Let me start out by saying I am in no way, shape or form a huge fitness guru!
I’ve been helped out a few times by different friends and my brother (who is definitely more of a fitness junkie) and I’ve learned over the last few years what works for me. My routine is always changing, and I just like to move! But, having a healthy pregnancy was important to me from the beginning. Before doing anything fitness related during pregnancy, I asked my doctors and you definitely should too.
Before I got pregnant, I was a pretty regular gym goer and a pretty healthy eater. I definitely indulged every so often (I’m human!) and I’ve never really followed any diets or been super into healthy eating or anything. I just like to be relatively healthy. I ran, went to the gym for strength training, did home workouts, walked a lot… pretty much anything I felt like doing that day. I had a bit of a routine going for strength training for a while, but I find as long as I’m moving somehow, I’m happy. What’s important is that I feel good!
Then I got pregnant.
The first trimester really kicked me in the butt. I never really got sick or anything, but I was so exhausted all the time, especially from about week 8 to 14. I was always napping if I wasn’t working, and don’t even get me started on trying to do any housework. I tried my best to keep up with my workouts but a lot of the time I just couldn’t and focused more on eating healthy.
By around week 14 I started getting crazy amounts of energy, like energy I didn’t even have before I got pregnant. I wish that had lasted longer! For about a month and a half I enjoyed that energy and found it easier to exercise.
However, I didn’t really feel like getting back into the routine I had pre-pregnancy. I know it’s dumb, but I didn’t feel like going to the gym and people staring at my belly, even though they probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought. It’s not that I’m really self-conscious about my pregnancy belly – I actually love my bump! But I just preferred to do home workouts. I decided to switch up my routine for some different pregnancy-friendly ways to stay fit.
This is something I hadn’t gotten into a whole lot before pregnancy, but I really felt a push towards doing it when I got pregnant. All the stretching and focusing on breathing is known to really help with labour, particularly if you’re going natural and need some techniques to help you through that – which I do plan on doing.
So, I found some great prenatal yoga videos on Youtube and found a local prenatal yoga class to go to once a week. I loved the prenatal yoga class because I wasn’t the only one there with a big belly and awkward movements! It was also a lot easier to stick to something I could do at home and it helped with leg cramps too (for a bit anyway).
This is the easiest, and maybe even the most effective way to stay healthy during pregnancy. Even just for 15 minutes a day, or whenever you can, makes such a big difference. I absolutely love walking and up until it started getting really cold, I walked to work and back. This made a huge difference in how I felt everyday. It also helps that I have a dog, and usually when my husband and I walk her together, or I take her to one of our favourite trails, the walk lasts for about an hour.
WATER WATER WATER!
Hydration is KEY during pregnancy! Hydration helps with amniotic fluid formation, carrying nutrients through your body and too your baby, creating extra blood volume (you have about 40-50% more blood and fluid volume in your body during pregnancy!), and lowers the chances of preterm labour. Staying hydrated is a good idea for anyone!
It’s recommended you drink about 10 cups of water (or any liquid really) a day when pregnant as opposed to the regular 8. This sounds insane, and I’m not going to pretend I actually did this or kept track every single day because for some reason it’s really hard for me to drink that much. But I did try, especially on days I was exercising. I recommend getting a cute water bottle you can carry around everywhere you go! That definitely helped me.
All those pregnancy cravings are so hard to ignore! I was lucky and didn’t really crave sweets or anything during the first half of my pregnancy. I never really craved anything weird at all. For the most part, I wanted orange juice and chocolate milk, especially during my second trimester.
I’m in my third trimester now and I’m craving more chips and sweets for sure for whatever reason, but I’m managing to stay healthy for the most part. That’s not to say I don’t treat myself, and baby! I give in occasionally, to those chocolate and chip cravings, but I find what really helped me was choosing healthier options for those cravings.
For example, eating popcorn or healthier (slightly) veggy chips, as well as eating a bit of dark chocolate instead of regular chocolate. The only thing with dark chocolate is it does have a little more caffeine in it, so if you’re drinking coffee it’s a good idea to monitor how much chocolate you consume as well.
Another thing about eating is that although you are technically eating for two, you don’t actually need to double up on how much you eat. You only really need about an extra 300 calories a day more than your usual diet. This is for a completely normal pregnancy, not for someone who is either over or under weight and of course, I’m not a doctor, so always ask your doctor about eating habits for your own pregnancy. I’ve always been so hungry during my pregnancy, so I haven’t had a problem keeping up with this!
The important thing to remember about weight during pregnancy is, again, as long as your doctor says you’re healthy and everything is going fine, then your weight gain doesn’t really matter. I’ve gained about 22 pounds since the beginning and I’m 7 and a half months in. This is what you could call a ‘normal’ amount of weight gain, but it all depends on how you carry and if you needed to be gaining or losing weight before your pregnancy, according to your doctor.
I know of people who have gained less and who’s bump looks bigger, and people who have gained more and look smaller. So, as hard as I know it is, don’t worry too much about the scale! Everybody is different. Stay healthy and allow your body to do what it needs to carry your little one!
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Always always always listen to your body. If you need to rest, rest. If you have the energy to exercise, definitely exercise. Don’t feel bad about giving into those cravings every so often, a little won’t hurt baby! No one knows your body like you do, so do what you need to do.
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