For some women, the thought of exercise during pregnancy is as appealing as a root canal without novocaine. In their minds, they have a nine-month pass to keep up with their gym routine.
The first three months they are battling morning sickness and exhaustion. The next three months they are beginning to show.
The last three months are so uncomfortable that walking ten feet to the bathroom is pure torture, so there is no way they will be able to walk on a treadmill for ten minutes.
On the other side of the coin, there are some women who do not let something as little as creating a life stand in their way of exercise. These are the women we might see actually teaching a class at the gym, or speed walking throughout our neighborhood with their protruding bellies.
Most of us, however, fall somewhere in the middle and that is just how their doctors like it.
Exercise comes highly recommended when pregnant. Not only does it help control weight gain, but some women swear it helps with delivery also. There are some things to keep in mind in order to protect yourself and your growing little one.
For starters, you need to keep an eye on your heart rate as you are working out.
Letting your heart rate rise to high could be dangerous to your little one especially in your first trimester. You want to maintain a steady heart rate and should do the talk test throughout your workout to make sure you are at a safe level.
The talk test is when you talk during your workout. If you are having a hard time talking and wind up huffy and puffing more than getting out actual words, then you are working too hard and need to take it down.
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Most doctors recommend that you work at a pace where talking is challenging but still doable.
Pregnancy is not the time to try out new exercise routines. This means that you should not try the new spinning class that your gym offers. Stick with the routine you have already been doing and that your body is used to.
You may find that you have to make some modifications to some of your exercises as your pregnancy progresses. If you are a runner, a modified low impact jog throughout your first trimester is fine but once you enter your second trimester and begin to show, your jog has to be brought down to a walk.
For those of you who love sit-ups, crunches and floor pushups, you can continue to do these up until you hit about 14 weeks or so. After that time period, no floor exercises are recommending.
If you do not have any sort of exercise routine in place before you get pregnant, this still does not give you a free pass. Almost every doctor will tell you that walking is a great exercise for any pregnant women who are not high risk. Walking at least thirty minutes, three times a week is a safe way for a pregnant woman to stay active.
Walking is something you can do throughout all three trimesters though you might find yourself moving at a slower pace by your third trimester. Another great plus to walking, especially as you approach your due date, is that walking can actually bring on labor.
Many doctors will advise their patients to walk, walk and walk some more in the weeks leading up to their due dates to get things rolling. Some women who have walked throughout their entire pregnancy have an easier delivery and recovery period.
The days of pregnant women kicking their feet up and not moving from the couch for nine months are days of the past. While strenuous exercise is a no go, pregnancy is no longer a good excuse to stop moving.
Gaining weight too slowly during pregnancy
Just as gaining too much weight can be harmful to you and your baby, not gaining enough weight can be harmful also. There are some women out there who are so terrified at gaining weight that they eat next to nothing during their pregnancy.
Please do not do this, you could be depriving your baby of the vitamins and minerals it needs and you increase your chances of having a small baby.
Babies who are underweight at delivery are at a greater risk for health problems than babies who are of average weight at delivery.
If you find that you have gained nothing during your first trimester, do not worry. Some women do not gain anything during those first three months and some even lose some weight thanks to morning sickness.
Your baby’s needs are relatively tiny at that point. It is when you are in your second and third trimesters that you should make sure you are gaining weight according.
If you find that you are not gaining as much weight as you should, you should try to fatten up your diet. Increase your fat intake by a serving or two.
This will increase your calorie intake but won’t decrease your appetite. Do not increase your fat by more than a serving or two. There are better and healthier ways to increase your weight gain.
If you are one of the lucky few women who does not gain weight easily, you might not want to foods with the lowest amount of calories.
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You can still eat healthily but you want to up your calorie intake. Try eating avocados and more cheeses along with some beans too. Indulge in some snacks also. Try to add at least three snacks into your schedule.
Make sure you have a decent amount of calories but not so many calories that your ruin your appetite for your next meal. If you are not allergic to peanuts, try some apple slices with peanut butter or some whole wheat crackers which some low-fat cheese slices.
Take some time out of your busy life to relax.
Not gaining enough weight could be a sign that you are doing too much. You could be burning up the calories you eat instead of using them to nourish your baby.
Try cutting back on your exercise if you have an exercise routine. You also want to make sure you eat after a workout to replace the calories you just lost.
If you are working while you are pregnant and it is a stressful job, make sure you take the time out of your busy day for lunch and snacks.
Throughout all of this, check in with your doctor. Your doctor may want to run some tests to make sure that you do not have a thyroid condition or any other undiagnosed medical problem that might keep you from gaining weight.
You may also want to keep track of what you eat so you can show your doctor and talk about any changes that might need to be made to your diet. You may not be eating enough and you may find that you need to eat more.