Pregnancy is a magical time in a woman’s life. However, you may not like some of the changes coming to your body. Don’t be too hard on yourself — it happens to us all — but we have some secrets for how to stay in shape when pregnant.
According to WebMD, an already healthy woman should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during this time. This extra weight is necessary for the baby as well as the placenta, blood supply, stored fat for breastfeeding and amniotic fluid. Studies also show that women function like endurance athletes while pregnant — so you have the ability to get the work done.
There are numerous ways you can make sure you’re getting the right nutrients and moving your body to maintain tone and strength AND produce a healthy baby. Start with your doctor’s advice then try these tricks.
1. Eat Protein and Fat Instead of Carbs and Sugars
Although you need to gain weight, you need to gain it the right way. You should eat plenty of healthy saturated and mono fats, such as what you find in avocados and olive oil. These foods also contain vitamins A, D,
2. Drink Plenty of Water
When you feel dehydrated, you should stick with water instead of juices. Drinking enough water can also prevent you from overeating. Many people eat unhealthy snacks throughout the day because they feel like they’re starving, but in actuality, they are just thirsty. Additionally, drinking enough water can help ward off pregnancy nausea and tiredness. You should drink at least two liters of water a day and even more if you are exercising regularly.
3. Exercise Several Times a Week
You want to keep blood moving throughout your body during this time, so pick an exercise regimen you enjoy. You may not feel like jogging right now, but perhaps you can go for a swim or simply walk around the block. Many gyms offer classes for pregnant women, so you should see what is available near you. You can stay in shape while making some great friends in the process.
Worried about how much exercise is too much? Consult your doctor.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Rest is incredibly beneficial for your mind and body, and not getting enough sleep can negatively impact your health and weight.
To feel ready to exercise for the day, you will need a good night’s rest beforehand. Try to sleep in a completely dark room, which means not having bright phones or computers lying around. During pregnancy, adult women should get at least eight hours of sleep every night. While most adults can get away with seven hours, you have a baby growing inside you, so you need extra relaxation.
5. Maintain Muscle Mass
While you need to gain fat, you do not have to sacrifice muscle tone. Your muscles help prevent injury and they can also help prevent you from gaining too much weight during pregnancy. Your exercise regimen should consist of some muscle training that targets specific areas of the body. Invest in some weights to have your own personal home gym or to use while watching TV. An exercise ball is another great option.
With strength training, you can also reduce the muscular pains and aches associated with pregnancy, labor, and birth.
7. Listen to What Your Body Says
As you exercise, it is vital to listen to what your body has to say. You may exercise every day, but suddenly, you experience cramping and aching in your legs. You may need to take a few days off to recover, and that is perfectly fine. You need to put your well-being first. Pushing yourself too hard is not good for either you or your baby.
Again, if something feels off or you’re concerned, contact your doctor for advice.