Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fifth, bringing a new life into the world can be exciting. You’re already wondering what kind of person your little one will become and what they will look like. However, while thinking of the future, you must take care of yourself before delivery.
Lounging and sitting all day can affect your and your baby’s health and cause excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, or pre-eclampsia. So, here are a few tips for remaining active during pregnancy so you can stay healthy.
Speak to Your Midwife or Doctor
If you want to start exercising or have a history of exercising, jumping right into physical activity can shock a pregnant body. So, before you start running or heavy weightlifting, talk to your doctor or midwife for options.
Ask your doctor or midwife what you can do to stay healthy during your pregnancy and what you should avoid doing. Depending on your lifestyle and your current training, your provider should be able to help you figure out a beneficial option.
Do Muscle Training Twice a Week
If you already have a routine and are used to muscle-training activities, continuing while pregnant is safe and healthy. But if you haven’t worked out in a while, you should do light weight training that isn’t too hard.
It’s essential to remember that you don’t have to stick to hand weights or barbells to strengthen your muscles. Instead, you can use body-weight resistance and resistance bands to perform typical exercises like squats or lunges.
Do 150 Minutes of Aerobic Activity
Maintaining a proper aerobic routine is essential for remaining active during pregnancy. Ideally, you want to aim for 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a week.
If you’re new to aerobic exercise, start slowly with as little as five minutes of active time. Cardio can bring health benefits no matter how long you do it, and you can increase your intensity over time. You can choose from many aerobic options, such as fast walking, swimming, or dancing.
Eat Nutritional Foods
Supporting your body while doing physical activities matters for nourishment and repair. One of the benefits of eating well while pregnant is that it prevents premature birth and reduces the risk of congenital heart defects in your baby. So, eating foods that keep you satiated and healthy is essential. Some healthy foods include:
- Dairy products
- Whole grains
- Fish liver oil
- Leafy greens
Avoid cross-contamination with raw meats and other foods by washing and cooking them thoroughly. That way, you can prevent listeriosis and other foodborne illnesses.
Exercises To Avoid While Pregnant
Something many soon-to-be-mothers worry about is risking their pregnancy with exercise. Avoid exercising flat on your stomach after your first trimester, or the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy.
If you need to, use a pillow to support your abdomen. Due to falling risks, avoid exercises like downhill skiing or horseback riding. Lastly, avoid activities where your stomach is at stake, such as soccer or basketball.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.