Bump on the Run: Tips for Keeping Fit While Expecting

pregnant african american woman exercising

A healthy baby starts with a healthy you. While your body is busy growing a new life, you can help by making exercise part of your daily routine. Here’s the scoop on exercising while expecting.

Why is it important to exercise while expecting?
Exercising during pregnancy has many benefits:
• Prepares you for labor and delivery
• Lessens back pain
• Enhances your energy and mood
• Helps you sleep better
• Prevents excess weight gain

While it’s generally advisable to exercise while expecting, it’s critical to talk to your doctor first. Together, you can determine what exercise routine works best for you.

How should I exercise?
There are many great ways to get your body moving and heart pumping when you’re pregnant:
• Walking and running
• Swimming
• Dancing and aerobics
• Yoga and stretching
• Weight training

What should I avoid?
These exercises are not recommended for pregnant women:
• Contact sports
• Sports and activities with a high risk of falling, such as skiing, surfing, and horseback riding
• Sports at high altitude

How long and how frequently should I exercise?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends exercising at least 30 minutes a day, almost daily. Listen to your body and your doctor to determine what’s best for you and your pregnancy.

What else should I know?
There are lots of great resources about exercise and pregnancy. Here are a few more important tips:
• Always warm up and cool down.
• Drink lots of water.
• Avoid overheating and overdoing it.
• Wear the right clothes and shoes.
• Listen to your body and call your doctor with any concerns.

Following these simple exercise tips will help you (and your baby) enjoy a happy, healthy pregnancy.

For more tips and advice – or to browse our selection of maternity greeting cards – please visit www.mummumcards.com.

Rest and Relax: 7 Ways to De-stress When You’re Expecting

Pregnancy is hard work, whether it’s your first, second, or nineteenth time. Add that to the stressors of everyday life – dirty dishes, rush hour commute, you name it – and you can easily get overwhelmed. (Can you relate?) Invest in your health and baby’s health by taking the stress out of your pregnancy. Here are 7 ways to stop fretting and start relaxing.

Rest.
Rest is key during pregnancy. Enjoy a nap or two. Sleep in when possible. Have a cup of tea. Clear out your Netflix queue or DVR and enjoy your favorite movies.

Exercise.
This is a great way to improve your mood and energy levels. Always confirm with your doctor, but there are lots of activities you can enjoy while expecting, such as yoga, walking, and swimming.

Read a book.
Pick up a book that lets you escape for a little while. Save a new novel from your favorite writer, or ask friends for their beach read recommendation. Besides, it could be awhile before you can enjoy a book again after baby arrives.

Enjoy the sunshine.
Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, get some sunshine in your life. This is especially important if you spend most of your time indoors. Sunshine is an instant mood booster.

Turn off your phone.
Disconnect from your phone and social media for a little while. Enjoy the freedom of not checking email, Twitter, or Facebook feeds.

Breathe.
Stop for a moment, and take 10 deep breaths. Even better, practice mindful breathing or meditation for 30 minutes a day. The goal is to ease and clear your racing mind.

Get away.
Enjoy a weekend away or a break before baby arrives. The change of scenery and chance to leave daily life behind is good for you – and baby.