Staying fit and active during pregnancy is important, but it can be a challenge as your body changes. You may need to adjust your workouts, for the safety of both you and and your baby, but as long as you consult with your doctor, you should be able to enjoy many of the same exercise routines you practiced prior to your pregnancy. In fact, most pregnant women are encouraged to remain active.
Follow these three tips to help you stay healthy and fit during pregnancy.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Pregnant women must prioritize hydration more than ever, as their need for water increases. Additional water is needed to replenish the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby, contribute to the rise in blood volume, and supply the production of breastmilk. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 10 cups of fluid daily, with water being the preferred choice.
Water is also important to help maintain your body temperature. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise, as your body temperature rises as you sweat..
2. Pick Exercises You Enjoy
When exercise feels like a chore, it’s less likely to become a regular habit. Finding workouts that you enjoy, especially during pregnancy, is an important way to maintain a consistent routine. Exercises that are ideal during pregnancy include brisk walking, yoga, pool running, and swimming.
Many pregnant women find swimming (or pool running) particularly enjoyable, because of the weightless effect of the water. Not only does swimming provide relief from weight-bearing, it can also help reduce swelling and edema. Any exercise performed in the water is considered low-impact, and therefore carries a lower risk of injury than other activities, while still strengthening your muscles.
Prenatal yoga classes, geared specifically toward pregnant women, are another great exercise option. These classes include a variety of poses and stretches to help relieve the aches and pains of pregnancy, and to improve flexibility in preparation for labor. Yoga’s emphasis on breathing and meditation can reduce stress and anxiety, and help prepare you for the focused breathing required during labor. Many YouTube channels and social media accounts post prenatal yoga and other pregnancy exercise routines that you can do at home—a good option for any mom-to-be with a busy schedule.
3. Get Plenty of Rest and Recovery
It’s important to listen to your body when exercising—especially when pregnant. Overexertion can be harmful and restrict blood flow to the fetus, so always make sure you’re exercising at an intensity where you can still talk without difficulty. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women exercise at a mild to moderate intensity three times per week, and always stop when you feel fatigued. Ensure that your body recovers adequately between sessions by getting plenty of sleep and fueling with a healthy, nutritious diet.
Staying healthy during pregnancy is extremely important, so make sure you exercise properly, drink enough water, and eat a nutritious diet. If you’re among the many pregnant women that struggle with nausea, and find it difficult to consume enough fruits and vegetables, a BlenderBottle® shaker is an ideal tool to incorporate quick, delicious, and nutritious smoothies into your fit pregnancy.