How to Have a Healthy and Fit Pregnancy

13 Nov

Being a personal trainer and gym owner, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle is in my blood.  I’ve always loved working out and eating right to nourish my body.  I have always known that when the time came and I was pregnant, I wanted to have a very healthy pregnancy, keep up my fitness routines and also just have an overall positive experience.

 

20 Weeks- on our way to the gender scan!

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Working out while pregnant is not only good for mama, but good for the baby too!

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Now here I sit with one pregnancy behind me (I gained 22lbs and fit in about 5 workouts a week along with 3 yoga sessions and 5 dog walks)  and another pregnancy almost halfway over.  I’ve learned along the way that you can have a healthy and fit pregnancy and you might still feel bloated, fat, down at times and that is all okay.  It is all part of the ride.  Not only do you need to focus on nourishing your body and growing baby, you  also need to mentally prepare for the labor and changes that lie ahead.

Well into pregnancy #1 and loving my baby bump!

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Below I’ve compiled a list of my top pregnancy tips to have an all around healthy and fit pregnancy.

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Balanced Healthy Life’s Top Tips to Have  Healthy and Fit Pregnancy

  • Don’t eat for two!  I will probably get critiqued by some when I say this but you don’t need to eat for two when you are pregnant!  That is just ridiculous!  Yes you are eating for a baby but that baby doesn’t need a ton of extra calories to grow.  Current recommendations are that women don’t need extra calories in the first trimester and only need an extra 300 calories in the second and third trimester.  That equates to a pieces of toast with almond butter, an apple with almonds or an extra few bites at every snack and meal during the day.  It does not give you free range to go crazy and stuff your face.  The baby doesn’t need all those extra calories you are consuming and neither does your body.  Remember to eat a balanced diet and make sure you are getting in a variety of different color vegetables and fruits, enough protein and calcium!
  • Take a prenatal vitamin everyday, if you can, start taking it at least a year before you decide to start trying for a baby.
  • Exercise 5 times a week or more!  I think it is really important to keep moving during pregnancy.  Not only will it make you feel better as your body morphs into the unknown, but it will also help both your stamina and strength during labor.  I recommend at least five 45 minute workouts but the more the better.  As far as heart rate goes, use your judgment.  You don’t need to be straining or out of breath.  Just make sure you are able to breath while having a conversation and don’t life weights that are too heavy.  Do whatever makes your feel good and happy.  Walking for 45 minutes, taking a Zumba class or lifting weights in the gym all count, so do what you love.  Also avoid any exercises that have you laying down once you reach your second trimester and make sure you aren’t putting the baby at risk if you partake in any contact sports .  For those who already have a current exercise program when becoming pregnant, most doctors will give you the green light to continue what you are doing.  For those who are new to exercising, start slowly and I would suggest buying a few personal training sessions until you feel comfortable in the gym on your own.  Remember to always consult your doctor before trying a new exercise program. 
  • Do yoga 3+ times a week!  I stand by this tip.  Not only will prenatal yoga give you the mental recharge you may need, but it will also help relieve pregnancy back pain and stretch out tight hips.  I have a DVD I like to do that gives me four different workouts, ranging from just 15 minutes to 60 minutes.  This way I can always fit in one of the workouts even on a busy day.
  • Don’t give in to all your cravings, be ultra picky!  Just because you are having a pregnancy craving, doesn’t mean you need to give in to it.  If you are craving gummy candy, maybe eating some fresh or dried fruit might do the trick.  Craving something salty like chips?  Maybe you can have a piece of beef jerky instead or an avocado with salt.  Try to eliminate the craving by eating other healthier options first.  If the craving lasts, and believe me they do sometimes (I just had to have Pasta Roni during my first trimester and couldn’t get it off my mind for days), then go ahead and give in.  But just don’t go crazy if the craving isn’t a healthy option. 
  • Vegetables, vegetables and even more vegetables!  Enough said. 
  • Have a rough birth plan, but make sure you are ready to just go with the flow!  I had a tentative birth plan with my first pregnancy and knew some of the things I wanted.  I however decided most importantly just to go with the flow.  You can’t plan or control labor and by being laid back about the whole process it will help you adjust if things aren’t going exactly how you plan.  Do however stick with your guns on certain things like not cutting the cord until it is done pulsing or having the baby placed on your bare chest immediately after birth (if the circumstances permit), or not accepting the Hepatitis B shot given to newborns right away.  These things you can control and should.  Don’t let a nurses bad look make you feel bad about what you think is best for your baby.
  • Expect the unexpected!  Peeing your pants when the baby is on your bladder, seeing your stomach jumping and moving with kicks and punches, getting put on bed rest, crying out of nowhere for any reason?  It’s okay, things happen in pregnancy that don’t normally happen in your everyday life.  Try and laugh them off and know that it is all for a good reason and soon enough your little one will be snuggling in your arms.  Try and go with the flow as much as possible.  Don’t take dreadful situations too seriously.
  • Smoothies are a Pregnant Gals Best Friend!  The extra fluids, vitamins and nutrients are great for both mama and baby.  You can also make many varieties, they are healthy, you can sneak in vegetables (green smoothies anyone), they can be brought on the go and taste amazing!  I lived off smoothies for at least one meal a day with my first pregnancy and am following in the same path with this one.  My first trimester I could hardly keep anything down but smoothies.  They were my saving grace!  Right now I am obsessed with tropical smoothies!  I could drink one for every meal!  Don’t forget to add in some protein powder to make sure you are getting enough protein in!  I like Sun Warrior’s Vanilla brown rice protein!  Taste delicious in smoothies and blends in nicely!
  • Drink H20 like Crazy!  With all that extra blood and fluids surrounding the baby you need to be drinking lots of water! 
  • Use all organic products on your body, face and skin!  You skin is your largest organ, what you put on it does indeed get absorbed by your skin.  Try and switch to all vegan and organic products!  Read the labels and ask questions if you need help.  Your body and baby will thank you!
  • Switch to eating organic!  Speaking of going organic with your bath and beauty products, make sure you are also doing so with your food.  If you’ve read my blog for a while you already know I’m a huge supporter of eating organic and stopping the production of GMO foods.  With that being said,  during pregnancy buy as much organic foods as you can.  They wont contain the GMO’s, chemicals and pesticides as their non organic cousins.  Baby will thank you BIG TIME!  If you can’t afford to buy everything organic, make sure you are buying your fruits, vegetables, dairy and meats organic.  Bottom line eat as much organic as you can. 
  • Change out your cleaning products to non toxic ones or even better make homemade cleaners!  What better time to start then while you are pregnant to get rid of the old toxic, chemical laden cleaners and get new ones.  Vinegar and baking soda both come cheap and in bulk at Costco and can be used to virtually clean your entire house while being non toxic.  There are many great articles online that tell you how to make homemade cleaners.  They work great and I personally think clean better then the chemical store bought kind.  I also like using Seventh Generation cleaning products as well.  I love their toilet bowl cleaner and disinfecting spray a lot, not to mention their dish soap, laundry detergent and dish washer detergent to name a few.  I but it all of soap.com as  they have  a huge selection and I don’t need to run all over town picking up different items at different stores.
  • Don’t listen to the critics!  You are in control if you want to have a fit and healthy pregnancy.  Many people will tell you not to workout so often or to splurge and eat a big meal of fettuccini alfredo, but don’t listen to them.  Do what makes you feel healthy and fit and keep in mind you need to stay healthy for that little baby growing inside you.  There is no reason to constrict calories and workout like a mad woman, but you don’t want to go the other way either.  Find what works for you and what makes you glow!  You know your body better than anyone so don’t give them the upper hand and make you feel bad about living a healthy pregnancy!
  • Sleep…zzzzz!  Sleep is so important when you are growing a baby and everything that goes along with it.  Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours a night plus nap during the day in you need it.  If you are feeling overly tired, try looking at you diet and see if you can make any positive changes and also look at your workouts.  If they are too intense try doing something a little less tiring and see if that helps a bit!
  • Keep a food, water, vitamin and exercise journal!  People might roll their eyes at this one but this has really helped me find out why certain things were happening during pregnancy.  Such as getting a lot of headaches at the beginning of the second trimester, breaking out randomly during pregnancy, the source of constipation and so on.  It can also be helpful to look back over your choices if you are gaining too much weight, too little weight or are feeling dehydrated.  The journal doesn’t have to be fancy but get in the habit of writing everything down and it will help you not only have a great healthy pregnancy but writing down your water intake, vitamin intake and workouts will make you less likely to skip one!

 

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Those are my best tips to help you have a healthy and fit pregnancy!  I hope you all take them into consideration and strive to be as healthy for you growing little baby.  Not only will these tips keep you eating a balanced diet, but they will also help you mentally and physically prepare for labor!  Good luck on your journey and I hope you find pregnancy as exciting as I do!  Please email me with any questions or comments at TrainerKjirsten@aol.com

 

Question:  What are your best healthy and fit tips during pregnancy?

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2 Responses to “How to Have a Healthy and Fit Pregnancy”

  1. Katie November 14, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    This is such a great post! For me, small goals help so much. Some days like yesterday, I really didn’t want to go to the gym but I told myself you can at least walk the track for 45 minutes. I felt so much better and 20 minutes in started working harder!
    I also like to keep a food journal not for calorie counting but to make sure I’m not eating just to eat.

    I used to struggle with feeling overwhelmed by all this but now I just focus on small goals like taking vitamins, drinking more water, some exercise daily. Thanks for your encouragement!

    • Trainer Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life November 15, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Thanks for the feedback Katie! Just getting yourself to workout is half the battle, always around minutes 17 I too start feeling great and getting into my workout groove! 🙂

      I don’t recommend keeping a food journal to count calories during pregnancy, but just to be aware of what you are putting into your body! Helps if you get headaches or whatever could be going on!

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