Confession: before getting pregnant, I thought I would indulge in fatty foods and be super lazy. So here I am, already more than half way through my pregnancy, and focusing heavily on my wellbeing and having a fit and healthy pregnancy. And when doing my research, I wasn’t surprised to read that many expectant mommies also focus heavily on having a fit and healthy pregnancy as well. So I figure why not share the 10 ways that I’m trying to implement being healthy during my pregnancy!
10 Ways for a Fit and Healthy Pregnancy
1) Enjoy your carbs – you read that right…
I have never wanted carbs more in my life than during my first trimester of pregnancy. I craved toast, pizza, spaghetti, potatoes…if it was a carb (or a starch), I probably craved it (and ate it). But I soon realized, that a lot of those foods weren’t necessarily nutrient rich…so I changed that quick by throwing in veggies that I love! Ensuring I’m getting a more balanced meal.
- On toast, I swapped butter for healthier options, like avocado & peanut butter.
- I loaded my pizza and pastas with tons of veggies, such as spinach, tomatoes, garlic, roasted corn, caramelized onions and bell peppers.
- For my baked potatoes, I skipped sour cream and topped with Greek yogurt instead.
- Baked my own fries – cut up sweet potatoes or Gold Yukons – tossed in olive oil with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper & roast at about 400 degrees.
So ladies, you can have your carbs and keep it a little healthy too 🙂 It’s a win – win for all of us!
photo courtesy of Flickr
2) Enlist a work out buddy – bonus: a loved one to keep you accountable!
I have turned into the laziest person this pregnancy. Like, major sloth status. However, as hard as it is (and trust me, it’s harrrd), I still try to fit in some physical activity each day. We all know that getting to the gym is the hardest part. And once you’re in the gym, you wont regret it. Not only is it good for your physical health, it’s also great for your mental health. If you’ve been lazy like me, be sure to enlist the help of a work out buddy to keep you to your fitness schedule. It’s easier to stick to a fitness routine with a friend or your significant other.
My tips for fitness (and what has helped me break out of my lazy rut…)
- Try to hit a daily step goal – whether it be 5,000 or 10,000 steps, this helps you get out and move.
- Low impact cardio like walking and hiking is amazing. Being at such high altitude (I’m Denver based), it’s been hard to want to do anything with more endurance.
- Squats and lunges are great to keep muscle tone + bonus: it’ll help prep your body for labor and a faster recovery!
- A stationary bike or elliptical are two more great ways to fit in some cardio in the gym.
- Don’t forget to do some light weights to strengthen arms and back.
- Always talk to your doctor to make physical activity is safe and ok for your stage at pregnancy 🙂
3) Get cute workout maternity clothes
Ok, that bump is coming whether you like it or not. And chances are, you’re gonna need some new clothes to cover that cutie up. So why not score some cute workout clothes while you’re at it? Pick up a pair of colorful (or neutral) Nike Free Walks, slimming yoga pants, stretchy tops, a cute, sporty hat, and a sweater! Another bonus? You’ll feel a little motivation to workout with some cute workout clothes. I mean, it pushes me to go to the gym or do something sporty, doesn’t you?
4) Get your sleep on
On top of the major laziness, I have also been increasingly exhausted. And it should be; your body is working hard making that sweet baby. So go ahead, and indulge in sleep. Busy work schedule? Me too. So I fit in extra nap time and ample time to sleep in on the weekends to make up for a busy work week. Your beautiful baby will be here in no time, so catch up on sleep now and do not feel guilty about it.
5) Listen to what your body is telling you…
Your body is amazing and will tell you exactly what it needs. Exhausted but have errands to run? Take the nap. Have a craving for fruit, milk, or a steak? Go ahead give your body what it needs (and craves). Also craving a brownie? Go for it. Like I said, our bodies have this amazing, innate way of telling us exactly what we need. We just have to listen. Most importantly, if you feel like something is off or not right, call your doctor or midwife – asap. They hear all sorts of things, so it’s best to get peace of mind and make sure everything with your body, and baby, is ok and healthy.
6) Stay healthy
There is really nothing worse than being sick when your pregnant. I’m only half-way through my pregnancy and I’ve been sick…twice. Our immune systems are weaker when we’re pregnant, making us more susceptible to illness. So it’s important to take care of your health. Make sure you get your sleep, take vitamins (ask your dr. beforehand), wash your hands, use antibacterial soap, drink tea, and take all other precautions to keep sickness at bay.
7) Take care of your mental health
Having a baby is huge deal. And with that, comes a lot of responsibility, stress, and pressure. All of these worries, combined with an influx of hormones, can wreck havoc on our mental wellbeing. So it’s important to take notice and take care of our mental health. Take some time out of your day to speak with your partner, a friend, or even your doctor about your worries and concerns. It’s important to discuss whatever is on your mind, both good and bad.
My tips taking care of your mental health
- Take up yoga – relieve stress, center yourself, and take care of your wellbeing.
- It’s ok to have a good cry. Like for real. It does wonders. And no need to apologize for having a good cry!
- I’ve found that talking to a girlfriend, who is either pregnant or a mom, is an amazing person to share worries and concerns with. They have or is going through the same journey as you, so it’s great to have that camaraderie.
- And always, always, always, mention any sort of signs of depression to your doctor. About 14-23% of pregnant women experience depression during their pregnancy. Talk to your doctor, your partner, a friend, someone, to address your concerns. For more info, check out AmericanPregnancy.Org.
8) Enjoy a spa day
Go ahead and pamper yourself. Having a baby is hard and you deserve to treat yourself, mama. Go with a friend, with your hubby, or by youself, and feel like the queen that you are! Get a mani/pedi, prenatal massage or a facial. I’ve found great deals on Groupon.com to help keep costs down.
9) Don’t beat yourself up
There will be days that we don’t make it to the gym. There will also be days where we do nothing but lay in bed all day, curled with with our dogs, and binge watch Gilmore Girls (you haven’t done this yet?). And there will also be days where you eat nothing but brownies and Chick-fil-A. While we do have these days, we can’t beat ourselves up over it. There is no good in that. Cuz for real, your pregnant, and sometimes NetFlix and chill is all you wanna do. There is always pressure to be perfect (ie. workout, eat perfectly, only drink water, etc. etc.) and it’s just so un-damn-realistic. Relax and don’t beat yourself up for having a candy and movie day. We’re only human 🙂
10) & Most importantly, enjoy your pregnancy
This may seem like a no brainer but don’t forget to enjoy your pregnancy. I love telling people (or talking loud enough so people can hear) that I’m pregnant or discussing our little baby. It’s an amazing time and I’m excited. And yes, there are days that I want to die. Roll over and play dead. And simply shut out the world. But 95% of the time, I am really enjoying this process. I truly believe that having a positive outlook (even on the bad days), will help you feeling positive and happy – both of which are incredibly important for having a healthy pregnancy!
Cheers to a healthy & happy pregnancy!