Monday, August 11, 2014
Exercising While Pregnant
I thought I was going to spend the next few months NOT talking about dieting or exercising. Boy was I wrong! This pregnancy has been going well so far (thankfully!). With my son, I had gestational diabetes and ended up delivering early due to having severe preclempsia. It was a haul of a pregnancy where I had to watch everything I ate, and I gained about 20 lbs total. After LO's birth, I actually weighed less than before I had gotten pregnant. That didn't last. After his birth, I splurged on the sweets that I couldn't eat while pregnant. This pregnancy my blood pressure has been under control (so far) and I passed my first gestational diabetes test.
Being pregnant, I think many of us use it as an excuse to eat anything we want. Out are the diet foods and lite salad dressing, in are the calorie-laden foods. Add in morning sickness and food aversions and it's easy to see why we feel this way. With my son, I craved healthy foods - I couldn't get enough fruit! This time, all I want is carbs and sugar. I try to to eat as healthy as possible for both me and baby, but I have also had long lasting morning sickness (up to 5 months) so eating healthy is sometimes a challenge.
I wasn't sure what I was going to tackle here on my blog for healthy eating and exercise during this time, when all I wanted was gummy bears and french toast (not together).
During my regular doctor's appointments they have not commented on my weight gain, and where I gained about 8 lbs in the first 8 weeks, it evened out when the morning sickness hit. I figured I was doing well, and while trying to eat sensibly, have been eating what I want. Until this week and the doctor asked me if I was working out. Ummm...no. I do some yoga, but no serious working out. I DO run around after a 2 year old - doesn't that count? The doctor said no, he wants me to do some cardio for 30-60 minutes a day, a few times a week.
The big question - what is safe to do during pregnancy? I am tired often, so the idea of getting out there and raising my heart rate can be overwhelming. The doctor mentioned low-impact exercise - walking briskly or swimming. Looking online, I found a couple of great articles on how to exercise safely while pregnant, both from Baby Center: The Best Kinds of Exercise for Pregnancy and The 13 Rules of Safe Pregnancy Exercise. These articles outline what kinds of exercise you can do while pregnant and things to remember to keep you and baby safe while exercising.
Today, I followed the doctor's advice and strapped on my sneakers and took a brisk walk. Granted, brisk walking is a challenge while pregnant, but not all that hard, since most walking raises my heart rate and makes me sweat anyway. I opted to walk without LO, and it really was a stress reliever - I had some Mommy time in the nice fresh air. I only made it 20 minutes, but I felt accomplished. I remember how worn out I felt after I had LO and when I started walking again, I found I could not go that far. I don't want to feel like that again. And it's easy to forget how good even a little exercise can feel.
This advice was given to me by my doctor. Before starting any exercise program, please consult your doctor.