As a pregnant woman, there are several benefits to staying fit for both you and your baby. Spending lots of time sitting down and inactive can be quite dangerous to you, seeing as it can lead to a higher likelihood of pregnancy-related pains and aches, massive weight gain, increased risk of getting pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes, and loss of fitness. However, whenever you decide to stay active, ensure you do what you enjoy doing. That way, you’ll be consistent in it.
Exercising during pregnancy will improve your mood, energize you, and help you sleep better. If you couldn’t keep fit before you got pregnant, don’t worry; there are several things you can do to stay active and fit every day while pregnant. We wouldn’t want you looking like a duck that swallowed a giant frog by the middle of your second trimester. So follow me!
1. Get Okay’d by Your Doctor
Before you begin any exercise routine, ensure your doctor “okays” it. Some medical conditions like preterm labor, poor fetal growth, multiple-birth pregnancy, incompetent cervix, or pregnancy-induced hypertension may require avoiding or modifying exercise.
Always stay hydrated when the weather is hot before, during, and after exercising. An increase in body temperatures during early pregnancy is associated with fetal defects, while dehydration in late pregnancy can cause premature labor.
2. Put Some Energy into Everyday Activities
You’ll need to prepare your arm muscles for carrying the baby when it comes. One way to achieve this is by engaging in games and activities that stretch and tone the arms, for example, table tennis. You can get affordable ping pong tables to set up at home just for this activity. Most of these ping pong tables are inexpensive but durable, making it quite an investment.
And the best part?
There’s no need to pack it away for long after giving birth as you can easily unwind and de-stress with it anytime you want. Make housework a lively activity by including music. You can dance around while cleaning the house or doing dishes. Ensure to put lots of energy into it as a part of your activity program and a way to have fun too.
3. Have a Workout Plan
The phrase “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is entirely accurate for your fitness goals. Ensure you have a workout plan that includes how many days in a week you intend to work out, the exercises to do, and the amount of time to spend on exercises on those days. For instance, when I was pregnant, I stuck to working out three days each week during the first trimester. Of course, Sundays are solely for resting for me, so I don’t include them in my workout week. Instead, I take a small walk. During each workout session, I worked out different muscle groups. I did two sets of ten repetitions in each workout and included lots of super settings because they allowed me to work out faster, keep my heart rate up, and maintain a continual burn.
But, remember to see your doctor before starting any exercise regimen, especially if you haven’t been working out before pregnancy.
4. Start Slow
If you wish to start strength training, I don’t recommend you dive right into it and pick up the heaviest weights. This act is a big no-no that can cause more harm than good if you do it. It can cause injury and soreness after it’s over, which will discourage you from continuing with your new routine.
The best advice?
Start with a weight that you can effortlessly lift for specific amounts of repetition. Then increase the weight as your strength improves.
5. Switch Up Your Routine
To continue seeing results from the workout, consider switching up your exercise routine frequently. You can switch it up every four to six weeks. I did this throughout my pregnancy by lowering the weight and performing higher reps, and doing various exercises for different muscle groups. For example, if you’ve been performing bicep curls for three or four weeks, consider adding hammer curls or concentration curls. It confuses your muscles since they’re worked from different angles.
You haven’t forgotten the goal, right?
To experience that long-term results and stay fit even after birth, you need to switch up your workout routine.
I strongly advise that you stay very active and fit during pregnancy to avoid massive weight gain and all the body aches that come with pregnancy. However, remember to consult your doctor to determine what’s appropriate for you. For instance, my doctor okay’d weight lifting for me, but it might not be suitable for you, especially if you haven’t been exercising before pregnancy.
It’s often easier to get into a workout routine if you’ve been exercising before getting pregnant. Nonetheless, you can start small even if you weren’t fit before. Best believe, it’ll become relatively easy in your postpartum phase if you were fit before and during pregnancy. For more tips to help you navigate through that life-changing phase, visit PBJ Stories.