Staying active and fit during pregnancy is essential for a better pregnancy and an easier labor, but it’s not always easy, especially during the first trimester when your nauseous or exhausted (or both). But to be honest, I definitely thought it was going to be harder to workout than it has been (mainly because I’m carrying smaller so far than I did last time, and have no nausea). I think the hardest part for me is finding motivation when I’m tired or not in the mood to exercise. I have found that what motivates me the most is the thought that I am staying healthy for myself, my family, and the baby. Plus, I’m hoping it will make my labor as fast as last time! Haha!
There are so many benefits to staying fit during pregnancy! Not only will it help you stay in shape, but it can also help you have an easier labor, keeps your baby healthy, helps improve your mood, and can even help you bounce back sooner post-partum. In regards to how fast you bounce back after baby, I believe that it also depends on your body type and genetics. I thought I would bounce back a lot sooner after Oliver than I actually did. Granted, my only source of exercise for 90% of my pregnancy was walking and standing at work, so my body actually stored a lot more fat than I realized.
Your body naturally stores fat during pregnancy, along with blood and fluid. I left a chart below that better explains the weight gained during pregnancy:
Now onto some ways to stay fit while pregnant:
Workout Guide/Plan: If you already have a workout guide that you follow, you should be able to continue most exercises for most of your first and second trimester (with your doctors approval of course). I am still currently doing Kayla Itsines BBG, and have only had to replace a few ab and arm moves with more pregnancy safe moves, such as not laying on my belly, or doing certain moves where I’m not laying on my back so much. There are so many pregnancy friendly workout guides out there as well, so find one that works for you and what you’re looking for. And as always, don’t ignore your body! If something doesn’t feel comfortable then stop doing it, and ALWAYS check with your doctor, especially if you’re unsure.
Balanced Diet: Pretty simply put, eat healthy. Keep in mind that what you eat, and the nutrients you get from it, also goes to your baby. They (meaning people that have done scientific studies) say that what you eat a lot of during pregnancy, your kid may favor as well. So keep that in mind, since you don’t want a kid that loves junk food and hates veggies. Definitely a big incentive to eat healthy! That doesn’t mean that if you crave ice cream, you can’t give in to that craving…just don’t eat the whole tub! Haha! Eat a balanced diet.
Drink Water: This may not be super difficult for some, because some pregnant women feel thirsty no matter how much water they drink, and I am one of those people! You need water for a healthy body and pregnancy, plus it will help if you’re struggling with dizziness and dehydration. Especially if you’re exercising, you will need extra water to help replenish what you’ve lost through sweating. I use an app called Gulps that helps you track your water intake, and can send you reminders every hour or so. I also find that drinking with a straw helps me drink more water, but do what works for you.
Walking, Swimming, Yoga, etc.: All of these are low impact and easy to do. Great for getting you moving, but without being too strenuous.
Cardio: If you’re really trying to stay in shape and not store too much extra fat, cardio or HIIT is key. This can include running/jogging, cardio machines (ellipticals, treadmills), dancing, or anything that gets your heart rate up. Don’t do anything that will throw off your balance or have the potential for injury.
**ALWAYS warm up before and cool down after every workout! And stretching will help your muscles not be too sore or tight.**
I hope you find this helpful and informative!