Myth buster: You don’t have to be out of shape during and after pregnancy.
There’s often a bag of mixed opinions when it comes to physical activities during pregnancy. We are here to tell you; your workout routine benefits two of you – the baby and mama.
Although it is healthy to anticipate weight gain and embrace your body for its changes, a little self-control and discipline can ease things out long term. Few benefits of exercising during pregnancy are:
- Reduce risk of pregnancy and delivery complications
- Speed up recovery
- Better energy levels and mood
- Stabilize sleeping pattern
- Back and pelvic pain relief
- Lower blood pressure
- Help manage bloating, constipation, swelling
How do I stay in shape?Move your body, baby!
One of the most obvious ways to stay in shape is to exercise. It can be rather tempting to stay cozy on the couch, but adding movement to your day might actually make you feel better.
Walking is a great way to start. You can also consider swimming and elliptical cycling as they’re easy on your joints. Pilates or yoga impacts your balance, flexibility and posture positively. It also focuses on improving breathing technique and your mental wellbeing. If you’d like to push yourself to follow a strength training regime, remember to take it light and slow. It’s very important one warms up, stretches for cool down as this helps in reducing soreness and aids recovery.
This can be intimidating if you aren’t already used to physical activity. If you’re afraid to start working out during pregnancy, look for instructors online and fix up a virtual class that teaches you how to approach it. You can also consult with your doctor to build a routine tailored for you.
Beat your cravings
Your cravings can throw you off your progress. To outsmart your hunger pangs, try:
- To think ahead. Instead of reaching for whatever the shelf recommends, meal prepping will encourage you to eat healthy snacks.
- Finding substitutes. Be conscious of what kind of flavors you crave for and find healthier alternatives.
- Staying within limits. Ice cream is completely acceptable choice but stick to a bowl, instead of a box-full.
- To think small. Eat smaller meals throughout the day. Switch it up to keep it exciting.
- Increasing fiber intake. This makes you full quicker and curbs appetite.
Catch up on zzzzSleep is essential to restore your energy, keeping your mind and body functioning at its best. Without sleep you could feel fatigue, restlessness, irritable and lack focus.
More often than not, pregnancy, especially the first and third trimesters leaves you feeling tired and sleepy. Carrying that extra baby weight, balancing your physical and emotional needs can be exhausting. It can make you long for some mid-day naps. Although it’s good to get some much needed and deserved sleep, don’t overdo it. Staying active is equally important and fruitful.
Glug glug!Hydration is vital for you and the fetus. Not getting enough water can lead your body to overheat. Especially if you’re moving around, it’s important for you to carry a bottle with you at all times. If you’re usually the kind to forget, download app that reminds you to drink water every hour and keep track of your intake.
Stay MotivatedTo do what’s best for you. That could mean spending time going on longer walks or taking enough rest to recover. Make alterations based on your health, capacity and lifestyle. Having other pregnant friends to talk to, involving your partner in meal prep, starting slow and working your way up are some ways to ensure stability in your practice and changes.
It’s helpful to know babies born to women who make lifestyle changes are less likely to be obese, have better heart health and cognitive development.
What is your body saying?You are your own expert. Self-check and if at any point you feel like your routine is affecting you physically or emotionally, consider restructuring it. Chest pain, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, headaches, muscle weakness, abnormal fluctuations in craving and mood, etc. are warning signs you need to watch out for. Consult with your doctor to help guide you.