Exercising During Pregnancy

There are moments in our lives that define us, affect us, shape us, and are very important to us. For a woman, pregnancy is one of them. That is why more than ever, you have to know what exercises you can do to stay healthy during these times. Not only will this help you feel better about yourself, a healthier you makes a healthier baby.

Proper exercise not only improves your self-esteem, it also prepares you make delivering your baby easier by increasing your energy, strength, and stamina. You can even derive pleasure from your labor of love. Eating properly with proper exercise will keep you and your baby fit, also minimizing the possible complications you may face during labor.

Things you need to remember before you start

Before psyching yourself out on what exercise routine you are going to take, you have to consult with a health care provider. We all know that exercise is good for everybody but you will need some extra care if your family has a history of preterm labor or other medical conditions. Conditions like:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart problems
  • Placenta previa

As well as other conditions that may affect your exercise program. Once you know the “don’ts” your health care provider, you can setup your exercise program. Of course you could have them check your final exercise program too just to be sure.

The Plan

Divide your exercise plan into phases and base these phases on each trimester of your pregnancy. The focus of each phase will target different muscle groups, flex different joints, and prevent you from injuring yourself and your baby. If you are an exercise buff and are already engaging in exercise even before your pregnancy, then you can continue with your routine over to the first trimester. If you are just starting, then begin in your first trimester.

First Trimester

Starting your routine in this trimester will be the most difficult. Why? Many changes will happen during your first trimester. Many particular physiological changes will be apparent for you. You may experience nausea and other things that may impede your progress. Do not falter though because all these things are temporary and the situation will definitely improve with time. Just remember that with exercise, you have to make sure you are taking in good nutrition. This will not only help you, but will help the development of your baby. Who knows, you might like exercising so much that you adopt it in your lifestyle.

The Proper Workout

In general, your workout should focus on improving your cardiovascular system. So a good cardio routine is a must. This will be your foundation to develop your core muscle group. Proper warm up and stretching also improves your workout. So stretch and warm yourself up before exercising and right after your workout, also stretch and cool down slowly.

The Second Trimester

This is my personal favorite and may become yours too! All the physiological changes your body has been experiencing will be over during this time. This is the time to not only improve your cardio workout; it is also the best time to focus on strength training. Your hips, thighs, and lower back can be strengthened to better support you. This in turn will minimize your weight gain. In addition to that, you will be able to support your belly better because your muscles and joints help support your weight. Thus your body remains stable and you won’t have unnecessary fat as your weight increases.

The Third “Maintenance” Trimester

Aren’t you feeling wonderful about your body and your baby? The last trimester is the time where you gradually decrease your strength exercises and focus more on cardio training and your stretching. Maintain your exercises all throughout your pregnancy to optimize your benefits from your exercise. Not only will this maintain your energy, your stamina and strength will be better prepared when it is time for your delivery. So keep at it. Your baby and your body will be glad you did this exercise routine.

Last-Minute Tips

Do not forget that your body needs a lot of water, especially when you are exercising. Make sure you stay hydrated. You wouldn’t want to overdo things and hurt yourself in the process. You also have to remember that too much of anything is bad. That is why do not stress yourself too much that you become exhausted. You want your body to get stronger, not lose all its energy and fall apart. And of course, don’t forget to smile! Your baby will be glad her sexy mommy loves to exercise!

If ever you experience any of the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Blurring or blurred vision
  • Sudden Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest or abdominal pain

Stop immediately and speak with your health provider! Exercise may be important but if you are overdoing it or doing something wrong, your body will definitely show signs. Talk with your doctor. They will tell you what is best. Just because you are pregnant, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to exercise.

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Eating To Build Muscle And Lose Fat

Want to lose some of that unwanted body fat? If so, you may want to start hitting the weights because building muscle helps you lose fat.

That’s because the more lean muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn at rest, as well as when you’re active. The more muscle tissue you possess, the more energy your body will require to maintain that muscle.

It gets that needed energy from burning and utilizing calories. And again, the more calories you burn, the more likely fat loss to occur.

Muscle is a very metabolically active tissue. It takes a lot of work for your body to maintain it. Fat, on the other hand, takes no work to maintain. It just sits there, lumped together like, well, fat.

This is an important concept in fat loss because the more lean muscle tissue you can build, the more calories that will be burned off, without you having to do any extra work. Your muscle will burn off more calories 24/7 than if you didn’t have that extra lean muscle.

This makes the case for why weight training, also known as resistance training, is so important to include in any weight loss program.

So if you can add a couple pounds of lean muscle to your frame, you’re going to burn off more calories, even while sleeping, than if you didn’t have that extra muscle.

The more calories you burn off at rest, the more likely that the calories burned off during exercise will create a calorie deficit in your body. A calorie deficit is a must for weight loss to occur.

Weight gain occurs from consuming more calories than your body burns off during the day. Since there is no deficit of calories, your body does not have to dip into stored body fat to get energy. In fact, due to the surplus, it stores the extra calories as body fat.

If you create a calorie deficit, meaning, your body has used all of the energy from calories it has received from food and it still needs more (like to support muscle tissue) it is going to go after your fat stores to get that energy.

Fat is a highly condensed form of energy. So, when your body starts taking fat from fat stores to use as energy, that is how weight loss occurs.

Weight training may benefit any weight loss program, possibly more than any other component.

Weight training can be a future investment for permanent weight loss and weight maintenance because as you continue to lose stored body fat and gain lean muscle, your muscle will continue to aid in the calorie burning process.

As there becomes less stored body fat to use as energy, the muscle tissue you build will start to directly utilize the calories you consume on a daily basis.

Since there is now more muscle tissue than there is fat to utilize calories, chances of storing any excess calories as body fat is greatly reduced.

Resistance training may offer the most benefit of all to women past the age of menopause. It can help prevent or reverse the effects of osteoporosis by strengthening and maintaining bone density often lost by diet alone.

So how much resistance training is necessary for long-term weight loss to be successful and to build more lean muscle?

Not as much as you would probably think. In fact, any more weight/resistance training than 2 to 3 hours a week may be counterproductive.

The best results I have witnessed while in the personal training field come from 3 sessions a week with weights, less than an hour each session.

Most people like the Monday, Wednesday, Friday approach to weight training. This leaves Tuesday and Thursday for cardio, which should be done separately from weight training.

The key to proper weight training is to establish a good foundation in which to build upon, much like building a solid foundation for a house.

So hire a trainer (me) or check out a good program online you can use for building muscle

Bottom line, if you want to lose stubborn body fat, start building muscle and you’ll soon see the pounds disappear.