No doubt, it is a miracle! You feel so delighted to know that you will give birth to a life. Your baby is a true blessing. You are creating a new life, and it is such a surreal feeling.
Benefits of staying fit during your pregnancy
We are all aware that exercising in any form, be it walking, cycling, yoga, or any other form, can help keep the extra pounds away and prevent diseases. But during pregnancy, there are many more reasons to make exercise a part of your routine. The most important ones are-
- Reduce the risk and complications in pregnancy
Women who take up a fitness routine as part of their daily activities are less likely to develop gestational diabetes and are less likely to have unplanned C-sections.
- Lesser delivery complications
Women who exercise during their pregnancy have lower complications in their delivery. They gain less weight during pregnancy and also stay away from complicated birth procedures.
- Post-delivery recovery
The more you exercise regularly, the faster the physical recovery even after childbirth, which helps to resume the household work faster than those who don’t exercise.
- Lower blood pressure
The most common problem during pregnancy is that of high BP. Staying active and fit has been a critical factor to keep the BP controlled.
- Lowering anxiety
Women generally have mood swings and anxiety while they’re expecting. Exercising during pregnancy reduces depression and helps diminish stress and anxiety.
- Improve sleep
Pregnant women have a hard time falling asleep, but they continuously exercise, face a better quality sleep and wake up more energetic.
- Lower your fatigue
Women feel exhausted and tired majorly during their first and third trimester. An easy walk or a prenatal yoga class can make a massive difference in the energy levels.
The benefits of exercising don’t end with keeping your own body healthy. It is as good for you as for the baby. A few of the potential benefits of exercising for the baby are-
- Reduced odds of diabetes
- Boost the brain health
- A fitter heart and a perfect birth weight
Ways to keep you fit
Staying active, exercising, and eating healthy is not always a smooth journey during pregnancy. You face morning sickness, back pain, uneasiness, fatigue, which drains out your energy. Without a doubt, staying active and following a healthy regime is difficult during pregnancy.
There can be various methods that can be adopted to keep you fit and motivated-
- Examine your daily diet-
Pregnancy cravings are a real thing. But you must have a check on the nutrients that your body wants. To ensure you and your baby stay healthy, you must eat a properly balanced diet.
- Keep yourself active every day-
Even if you were a gym freak before pregnancy, there would be days where you feel demotivated to work out. You must keep a positive approach and try and do any physical activity, be it a simple walk or a calming swim. This also keeps you de-stressed and positive throughout the day and will get you a good night’s sleep.
- Limited Sugar Intake
Studies suggest that excessive sugar intake can impact the child’s memory and intelligence. If you have a sweet tooth, you can avoid processed sugar and quench the craving with fruit or dry fruits.
- Hydration is a must
Water plays a vital role in the development of the young one. The Institute of Medicine recommends around 77 ounces or 10 cups of total liquid per day. Staying hydrated keeps the energy level high and relieves symptoms like constipation.
- Take desired rest
Being pregnant does not mean you need to overexert and act like you have superpowers. The body needs an adequate amount of rest- whether you take a nap or just lying on a couch and read a book. Taking rest allows the baby to grow and save energy for tomorrow’s activities.
- Say no to Alcohol and Smoke-
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of having a baby with learning disabilities or behavioral issues. This is termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Smoking is also dangerous for the growth of the baby. It may result in miscarriages, Premature births, and several other complications.
- Avoid certain foods-
There are certain foods that you must avoid while being pregnant. Avoid eating raw meat, liver, raw eggs, unpasteurized milk, and unpasteurized dairy products, which may cause food poisoning.
Some fish, even if cooked, has high mercury levels. They should avoid them.
Starting your pregnancy fitness regime
Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy as long as it is done with caution and guidance. The safest and most influential are walking, swimming, yoga, and simple cardio exercises. Generally, you opt for exercises that do not require outstanding balance or coordination.
The critical point is to begin by warming up for 5 minutes or so. Your routine must include 15 to 20 minutes of cardio activity. And some gentle exercises and stretching.
Some basic guidelines that you may follow-
- Wear comfortable clothes
- I prefer shoes that are proper to avoid any injuries.
- Drink adequate water before, during, and after exercises
- Be careful during the workout and sit down and get up gradually.
- Never over exhaust yourself
Best practices while Pregnant
A few of the best suited cardiovascular activities, including swimming and water exercises, walking, stair-climbers, prenatal yoga, or indoor cycling, are mostly preferred by all. It indeed encourages relaxation, flexibility, and focus on your deep breathing.
But a few essential tips that always need to be kept in mind are to do a proper warm up and cool down and always listen to your body. Never exercise if you feel drained out. Signs that need immediate attention may include cramps, abdominal pain, and difficulty in walking or dizziness.
Myths About exercising-
- It would be best if you did not start exercising once you are pregnant-
Truth- Beginning a pregnancy fitness regime is perfectly fine. The key is to start slow under proper guidance.
- It would help if you gave up on your favorite exercise-
Truth-Just talks to your midwife or doctor first and follows all the precautions recommended.
- It will help if you cut down on your activities in the last trimester-
Truth-Experts recommend women must exercise throughout the pregnancy; the last trimester is no exception.
Stay motivated and enjoy the benefits.
Pick what you actively enjoy during your pregnancy and consider trying new variations to avoid monotony. Whatever you do should not be hard on yourself, and do not forget to have fun to enjoy what you do. This is golden. Stay healthy, stay fit.