Staying active and fit during pregnancy is important for a whole number of reasons. If you exercise regularly throughout your three trimesters, you’ll be able to quickly adapt to your active lifestyle after birth. The NHS also claims that you will be able to cope with labour a lot more if you have strengthened your muscles. On top of all this, it’s also best for the baby if mummy stays healthy. Below, we’ve got some simple ways that you can stay fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Be careful what you eat
Although it might be difficult when the cravings kick in, try to avoid sugar and junk carbs at all costs. These foods certainly taste great but they will also increase your extra pregnancy weight and fluids.
Instead, opt for foods full of ‘good’ fats and protein. Swap your usual oils for olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil. Meat, full-fat dairy products and eggs will also give you the saturated and mono fats needed, as well as the protein, in order to maintain a balanced diet.
These foods will in turn ‘switch off’ the hormones that make you crave naughty foods!
Of course, drinking water is an integral part of staying healthy, whether you’re expecting or not. Nevertheless, staying hydrated is key when you are pregnant. Frequently sipping water can reduce tiredness and nausea, which will help you a lot during your first, second and third trimesters. We recommend around 2 or more litres a day, and more if you’re exercising.
Keep on moving
Speaking of exercise, as much as it is tempting to sit on the sofa all day, it’s important to remain mobile throughout your pregnancy. The key thing is to not completely exhaust yourself. As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation during your exercise – if not, you’re out of breath and should probably slow down a bit.
The NHS strongly recommend that you warm up before your exercise and cool down afterwards and regularly take in fluids throughout your workout.
Do something you love
To stay motivated, we encourage new mums to stick to the exercise they love the most. There’s no point in taking up jogging if you already can’t stand it. Obviously, take extra care if you play sports that have an increased risk of falling; for example skiing, horse riding, hockey, gymnastics and even cycling. We’d also recommend that you avoid any contact sports where there is a risk of you being hurt.
Personally, we love yoga and swimming – they’re perfect gentle exercises for strengthening your core muscles. In your third trimester, things may start to get a little uncomfortable and being immersed in water will relieve achy muscles and bones. In the meantime, maintain your muscle tone during pregnancy by using weights.
At the end of the day, you are creating another human and this means that you need your rest. Stay healthy by getting at least 8 hours sleep each evening. If you can, try to have an ‘easy week’ or a complete week off every 6-8 weeks to catch up on rest and recuperation.