How to take care of your fitness during pregnancy? Is it safe to continue your prenatal workout routine?

How to take care of your fitness during pregnancy? Is it safe to continue your prenatal workout routine?

Pregnancy is a mixed bag of emotions – there are times when you feel on top of the world and there are others when you feel too low. On top of this, the playing hormones cause fatigue, mood swings, and unusual cravings such that health and fitness take a back seat.

Here are few Workout/Nutrition tips and tactics that have proven to work for many to-be moms.

1) Make sure you move every day

Make time for a walk or light jog either in a community park or on your terrace/balcony, even if it is for 30 min a day. Walking is the best form of exercise you can do without having any downtime and it’s safe in all trimesters.

2) Choose the form of workout you like

Rather than listening to a third person’s suggestions on what kind of workout is best during the pregnancy, you decide what you genuinely like and would not mind doing it every day.

Remember, the idea is to move as much as possible and get some good activity done. Set aside a time when you can work out 4/5 times a day.

3) Try to include protein in each of your meals

Rather than focussing too much on macros (unless you have a specific goal), focus on including protein in each meal. Protein is critical for ensuring the proper growth of a baby’s tissues and organs, including the brain. It also helps with breast and uterine tissue growth during pregnancy.

Good lean sources like fish/chicken and eggs and vegetarian sources like pulses, paneer, tofu and milk should be included.

4) Limit your sugar consumption

Who doesn’t like that yummy dessert when pregnant? But as per recent studies, too much sugar intake can interfere with the baby’s brain growth – not to forget about the increasing chances of developing gestational diabetes in the second trimester. Moderation is the key.

5) Stay super hydrated

As a general rule of thumb, 3 litres of water is a great way to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day but being pregnant can increase your need for water. Look out for signs that point out dehydration.

To make it easy and interesting for you, try drinking water infused with lemon, mint or cucumber, since plain water is of course boring!

6) Don’t eat for two

It’s common to hear from your mom or mother-in-law that you need to eat for two when pregnant but actually, eating for two isn’t required at all. There is no need to consume any extra calories until you are in your first trimester, instead, listen to your hunger cues and focus on eating nutritious food rather than eating in quantity. Eating too many calories will make you gain weight rapidly which may cause other issues like gestational diabetes, and it would be difficult to get rid of this extra weight post your pregnancy.

Is it safe to continue your prenatal workout routine?

If you have been a healthy woman and have always exercised before pregnancy, then there is no reason you should give up on working out during pregnancy. However, it is always recommended to get a clearance for workouts during your regular checkups.

Working out during pregnancy has many benefits, such as:-

1) It helps you gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy.
2) It helps you manage stress and sleep better.
3) It reduces the risk of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia (a condition in which the blood pressure shoots up to a high range)
4) It reduces the risk of having a cesarean birth (also called c-section)

Who should avoid exercising during pregnancy?

Although working out is completely safe for most women and can be done in all trimesters, there are certain conditions under which women should avoid working out.

1) In case there is bleeding from the vagina, or your water breaking (also called ruptured membranes).
2) If there is cervical insufficiency or a cerclage in the cervix.
3) If there is Placenta Previa after 26 weeks of pregnancy, i.e., if the placenta lies very low in the uterus.

Remember, if you were active during pregnancy, it’s easier to get back into exercise postpartum and easier to lose weight and get back into pre-pregnancy shape.

Go get some workout Mammas!!

Arpita Bose Jain

Arpita Bose Jain, Health Coach, MyHealthBuddy