When pregnant with your unborn child, or children, it can be tough to know whether you’re coming or going at times, and for many, the last thing on your mind will be exercise. However, numerous studies have proven that certain, light and safe exercise regimes can not only prove beneficial for expecting mothers, but they can also prove beneficial for unborn children as well. Not only that, but if you do take extra measures to exercise and keep yourself in shape whilst pregnant, you will find it easier to lose the baby weight once you’ve given birth, plus the birth itself may also prove a little easier. Remember, just because you’re pregnant, this does not mean that you should simply lay back, pile on the pounds, and move as little as possible. There is no need for this, and truthfully, it may not be the best strategy either. Naturally a number of expecting women are wary when it comes to exercise and health and fitness and pregnancy, and rightfully so. Obviously you won’t be able to take part in intense HIIT sessions, or gruelling circuit training workouts and bootcamps, but you can still exercise and stay in shape, and here’s a look at how. Below we’ll be listing a series of safe and healthy fitness tips for pregnant women, to help you stay fit and healthy for the duration of your pregnancy.
Always listen to your doctor
Before you even consider working out or trying to stay fit and healthy when pregnant, it’s important that you first speak to your doctor before beginning any new training regime, to help ensure that you know exactly what you are doing, and to ensure that you do indeed get the green light to go ahead. Your doctor will know exactly which types of exercise you can and cannot do, plus they will advise you on how you should go about it, plus they may even be able to put you in touch with other experts who may be able to help you out further. Always follow the recommendations of your doctor, listen to what they have to say, and don’t think that you know best. It may sound boring and painfully easy, but the advice you are given you should adhere to at all times, no matter what.
Listen to your body
Once given the go-ahead by your doctor, once you begin your light exercise and workout regime, the next thing you must do is ensure you listen to your body. When pregnant, you and your body will have a synergy and a connection like never before, so it’s important that you use this to your advantage. For example, when exercising, no matter how easy you may have found it initially, if you begin to experience any pain, discomfort, or concerns whatsoever, you must ensure you stop what you are doing immediately. You know your body better than anybody, and if you feel as if your body is trying to tell you something, or warn you about something, you must listen to it. Remember, there is a tiny person growing inside your body, and they too need oxygen and nutrients, so if you are feeling exhausted, or short of breath, you must ensure that you stop what you’re doing, because you could potentially be depriving your child of oxygen and nutrients.
Choose the correct workouts
If you’re used to working out, unfortunately whilst pregnant your usual workouts and activities will need to be put on hold and you will need to tone things down pretty drastically. To ensure you are able to exercise and workout whilst pregnant, make sure you choose the correct exercises and workouts. Swimming and aqua aerobics are perfect for pregnant women, as they provide a great low-impact, resistance-based cardiovascular workout, all in an incredibly safe environment. Yoga, pilates, very light cardio, and low impact aerobics are all great examples of exercises and workouts for pregnant women, so see what info you can find, speak to your doctor, and consider consulting a personal trainer perhaps.
Clean up your diet
When pregnant, you are obviously eating for two, so you will need to consume more calories than you’re used to. On top of this, as your hormones will be so out of whack, you will experience cravings and hunger pains like never before, and it can be tough to resist them. Whilst you are perfectly entitled to enjoy the odd cheat meal here and there when pregnant, what you should not do is use it as an excuse to simply binge eat on whatever you like. Remember, your baby needs nutrients, so optimize nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, as these are full of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and numerous other nutrients in the process. You should also get plenty of lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs. If you eat junk, you nor your baby will get the nutrients you both require, plus you will gain fat and will find it tough to lose it once your child has been born. You of course don’t need to eat like a fitness competitor for the duration of your pregnancy, but try to ensure that the majority of the foods and drinks you consume are full of healthy nutrients that are great for you and baby.
When exercising in general, hydration is very important but when pregnant it is more important than ever. A lack of water can lead to dehydration which can damage your health, plus it could again affect your unborn child. To ensure you are well hydrated during your workout, drink a glass of fresh water around 20 minutes before you begin training, and constantly sip on water whilst you workout. If you feel thirsty, again, listen to your body as thirst is a sign that your body needs water, so give it what it wants. Even if you don’t feel as if you need a drink after you exercise you should still drink another glass of water to help replenish any electrolytes and fluids lost during the workout.