, flavor it with food like cucumbers, strawberries, lemons, or limes. By staying hydrated, you can combat annoying pregnancy symptoms like constipation and maintain your energy levels.
Go on a Break
Being in good health while carrying a child doesn’t make you superwoman. If you need to relax, pay attention to your body and take the appropriate action, such as napping, reading on the sofa, or going to bed earlier than usual.
Giving your body a break allows it to continue developing and allows you to conserve energy for tomorrow’s activities.
Pregnancy Health Myths Debunked
You Can’t Eat Seafood
Fish are a topic of discussion for pregnant women because of their mercury content. The FDA claims that most fish is safe to eat as long as it isn’t taken in large quantities. Among the secure options are:
- Canned tuna
Seafood has many advantages, including good fats that support a baby’s development. To reduce your risk of contracting certain bacteria, simply limit your seafood consumption to 340 grams per week and stay away from raw sushi.
Fish to avoid:
- King mackerel
- Tuna (albacore and bigeye)
- Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico
- Orange roughly
Avoid Strenuous Activity and Exertion
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that most forms of exercise are safe to continue if you’re in good health and have your doctor’s approval.
Even though some physical activities, such as contact sports and horseback riding, carry some dangers, you shouldn’t stop exercising altogether. Regular exercise is fantastic for mom and baby and can even help with pregnancy discomfort.
Recommended Exercise by Trimester
- First trimester: Pilates, yoga, walking, swimming, running, weight training, biking.
- Second trimester: Walking, yoga, swimming, running.
- Third trimester: Walking, jogging, aqua sports, low-impact, toning.
Hot Baths are Not Permitted for You to Take
Many still think women shouldn’t take a hot bath while pregnant because of an ancient wives’ tale that says they should avoid heat stress.
However, according to new guidelines, taking hot showers and exercising while pregnant are safe as long as your body temperature doesn’t rise above 102.2°F.
PS. You may engage in sex as well! It is risk-free and won’t harm the infant. Determine the optimum positions.
Coffee Cannot be Consumed
While it was once thought that caffeine can result in a miscarriage, research now indicates that one to two cups per day are completely safe. Therefore, there’s no need to stop using your morning cappuccino as your go-to energy booster.
You’re Feeding Two People
If we take the saying “Go ahead, you’re eating for two!” to heart, we may put on additional weight. Instead, maintaining your weight within the ideal range will make postpartum weight reduction simpler and offer you more energy.
Always keep in mind that every pregnancy is unique. Remember these advice. Don’t forget to pay attention to your body at the end of the day.
So now you have the answer to How Do I Stay Fit in Pregnancy? Staying fit during pregnancy is not only possible but highly beneficial for both you and your baby. By incorporating gentle exercises, strength training, cardiovascular workouts, and nourishing your body with a balanced diet, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout this precious time. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider, listen to your body, and make modifications as necessary. Embrace this transformative journey and enjoy the incredible experience of pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I start a Fitness Routine if I haven’t Exercised before Pregnancy?
Yes, you can start a fitness routine during pregnancy even if you haven’t exercised before. However, it’s essential to start slowly and gradually increase intensity. Consult with your healthcare provider and consider working with a certified prenatal fitness specialist
Are there any Exercises I should avoid during Pregnancy?
While exercise is generally beneficial during pregnancy, there are certain activities you should avoid. High-impact sports, contact sports, and exercises that carry a risk of falling or abdominal injury should be avoided. Additionally, activities that require lying flat on your back for an extended period should be modified to avoid putting pressure on the vena cava, a major blood vessel. Always consult with your healthcare provider for specific exercise restrictions based on your unique circumstances.
How can I stay Motivated to Exercise during Pregnancy?
Staying motivated to exercise during pregnancy can be challenging, but there are a few strategies that can help. Firstly, find activities you enjoy and that make you feel good. This will increase the likelihood of sticking to your routine. Set realistic goals and celebrate small achievements along the way. Additionally, consider exercising with a partner or joining a prenatal exercise class for added support and motivation.
Is it Safe to continue Exercising if I experience Discomfort or Pain?
It’s essential to listen to your body and prioritize your comfort during pregnancy. If you experience any discomfort or pain during exercise, it’s advisable to stop and consult with your healthcare provider. Pain or discomfort could be a sign that you’re overexerting yourself or that there’s an underlying issue that needs attention.
Can Exercise help with Labor and Delivery?
Regular exercise during pregnancy can potentially help with labor and delivery. It can improve stamina, strengthen the muscles needed for childbirth, and enhance overall endurance. Additionally, staying active during pregnancy can contribute to better mental and emotional well-being, which can positively impact the birthing experience.
How soon after giving Birth can I resume Exercise?
The timeline for returning to exercise after childbirth varies for each individual. It’s important to give your body ample time to heal, and the postpartum period is a critical phase of recovery. Typically, low-impact activities such as gentle walking can be resumed shortly after birth, but more intense exercises should be gradually reintroduced after consulting with your healthcare provider.