When it comes to staying fit while pregnant, everyone’s got a different opinion. If you’re concerned that working out might harm your baby, we’re here to tell you that that’s not the case at all!
Of course, you’ll want to run it by your doctor first. But you’ll be happy to know that staying active during pregnancy is not only possible, but it’s also good for you and your growing baby! You can also read more at MomInformed.com about what you need to know for your first-time pregnancy.
Not only will you gain less weight, but you’ll have more energy, fewer aches and pains, and it might even make labor and delivery easier, too. Not only that but exercise gets your heart pumping. That means improved blood and oxygen flow to your baby, which is crucial for healthy development.
Are you ready to get started? Here’s everything you need to know about staying fit while pregnant!
1. Prioritize Good Nutrition
Prioritizing good nutrition during pregnancy is crucial. Nutrition provides your body with the raw materials it needs to grow a healthy baby. But, that’s not all. Good nutrition gives you energy and that’s key to staying fit during pregnancy.
A healthy pregnancy diet should consist of plenty of lean protein, fresh fruits and veggies, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Avoid sugar and caffeine because they can lead to mood and energy highs and lows. That’s no fun when you’re already battling hormone-related fatigue and mood swings.
But let’s face it. Eating healthy all the time is tough, especially when you’re dealing with morning sickness, food aversions, and cravings. That’s where your prenatal vitamins come in! They’ll fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet and help you keep your energy levels up.
If you have a hard time swallowing pills, SmartyPants has prenatal organic vitamins that are super easy to get down. They come in a gummy form and they actually taste and smell good! Even better, their formula is non-GMO and vegetarian. It also includes all the key nutrients in the amounts you and your growing baby need in the most absorbable forms.
2. Stay Properly Hydrated
Even mild dehydration can lead to feelings of dizziness and increased fatigue when you’re pregnant. And not only during a workout- and at other times too. Be sure to hydrate properly before, during, and after your workout.
3. Set Goals and Make a Plan
Anytime you set out to do something important, setting goals and making a plan can be super helpful. When it comes to staying fit while pregnant, having a plan for what days and times you’re going to work out can be super helpful. Without one, you might find that a whole week has gone by since your last workout.
4. Be Flexible and Listen to Your Body
That said, it’s also important to be flexible and listen to your body. If anything feels off, slow things down a bit. Maybe just go for a walk or do some yoga that day. Or, take the day off if you feel like you really need it. After all, growing a new life is a workout unto itself!
The same goes for during your workout. If you not that you’re short of breath, dizzy, or have any weird pains, lower the intensity or take a break for a few minutes. Your body knows its limits so listen to it and only do what feels right.
5. Start Slow, Especially if You’re New to Working Out
Ideally, you will have started getting fit before you became pregnant. Most experts recommend giving your body a chance to adapt to an exercise routine before your baby bump starts growing.
But if you didn’t start working out pre-pregnancy, you can still exercise as long as you get your doctor’s approval first. It will rev up your metabolism and build lean muscle, making it easier for you to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight after your baby is born.
Just be sure to start out slow. Choose a weight that you can easily lift for a reasonable number of repetitions, and then slowly increase the weight as your strength increases. A progressive approach will help you avoid injury and provide just as much benefit over the long run.
6. Proper Warm-Up is Crucial
Don’t make the mistake of diving into your workout without a proper warm-up. A few minutes of gentle cardio is all it takes to get your muscles warm and prevent injury.
7. Learn Correct Form
Whether you’re a strength training pro or a newbie, learning and using the correct form will be crucial for staying fit while pregnant. Working with an experienced trainer a few times can give you some tips for using the proper form as your pregnancy progresses.
Using improper form will increase the risk of injury, especially as your center of balance changes. You’ll be much better off if you learn how to do the exercise properly.
8. Get Moving Every Day
Try to get your body moving every day. Cardio workouts will give you more energy and control unhealthy weight gain. Walking, swimming, and jogging are both great choices, as long as your doctor approves. Prenatal yoga is also a great option, especially on those days when you just want to take it easy.
9. Avoid These Moves
Your body produces a hormone called Relaxin during pregnancy. Its job is to loosen up your joints and ligaments in preparation for birth. Avoid any jerky movements that might put a strain on those already stressed joints and ligaments, so you don’t hurt yourself.
Laying on your back for prolonged periods of time is also a no-no, especially in the second and third trimester. And finally, avoid any contact sports or moves that challenge your balance for obvious reasons.
Be sure to consult with your doctor about any other moves you should avoid. You can also click here for additional tips on how to lose weight after pregnancy
Final Thoughts: Working Out During Pregnancy Isn’t Just About Staying Fit
Staying fit while pregnant reduces your risk of gestational diabetes and helps manage it if you do develop it. It also improves your posture and strengthens your muscles, reducing aches and pains, especially in your back.
You’ll have more energy throughout your pregnancy, and you’ll recover more quickly postpartum, too. On those days when you need a little extra motivation, remember that staying fit while pregnant comes with numerous benefits for you and your baby.