How To Stay Fit During Pregnancy?

How To Stay Fit During Pregnancy
The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth. Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, running, yoga, dancing, or even walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable.
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Can I get in better shape while pregnant?

It is safe to start exercising during any month of your pregnancy? – Yes — the sooner, the better, to give you time to get the benefit of your exercises. Being as fit as you can during your pregnancy can also help you recover after you give birth and will ease some of the aches and pains of your constantly changing body. You may have to adjust your exercise. You can modify your exercise with:

Wider stances when you squat Smaller stances when you lunge or changing to single-leg squats Avoid lying on your belly after 12 weeks of pregnancy without supports to reduce abdominal pain.

Be sure to avoid lying flat on your back sometime starting in the second trimester, but definitely between 24 to 28 weeks. This can increase your risk for orthostatic hypotension, which is a form of low blood pressure that can lead to dizziness, lightheaded sensations and shortness of breath.

  1. The reason you need to avoid lying flat for long periods is because that’s when a baby can put too much pressure on your vena cava, a large vein in our abdomen, which can decrease blood flow to the baby.
  2. Avoid sit-ups and crunches.
  3. They can cause unnecessary stress on the pair of muscles that run vertically up the front of your abdomen.

However, there are many core strengthening alternatives that can be completed. I highly recommended seeing a physical therapist who specializes in how the body changes during and after pregnancy. You may have to avoid or change your exercise if you have:

Shortness of breath Abdominal cramping Swelling in extremities Nausea

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How can I stay fit and skinny during pregnancy?

The Novice: Walking and Water Spell R-E-L-I-E-F – “Only 20% to 30% of the population exercises on a regular basis, so the typical pregnant woman hasn’t exercised prior to pregnancy,” says Bonnie Berk, creator of MOTHERWELL, a pre- and postnatal fitness program offered throughout the United States and abroad.

Still, it’s not too late for pregnant women who haven’t been consistent exercisers to start now. Although hard data on the value of prenatal exercise isn’t as well-documented for unfit women as for fit ones, experts like Berk have seen firsthand the difference that exercise can make, even for couch potatoes.

For one thing, by doing exercises that strengthen the muscles supporting the uterus, women stand to experience fewer complications like backaches, ankle swelling and fatigue during pregnancy, and their bodies will be better prepared for the rigors of childbirth, too.

Exercise also typically reduces stress and enhances body image, so pregnant women who are working on their fitness level often feel better about themselves. Such was the case for Dena Higgins, a nurse from Carlisle, Pa., who took MOTHERWELL water aerobics classes twice a week before her son, Joshua, was born last December.

“It was so nice to go exercise at the end of the day, get away from work for a while and just concentrate on myself and the baby,” recalls Higgins. “It just made me feel so much better.” In fact, Higgins admits while she wasn’t successful at fitting in a regular exercise routine before pregnancy, she’s hooked now and is already taking a mom-infant class.

  1. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s time to suddenly get hard-core, either.
  2. Incorporating some moderate aerobic activity, such as walking or swimming, and some flexibility and strengthening work, like yoga, is all any pregnant woman needs, says Berk.
  3. About 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking three to four times a week is plenty, four to five times if you’re trying to minimize weight gain.

Overexertion may cause a dangerous reduction in blood flow to the fetus, so the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends mild-to-moderate exercise and stopping when fatigued. (It recommends mild-to-moderate exercise at least three times per week.) Rather than targeting a specific heart rate, many experts say it’s more important for women to pay attention to “perceived exertion,” which is basically how hard they’re breathing and feel they’re working.

  • You don’t want to push yourself beyond your individual tolerance level, and the best measure of that is your own breath,” says Berk.
  • You should never be breathing so hard that you can’t talk.” You may also feel differently from one day to the next, “so you really need to listen to your body and exercise according to how you feel that day,” says Berk.

To help make sure your baby’s handling the extra effort, Berk suggests taking some time each day to count your baby’s kicks. Fetuses usually kick at least five times an hour, but since babies have 20-minute sleep cycles, if the baby doesn’t kick five times, try counting again for a second hour.

  • If you have concerns, check with your health-care provider.
  • Don’t panic if the kicks get more active right after you’ve exercised, either.
  • Your baby is just responding to a rush of oxygen and glucose that’s been diverted temporarily during exercise.
  • It’s nothing to worry about as long as you’re not overdoing it, she says.
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Besides brisk walking, swimming and water aerobics are ideal for pregnancy. Not only does water make you feel 90% lighter, but it helps rid your body of excess fluid and minimizes edema, Water sports also carry little chance of physical injury, and water resistance helps tone and strengthen muscles.

Yoga can be particularly beneficial during pregnancy because the deep breathing relaxes and centers you, helps prepare you for the focused breathing you’ll need during labor, and tones abdominal muscles. It’s a good all-around muscle strengthener, too. In fact, Berk does yoga every day, has decreased the amount of weight training she does, and still maintains her strength.

Higgins says she liked going to an exercise class designed specifically for pregnant women because it gave her a chance to commiserate with others in the same boat. Also, having a trained instructor on hand to make sure you’re performing an exercise correctly can help reduce the chances of injury.

If you’re going solo, a number of books and videos provide detailed programs, including “Maternal Fitness,” by Julie Tupler; “Water Fitness During Your Pregnancy,” by Jane Katz; “Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year: A Guide to Health and Comfort Before and After Your Baby Is Born,” by Elizabeth Noble and “Yoga for Pregnancy,” by Sandra Jordan.

MOTHERWELL also has an exercise video, which can be previewed by checking the organization’s Web site,
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Can I lose body fat while pregnant?

Maybe you wish you planned for your pregnancy in every way possible — including being at a moderate weight beforehand. But for many people, this isn’t realistic. Pregnancy, while an exciting time, can turn into a weight dilemma for those who are already overweight.

  1. This is because of the inevitable weight gain associated with having a baby.
  2. Fortunately, growing research suggests that losing some weight during pregnancy might be possible — and even beneficial — for some people with a high weight, or BMI over 30.
  3. Losing weight, on the other hand, isn’t appropriate during pregnancy for those who were at a moderate weight before pregnancy.

If you believe you can benefit from weight loss during pregnancy, talk with your doctor about how to do so safely without affecting the fetus.
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Is it possible to tone up while pregnant?

Yes, you can still tone your tummy muscles while pregnant! Try these moves to strengthen your core and support your back. Samantha Montpetit-Huynh January 8, 2014 Photo Gallery 3 exercises to tone your pregnant belly How To Stay Fit During Pregnancy 1 / 5 Photo: bogdankosanovic/iStockphoto
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What month should I start exercising during pregnancy?

What exercise can I do in each trimester of pregnancy? – You can start exercising at any time during your pregnancy. Even if you’re used to being active, you’ll need to adapt your activities a bit as your bump gets bigger. Find out what exercises are recommended during pregnancy,
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How can I prevent B belly during pregnancy?

Your fascial health – “Fascial health” is fancy way of saying the connective tissues beneath the skin are partly responsible for your belly shape. Your fascia may be damaged due to a sedentary lifestyle, dehydration, poor posture, unbalanced diet, stress, and injured muscles.
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Do you gain more weight with a girl or boy?

Key Points: – – Gaining less weight during pregnancy correlates with a decreased likelihood of giving birth to a boy, an analysis of 68 million births found. – However, this correlation disappears when gestational weight gain exceeds 60 lb. When mothers gained 20 lb, roughly 49% of babies born were boys.

But when mothers gained 40 lb, the likelihood of having a boy increased, with about 52.5% of babies born being males. And at 60 lb gained, about 54% of babies were boys. The relationship between a mother’s weight gain and the likelihood of having a boy disappears if the woman gains more than 60 lb, however.

Navara said the phenomenon was something she suspected given that previous studies have shown how severe food restriction will influence the sex ratios. “I hypothesized that the ratio of male to female babies born should vary with the amount of weight gained during gestation,” she wrote.

“I predicted that women who gain low amounts of weight during gestation should produce significantly more females, and that, if gestational weight gain directly influences sex ratios, fetal losses would be more likely to be male when women gain inadequate amounts of weight during pregnancy.” In analyzing the data, she looked at vital statistic information collected over 23 years and included looking at the sex of fetal losses, finding that fetuses miscarried prior to 6 months’ gestation were significantly more likely to be male if the mother had gained low amounts of weight during the pregnancy.

The finding suggests that low caloric intake during early fetal development may be a factor in the resulting miscarriage, she said. The study was published in PLOS One.
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What workouts can you not do while pregnant?

What Exercises Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy? – There are certain exercises and activities that can be harmful if performed during pregnancy. Avoid:

Holding your breath during any activityActivities where falling is likely (such as skiing and horseback riding)Contact sports such as softball, football, basketball and volleyballAny exercise that may cause even mild abdominal trauma, including activities that include jarring motions or rapid changes in directionActivities that require extensive jumping, hopping, skipping, or bouncingDeep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises and straight-leg toe touchesBouncing while stretching Exercises that require lying on your back for more than three minutes. (especially after your third month of pregnancy)Heavy exercise spurts followed by long periods of no activityExercise in hot, humid weatherScuba diving

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Are Russian twists OK when pregnant?

For a lot of expecting mothers, the impending changes to their bodies can be overwhelming and make them feel almost like they have no control over what will happen. There are plenty of women who are misinformed when it comes to what they can and cannot do while pregnant, causing them to potentially stop their physical activities for the duration of the pregnancy out of fear that they will harm the baby or themselves.

While, yes, some changes have to be made in order to make sure that both mom and baby stay in good health throughout the pregnancy, that doesn’t mean that she has to bring her life to a screeching halt where exercise is concerned. As a matter of fact, exercise is healthy for mom, therefore, healthy for baby as well! Whether you are just starting to work out now or have been a gym rat for years, you can do these modified exercises without harming yourself or your child.

Trainers Dennys and Simon demonstrate 5 common exercises and modifications they suggest for expecting mothers. Not only will these exercises give mom a safe way to stay in shape over the course of her pregnancy, but they will also help her body prepare for labor and aid in recovery.

  • As always, speak to your doctor about your specific pregnancy and if there are any precautions that you should take.
  • If your doctor says that you are cleared to do these exercises, remember that it is still crucial that you listen to your body and don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities.
  • While pregnant, your center of gravity will be changing on a constant basis.

For that reason, our main focus is to avoid exercises that will require you to balance more than usual. It’s also important to avoid exercises that increase your risk of falling or force you to exert excessive amounts of energy. Trainers Dennys and Simon demonstrate 5 common exercises and the modifications they suggest for expecting mothers. MODIFICATION: Step Back Squat Thrusts – Similar to a burpee, you will step or jump your legs back to a push-up position. Instead of lowering your body to the floor as you would in a full burpee, you step or jump to the bottom of a squat. Dennys and Simon recommend starting to do this modification once you begin showing or when you enter your second trimester. CHEST PRESS : After your first trimester, research recommends stopping exercises that require you to lay on your back as blood circulation may be affected by the added weight of the baby and can make an expectant mother dizzy or nauseous. MODIFICATION : Reclined Chest Press- It is important to find alternatives to exercises so that you do not neglect specific muscle groups while you are pregnant. You can get the same stimulus by doing chest presses in a chair or on a reclined bench. RUSSIAN TWISTS: Abdominal exercises that require lying on your back are discouraged, but that doesn’t mean all abdominal exercises should be skipped! The Russian Twist is not recommended after the first trimester. MODIFICATION : Seated Torso Twists- A great alternative to the Russian Twist, the Seated Torso Twist, allows the mom-to-be to work her core. Having a strong core helps your body cope with postural changes throughout the pregnancy and eases lower back pain. PLANK SHOULDER TAPS : Nearly two-thirds of all new moms experience diastasis or ab separation. Planks are a safe option for abdominal strength during the majority of your pregnancy, and unlike crunches and sit-ups, they don’t worsen diastasis. MODIFICATION : Wall Plank Shoulder Taps- By the third trimester, the weight of the baby may make it uncomfortable to hold a true plank. This modification ensures less pressure on the back while keeping the core and shoulders still engaged. SQUATS: Squats encourage a strong pelvic floor. This is especially important for expecting mothers. The pelvic floor is underneath all of the organs and the weight of the baby. A strong pelvic floor will help during labor and aid in a speedy recovery. MODIFICATION: Sumo Squat- Regular squats are great in the early weeks of pregnancy, but once the belly starts growing, the wide-angle of a sumo squat makes more room for a comfy baby. A Sumo Squat still works the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves similar to a traditional squat. Before trying any of these moves at home, we recommend consulting your doctor, and if you are taking a Fhitting Room class for the first time, make sure to introduce yourself to your instructor and let them know you are expecting and what week you’re in.

If you can’t make it to the studio, Dennys and Simon put together a workout you can try at home! Perform the exercises in the order listed for 40 seconds with 20 seconds of rest between each movement. Repeat 3 times for a total of 4 rounds. – Sumo Squats – Wall Shoulder Taps – Seated Reach and Twist – Reclined Chest Press – Step Back Squat Thrusts Looking for more modifications for common HIIT movements? Dennys shared some with What To Expect.

Read it here. Shoutout to our FHITmoms; Michelle who continued to get her FHIX throughout her second pregnancy, and Alanna who started to come to The Fhitting Room just days before she found out she was pregnant with her first child. These stories are proof that, if done right, there are safe exercises for expecting mothers that will not harm their health or their baby.
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Is pregnancy fat harder to lose?

Many Women Don’t Lose Those Pregnancy Pounds, Study Finds One-third who had been normal weight before giving birth were overweight or obese a year later By Maureen Salamon HealthDay Reporter TUESDAY, Dec.9, 2014 (HealthDay News) – Women’s fears that pregnancy pounds will linger are validated by new research that suggests three-quarters of new mothers are heavier a year after than they were before becoming pregnant.

  • Analyzing data from nearly 800 low-income women, researchers also found that one-third of those of normal weight became overweight or obese one year after childbirth.
  • Nearly one-quarter of all new mothers had retained more than 20 extra pounds.
  • This unfortunately showed that pregnancy itself is leading to obesity or for a substantial number of women,” said study author Dr.

Loraine Endres, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago. “It’s a very important issue,” she added. “We all see the rising number of obese people in our country and the health consequences that come from that, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

I really wanted to see where this is starting for women and to see if there is any way to turn it around.” About 35 percent of women older than 20 are obese and another 34 percent are overweight, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher is considered obese, while a BMI of 25 to 30 is classified as overweight.

BMI is a height-weight ratio that calculates body fat. Endres and her colleagues collected data from 774 women from five locations in the United States. Participants were interviewed three times by the 12-month mark after childbirth, and height and weight measurements were taken at six and 12 months postpartum.

  1. Women gained an average of 32 pounds while pregnant and were an average of nearly 173 pounds a year after childbirth.
  2. About 75 percent were heavier than they were pre-pregnancy, including 47 percent retaining more than 10 pounds.
  3. Factors that seemed to help pregnancy weight loss included -feeding and moderate exercise, according to the study.

“The biggest problem is that a large number of women gain too much during pregnancy,” Endres said. “The more you gain, the harder it is to ever lose that weight. From the moment women conceive, as health care providers we need to start talking with them about appropriate weight gain and remaining active.” Women who become pregnant should also understand that it’s a myth that they’re “eating for two,” she said, and should only consume an extra 300 to 400 calories daily when pregnant if expecting a single baby.

  • The low-income status of women in the study may have influenced the results, Endres said.
  • These mothers could have found it more difficult to lose weight because of lack of money to join a gym, for example, or may not “even have a safe area in their neighborhood to take a walk,” she said. Dr.
  • Timothy Hickman, director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas, said the findings were “exactly what I expected.” But he noted that postpartum and -feeding can help women avoid holding onto excess pregnancy pounds.

“You’re not predestined to have this happen,” he said. “Anyone is at risk for if you don’t have a specific plan in place. This speaks to getting in the best possible shape before conceiving and developing a plan to lose the weight afterward.” New mothers’ weight loss efforts might benefit from more frequent visits after pregnancy than just the single doctor’s visit routinely offered six weeks after childbirth, Endres said. Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. : Many Women Don’t Lose Those Pregnancy Pounds, Study Finds
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Does body fat go up when pregnant?

Total Body Water – To calculate lean tissue from total body water, the water content of the lean tissue must be known. Although the average percentage of water in lean tissue is known with fair accuracy in adult women, the nonfat tissues added during pregnancy (edema fluid, fetus, amniotic fluid, plasma) contain a high percentage of water.

Thus, pregnancy may increase the water content of lean tissue from approximately 72.5% at 10 weeks of gestation to about 75.0% at 40 weeks in women with generalized edema (van Raaij et al., 1988). A difference of this magnitude can cause fat to be underestimated by 50% or more in women gaining 3 to 4 kg of fat.

Since gestational changes in lean tissue hydration in individual women have not been measured in body water studies, only approximate corrections are possible. Theoretical corrections for dilution of the lean tissues during pregnancy may improve estimates of body composition changes for a population; lean tissue estimates for an individual (which are important for relating body composition to pregnancy outcome) may still be inexact, although they are useful for identifying markedly aberrant cases.

Interpretation of body water changes might be improved with a measure of extracellular water. Variation in extracellular water can be substantial. Hytten (1980) estimated that pregnant women with generalized edema have more than 3 kg (6.6 lb) of additional extracellular fluid compared with that in women with no edema or leg edema only.

Extracellular water can be determined either with the use of an extracellular tracer such as bromide or by estimation of intracellular water from measurement of total body potassium and determination of extracellular water by difference from total body water.
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