Trying to stay fit during pregnancy? Unless you’re eating for two and lying in bed all day long, it should be easy to maintain a normal weight. The key is to gradually increase your calorie intake and make healthy food choices. Regular exercise will shape your body and keep it from storing excess fat. Both diet and physical activity are essential for staying slim.
What a Healthy Pregnancy Diet Looks Like
A healthy diet can make it easy to maintain your weight during pregnancy. It may also help prevent diabetes, preeclampsia, and depression. Contrary to what you may have heard, it’s no need to eat for two while pregnant. You only need an extra 200-300 calories a day starting from the third trimester. Plus, you’ll have to consume more iron, zinc, and B vitamins, which are crucial to a healthy pregnancy.
Be aware that exercise can not compensate for poor nutrition. You can’t eat whatever you want just because you work out. Exercise burns calories and keeps your metabolism up, but your diet is of utmost importance. Avoid sugars and processed foods as much as possible. Fill your plate with fresh produce, seasonal fruits and veggies, chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of meat. Eat fish and seafood in moderation.
Is Exercise Really Necessary during Pregnancy?
Physical activity is essential for everyone, including future moms. Unless you have a serious health problem, exercise should be part of your daily routine. You can maintain your weight with diet alone, but you still need to be active to preserve your muscle and bone mass. Regular exercise improves bone density, regulates blood pressure, and helps control blood sugar levels. It also reduces the harmful effects of stress and prevents metabolic disorders.
To enjoy optimum health, work out at least 30 minutes a day. If you hate going to the gym, include jogging or bodyweight exercises in your routine. Pilates and yoga can be done at home, so you have no excuse to skip your workouts. Future moms can also take long walks, use an indoor bike, swim, and spend time outdoors.
Exercise is beneficial for you and your baby. By staying active, you can prevent pregnancy complications and increase your odds of giving birth to a healthy child. A growing body of research shows that children whose mothers exercised during pregnancy have a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems. This should be reason enough to make you hit the gym.