Nutrition And Exercise During Pregnancy: 5 Best Steps To Go

Know The Importance Of Nutrition And Exercise During Pregnancy

Get Step By Step Questions & Ask Yourself To Get Clarity As You Move On

Why do you get the happy good-lucky news that you are pregnant?

It can be a phase of at-most excitement mixed with anxiety about

What to eat?

How to take care of the body?

Are my days of fun far gone now?

Can I still go out and chill with friends?

We understand that you are at the most important phase of your life, and the transition can be overwhelming. 

So, it is crucial to get the essential nutrients and cultivate healthy diets that smoothly unfold the phase. Physical health and nutrition are as important now as any other part of your life.

If you weren’t very active in these areas, now is the time to listen to your body and give it what it needs. 

It is possible to take care of ourselves and our body, and it is not difficult to understand, too, even if you have never taken care of these things earlier.

It is recommended to be physically fit, keep the right balance of diet and supplements, and exercise. Although, it is essential to understand that these could be kept within appropriate limits.

Thus, you can also have a conversation on these topics with your healthcare provider. Ideally, you and your healthcare provider could develop the required pregnancy diet plan and the fitness rituals, and I say this ritual as these needs to be a part of you now, based on your personal needs. 

Since what you eat will be the primary source of nutrition for you and your baby, maintaining these things effectively shall help ease the process and take full responsibility for all stages in your pregnancy.

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Q1. What diet and exercise must I plan?

I would not stress less on healthy eating and exercise as the major transition that must consider making a part of their routine.

When I refer to a “diet,” it is not a difficult change of not eating your favourite sweets or cutting on your favourite meal; it merely means that you shall now ensure to adjust the meals in a way that provides your body with the essential and adequate nutrition.

A balanced diet for a pregnant woman generally has 300 calories extra per day to ensure the nutrients required for the healthy growth matches; now you are eating for two, not just yourself.

It is also helpful to discuss these calories consumption along with your trusted healthcare provider. 

It is easier for the nutrients needed during pregnancy to get distracted with what your tongue and mood demands and munch over your cravings.

But, it is recommended that your dietary plan must include foods from a variety of food groups such as:

1. Grains

2. Fruits

3. Vegetables

4. Dairy

5. And rich – protein sources

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Depending upon each of us’ lifestyles, it is normal and expected that our body does not meet the adequate nutrient from consuming foods. At times, you can also consider taking extra Vitamins and nutrition supplements.

Remember, if you consider this, it must be with the Obstetrician’s advice:

1. You can consume extra Vitamins only when the dozes are prescribed by the doctor, in terms of their quantity and frequency.

2. If you are consuming multi-vitamin, it is essential to have an adequate intake; of about 400mg/day of folic acid. Anything in excess is naturally harmful.

3. Vitamin-B could also be consumed in the meals or as extra tablets; this reduces the risk of od certain defects and complications, such as Spina Bifida. 

4. Another suggestion is to consume some early pregnancy vitamin-pills, including essential iron, calcium, and other minerals. 

5. There is a preconception of reducing fat-rich meals, but “good” fatty acids and DHA significantly accumulate in the fetus’s brain and eyes. You can also ask your healthcare provider about this. This is good, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy; these fats are also present in the mother’s breast milk.

6. Herbal remedies and any other supplements can also help, but one must keep the health care provider updated on these things too.

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While we know that eating right can help minimize the overall complications and make the process smooth for you. It is equally important to ponder upon further questions.

Q2. What should I avoid eating during this phase?

1. If you have a history of allergies running in your family history, you may want to speak to your healthcare provider immediately to understand if there is any need for mindful cutting down of particular food, that might help you break the cycle further. 

 2. It is recommended to eat freshly cooked meals as much as possible, avoid refrigerated, pre-heated, or smoked food regularly.

 3. You must ensure that all the food products you consume are pasteurized. This protects you from some bacterial infections, such as Listeriosis. It will protect from any parasitic infection.

 4. It is advisable to keep a check on your caffeine consumption; it must be limited to under 200 mg per day.

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The Role of Water

Drinking water is vital; water is the only sustaining carrier of nutrients throughout your body. It makes sure the nutrients reach your baby while the development stages.

There are benefits of drinking water frequently and as much as you can:

1. It is advisable to drink a minimum of 10 cups of fluids per day during pregnancy.

2. Water helps prevent excessive swelling in certain areas of your body.

3. It cleanses your bladder and hence protects from any Urinary Tract Infection.

4. It helps you cure constipation.

5. It ensures a healthy flow of nutrients throughout the body.

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Q3. How do I keep check of my weight during the pregnancy? 

Weight gain for a woman during pregnancy is average and expected to some extent. It is expected that women can typically gain up to 25-35 pounds of extra weight.

Also, it is entirely normal not to observe any significant weight gain. This is generally when your body type is Obese, or your average body is sustaining the baby’s weight.

Sometimes losing some weight is also expected during this phase. It could be a healthy sign if you are physically active.

But remember that if you see the drastic change in your weight in numbers, you must speak to your health care provider. This is true when it is excessively significant.

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Q4. So, How do I stay physically fit? 

Like any other time, the role of being physically active is as important. There is a significant correlation between eating and exercising. It is observed that women generally tend to feel tired and start resting more once they know that they are pregnant. However, it will be advisable that you stay as active as possible during this phase.

There are some benefits for the woman choosing to stay fit:

1. You tend to have more energy; the workout fatigue is healthy and charges you for the rest of the day.

2. You experience lesser back-pain.

3. There is a more positive body image since you are mindful of the balance that is desired.

4. If you exercise and push yourself NOW to stay physically active, after delivery, you can experience the smooth retention of the pre-pregnancy body condition. Otherwise, the struggle later becomes real, so why not take care?

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The thing about exercise is that it need not require any high-end equipment; you can use some of these simple things daily to boost your energy.

Following are the things that you can start immediately:

1. You can start Walking. Walking is an ideal, slow, and first step to your fitness quest.

2. Simple gym exercises, especially those you perform during the start and end of the workout, can also be helpful. 

3. If you have access to the local fitness facility, you can take up some aqua-exercises, such as swimming.

4. If you do not enjoy exercises, you can take up yoga as an alternative. It keeps your mind and body at peace and helps to flex yourself. 

5. In any exercise, remember to avoid jumping, jolt, or any physical shock, as well as the vibration.

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It can be empowering at the start, but be conscious about the effects. Please do not overdo it. It is advisable to do 15 minutes of exercise per week. It would help if you kept the intensity of the exercises low and gradually maintain consistency. Plant this healthy habit today!

Following are the benefits if you push yourself to stay fit during these trying times:

1. Physical fatigue is healthy fatigue that your body desires for sound sleep at the end of the day.

2. Moving your body increases the blood circulation throughout your body.

3. It increases energy levels to do more work and involve in what is necessary.

4. This helps decrease stress, as it keeps you engaged with the actions that matter for you and your baby.

5. It improves your body posture and alignment while progressing through your every month.

6. It can also be a good idea to take this up, to spend some quality time with your friends and family while walking or pairing up with exercise.

Some exercises, such as squats and Kegel exercises, can be done at any time of day. These are passive exercises that focus on perineal muscles. 

Squats and Kegel, this is done in the same way you start and stop your urine; this massages the muscles down there. It helps in relaxing these muscles positively.

Kegel exercises also help in maintaining muscle tone and control, which aids in recovery after birth. These exercises help you get ready for the labour pain and help the muscles get flexible during this time. 

Although, these exercises are ideal and most recommended. Always remember to prefer anything physical act with Low Impact rather than High-Impact actions. This will keep you safe as well as you will engage in the necessary activities.

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Q5. Who must not consider exercising?

1. If you have a history of recurrent miscarriage or threatened near miscarriage.

2. If you have a weak cervix, it is not recommended to exercise.

3. If you experience bleeding and spotting in-between the pregnancy, you must not continue doing this and immediately speak to your health provider.

4. If you are the Asthma patient.

5. If you have any heart disease/history around this, take advice from your health care provider.

6. If you are a diabetes patient, you must consider counselling about this to your trusted person.

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The Final Words On Nutrition And Exercise During Pregnancy

We understand that it is a delicate phase with a confusing point of view of what is right or wrong for your baby and you. Remember to maintain the right balance between the diet and exercise, and it is recommended to ensure that you keep your healthcare provider or an expert in the loop to do what is best for you! 

Additional Resources:

Smit Kumar

Health & Wellness Coach: Smit Kumar believes in the philosophy of successful nutrition hunting mindset for the healthy body, mind and spirit.

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