What You Can Do While Pregnant: 3 Steps to Success
Fit and Pregnant—What to Do to Keep in Line
It’s a happy time but pregnancy can take its toll. Future Moms see themselves gaining weight and becoming more fatigued by the day. Hormonal changes and imbalances also affect energy and fitness levels. Although it might be frustrating it’s important to realize that it’s the natural process of pregnancy. That being said, I’d like to outline a few tips and tricks on how to keep the line even with the roller-coaster you might be going through.
- Exercise: Proper exercise is always very important for a healthy mind and body but especially during pregnancy when the extra weight and fatigue slows down otherwise normal activity. In order to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, with normal blood pressure, circulation, lung capacity and blood oxygenation, regular appropriate exercise is paramount for both you and the baby. Great exercises include walking, swimming and low-impact aerobics. Walking is one of the best activities because it can be done anywhere at anytime and can be adjusted to fit any schedule and fitness level. Swimming is also good during pregnancy as it targets major muscle groups without impacting your joints. The buoyancy of the water helps take pressure off the hips, knees and ankles. Aerobics, if they are low-impact and properly supervised, are a great way to sweat it out while toning up your body. It doesn’t stress the legs and can rev up circulation and help decrease fluid retention.
2. Nutrition: Eating for two can be stressful at times, especially since you know you need to feed the growing baby all the right nutrients to help him or her develop optimally. Great foods you can rely on are eggs, salmon, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Eggs will provide your body, and your baby, a dozen healthy vitamins and minerals as well as a good percentage of protein but there is a big difference between regular eggs and those laid by pastured chickens. It is important to eat only organic eggs, from chickens not fed antibiotics or hormones, and pastured eggs are the best. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fats, essential for brain and vision development both for you and your baby. Organic low-fat milk fortified with DHA (an omega-3) should also be added to your regular diet. Beans are an excellent source of vegetable protein necessary to strengthen muscle fibers in their development. Eating generously of fruits and vegetables, especially dark and brightly-colored vegetables, also ensures that you and the baby receive enough vitamins and antioxidants to boost the immune system which can weaken during pregnancy. They are also a good source of fiber essential to your health.
3. Meditate: Meditation while pregnant is encouraged to help control the effects of varying levels of hormones in your body. Meditating can ensure that your body is centered and free of stress while you’re going through the various changes and minimize the symptoms such as mood swings, bloating, morning sickness and fatigue. Meditating will encourage a calm environment for the fetus helping to ensure healthy development. Ten to thirty minutes a day is all you need in order to benefit from meditation. Make sure all distractions are eliminated, turn off TV and telephones, and just relax the body and mind. Any time of the day is suitable even in the morning before taking on the day’s responsibilities or at night to relax before bedtime (or both).