Friday, January 14, 2011

Healthy Pregnancy Tips, Part 1

I have had several people ask about the things I did to stay as healthy as possible during my pregnancy.  I have decided to break it down into a few posts, so look out for more coming up in the near future.   These will consist of things that I did, that worked wonderfully for me.  Of course they are just suggestions and every woman, body, and pregnancy is different, so make sure you listen to your body and discuss your plans with your doctor before you change or add anything to your routine.

If you are having a normal, healthy pregnancy exercise is something that is great for both you and your baby.  It is recommended by the American College of OBGYN that pregnant women participate in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise 5-7 days a week.  

When I was pregnant, I craved the movement and activity exercise provided.  My Dr advised against aerobic classes, anything with a lot of bouncing or jumping, kickboxing, and running, all of which I love and do regularly when I'm not pregnant.  Initially, I felt very limited in what was safe for me and the baby, but soon discovered I had so many options when it came to workouts that were ok.  Here are some physical activities I did while pregnant that helped me stay active, keep my blood pressure at a healthy level, avoid gestational diabetes, and maintain a healthy weight:
  • Hikes and nature walks- I did several of them throughout my pregnancy.  It was nice to have a change of scenery and breathe some fresh air.  Luckily I live within minutes of some of the most beautiful mountains in the world.  Remember to always go with someone when you are pregnant.
  • Yoga- I did yoga about once or twice a week until the middle of my third trimester.  Yoga has so many benefits for pregnant women.  It helps with balance, strength, and flexibility and muscle/body awareness during delivery, making pushing easier and more effective.  Make sure your instructor knows you are pregnant so they can modify moves for you, or participate in a prenatal yoga class.  Prenatal yoga DVDs can be purchased for practice at home.
  • Light weights/resistance training- I lifted until just days before Lucy was born.  Make sure you are using proper form, and the correct weight to ensure injury prevention.  I lifted arms, legs, and still did core strengthening exercises while I was pregnant.
  • Squats and lunge, you can find a variety of lower body exercises here, here, and here.
  • Elliptical machine- I would do a level 6 for 30-60 minutes.  I needed to be at a lower level than usual in order to avoid my heart rate getting too high.
  • Hill and stair climbing, both at the gym and outdoors
  • Daily neighborhood walks


Here I am, 36 weeks pregnant, on a hike with Josh in Park City.

This was taken just two days before I delivered Lucy on a nature walk just outside our family's cabin in Sundance.

What are some exercises you have found you enjoyed while pregnant?

Next pregnancy post:  FOOD!

Happy to have had a healthy pregnancy,
Courtney

6 comments:

  1. Great post Court! I'm sure all the pregnant ladies out there will really appreciate it. I always find it interesting hearing about different pregnancy practices and what works for diff people, you gave some awesome tips! :)

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  2. Yeah I agree great post! Maybe you could break tips down by trimester?! It's difficult just trying to find energy just to do anything this first trimester. Any exercises or foods (Lord knows I'm having CRAZY cravings) that particularly gave you energy, yet an effective workout or reduced nausea? Thanks for all the tips. I find it easier to ask questions to those who have lifestyles similar to mine and your a great example! Thanks

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  3. I'm hoping to be pregnant with my 2nd child, very soon. My 1st pregnancy I was very sick and ended up gaining a lot of weight. I'm hoping next time, I'll be able to stay healthier for me and the baby. Great tips, I can't wait to read the rest of your tips!

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