Read these 15 Eating Healthy & Exercising Safely Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Pregnancy tips and hundreds of other topics.
Good nutrition is always important, but when you’re growing a new life inside of you, it becomes even more essential. To ensure a smooth pregnancy, a successful delivery, and a healthy baby, do your best to consume a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods from each of the recommended groups.
Most obstetrical dieticians recommend striving for the following balance each day:
• 3-5 servings of vegetables
• 2-4 servings of fruit
• 6 or more servings of grains, bread, rice, pasta, or other starches
• 2 servings of cheese, yogurt, milk, or other dairy products
• 2-3 servings of lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, or nuts
• At least 64 ounces of water, juice, or milk
When choosing your fare, try to select foods high in iron, calcium, and protein. Be sure to get the recommended daily dose of fiber, which helps to regulate the digestive system and ward off the constipation that can often plague pregnant women. Most doctors recommend avoiding fish with high levels of mercury. Above all, balance is key—by diversifying your diet into the right buckets, you’ll be effectively providing your baby with the right proportions of vitamins and minerals.
Walking is an excellent way to tone muscles as well as build up your endurance. Most doctors will suggest a walking regimen of 30 minutes a day, three times a week.
It is important not to over exert yourself, and do not push yourself past exhaustion. Short walks, set at a regular pace are perfect during pregnancy.
Be sure you are eating enough. Pregnancy itself requires you to boost you caloric intake by an additional 300 calories per day. Exercise on top of being pregnant really increases your calorie needs. Bottom line: Listen to your body. If you are hungry, eat. Low-fat choices are best so as not to overdo it.
During pregnancy, your body is getting itself ready for the birthing process. Included in this preparation is releasing a hormone called relaxin. It helps loosen the pelvis so the baby will more easily pass through. The adverse effects of this is that all your joints are more lax. Thus, you are more prone to injuries. Avoid rocky terrain or unstable ground when on foot or bike. It would be in your best interest to purchase shoes that provide you with a lot of support. (You are also more likely to fall due to your new "figure".)
If you wish to continue or begin weight training while pregnant, keep the weight light. First, you do not need to strain which can dangerously increase your blood pressure. Second, if the weight is too heavy you will be more likely to hold your breath while lifting. This, again, can increase your blood pressure but also decreases the oxygen supply to the fetus. Lastly, your joints are lax as a result of the hormone relaxin thus heavy weights are likely to cause you to injure yourself.
The key to a great exercise routine is moderation, but, during pregnancy, there are several other key factors to consider:
*After the fourth month of pregnancy, it is important to stay off of your back, not only when sleeping, but when exercising as well. By laying on your back, the uterus puts pressure on the vena cava. This can drastically reduce the blood flow and oxygen to the fetus.
*Don't overdo it. It sounds simple enough, but, during pregnancy it is very important. Letting yourself get over heated or over exhausted can cause harm to you and your baby.
*Watch that pulse! The recommended pulse rate during exercise is 140.
*Watch your balance! During pregnancy, the center of gravity changes, especially as the uterus grows. When exercising be careful not to perform exercises that could cause you to fall over.
In normal pregnancies, exercise is safe and often recommended. However, some complications during pregnancy may cause you to limit your exercise or, stop it altogether:
*High Blood Pressure
It is always important to keep your doctor informed of your exercise routine. He or she will decide whether continuing an exercise routine is safe for both you and baby.
If you should develop high blood pressure during your pregnancy, it is probably best to put your exercise program on hold. Exercise in this instance can actually worsen the condition. ALWAYS check with your doctor, throughout your entire pregnancy. Let him/her know you are exercising.
Your body will send out natural signals. If your body is telling you to slow down, listen to it! Under no conditions should you exercise to the point of exhaustion. Your body has a job to do and that job is to get adequate oxygen to the growing fetus. If you feel breathless, then your body cannot supply the fetus the oxygen it needs. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS! - before, during, and after exercise!
Yoga is an excellent way to stay fit during pregnancy. This safe, low-impact workout offers an array of benefits to women who are expecting:
• Improves posture and muscle flexibility without putting excess stress on your joints
• Helps you master meditative breathing exercises that can be used during childbirth
• Allows you to practice birthing positions that can be used during delivery
• Reduces back pain, as well as other aches and strains
• Aids in overall relaxation and physical well-being
Ideally, you should look for a yoga program that is designed specifically for pregnant women, as these will avoid exercises that could pose a danger to your unborn baby. During the second and third trimesters, you may need to use a chair or wall to ensure that you don’t lose your balance when assuming yoga positions. After the first trimester, be sure to avoid poses that require you to lie flat on your back, as this can restrict the flow of blood and oxygen to the fetus.