- Women's Health
20 Ways To Stay Happy, Healthy And Fit During Pregnancy
1. Listen To Music
- The power of music is unparalleled. It can change your mood, reduce stress and help fight depression.
- Start your day by listening to hymns.
- De-stress with music at your workplace. Work along with music.
- When at home, turn on any music of your choice and do your chores.
- If you've kids at home, listen to nursery rhymes or any music of their choice and sing along with them.
2. Do Breathing Exercises
- Breathing exercises which focus on simple techniques of inhalation and exhalation can help you relax and reduce stress, anxiety and even pain. It also fills your vital organs with oxygen.
- Technique: Sit straight in the Buddha position in a silent corner of your home. Inhale deeply so that your stomach inflates. Hold your breath for a count of 8-10 and exhale slowly. You can repeat this 5-6 times in 1 sitting.
- You can do this several times a day.
- Don't forget to breathe in your workplace.You'll feel the difference immediately.
- If you're a second-time mom, wake up 30 minutes early to do your breathing exercises. In case you miss doing it in the morning, find some other slot during the day.
Learn How to Breathe
- Walk for 30 minutes daily to beat pregnancy fatigue and constipation. It also improves the quality of your sleep.
- An ideal place to walk would be on the beach or in a park where you can enjoy the scenic beauty.
- If you can't make it to the beach or even to a park, walk around your house or workplace.
- Walk whenever you can.
- Take the stairs.
- Walk to get your groceries or walk your dog.
- If you've kids, walk them to school.
- In your first trimester, you don't need to change your walking pattern, if you're a regular walker already, stick to it. In your second trimester, notice your posture, look straight, swing your arms while walking.Avoid strain.
- Once you're in your third trimester, avoid uneven terrain. Walk on a smooth surface to prevent injuries.
- Don't push yourself too hard. Understand your body. If it asks you to stop, just stop.
- Avoid dehydration by drinking enough water and juices.
- Stop if you feel uneasy or experience pain or dizziness.
4. Do Yoga Or Swim
- You can do low intensity exercises like swimming, stationery cycling or prenatal yoga.
- Swimming is a safe way to stay fit. It's a good form of cardiovascular exercise which relaxes you.
- Best part, when you swim you don't feel the weight of your baby bump.
- You can swim till your third trimester. But consult a doctor before you take up swimming or continue doing it.
- Prenatal Yoga builds stamina, reduces stress and tension, calms your nervous system and increases your body balance.
- Most doctors prescribe yoga. But it's always a good idea to check before you take it up.
5. Eat Right And What You Love
- You'll be advised by your doctor to eat milk and dairy products (if you're not lactose intolerant), whole grains, cereals, pulses, and nuts if you're a vegetarian.
- If you're a non vegetarian, you must eat fish, lean meat and eggs .
- Eat lots of veggies like spinach, carrot, broccoli, beans, mushroom, corn, cauliflower.
- Eat fruits like peaches, pineapple, pear, berries, apples and papayas.
- You may also need to take folic acid and iron supplements. Check with your doctor.
- For those of you who have gestational diabetes or anemia, talk to your doctor about your diet.
- Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated.
- Eat what you love but in moderation.
- Eat for yourself, not for two.
- If you're eating out, avoid alcohol, caffeine, uncooked meat, seafood and some cheeses (like brie and Camembert).
What To Eat During Pregnancy
- Sleep whenever you feel like.
- If you're a busy second-time mom try to sneak in some shut eye when your kid is in school or is sleeping.
- If you're working, close your eyes for 2 minutes and rest at your work station.This will help you relax and provide relief to your eyes.
- Exercise regularly and avoid caffeine and alcohol to sleep well.
- Practice breathing before going to sleep.
- Write a diary at night and pour out all your troubles to relax.
- Don't look at your smartphone, laptop or tab or watch t.v. at least an hour before going to sleep.
- Maintain a consistent sleeping pattern.
- Sleep on your left which is the best sleeping position for your fetus.
7. Go For A Massage
- Opt for a Swedish massage which helps treat discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes caused by hormone shifts during pregnancy.
- Swedish massage releases muscle tension by applying mild pressure to the muscle groups in the body. It also improves blood circulation.
- Studies show that prenatal massage can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
- Second-time mothers: Find help or ask your partner to take care of your kid, so you can sneak out for a massage session.
Massage Oils - Gift Pack
8. Romantic Date
- Go for a date and re-kindle your romance.
- Dine in your favorite restaurant.
- Go for a long drive and stop at the beach. Pack a picnic basket and eat your breakfast together.
- Go for a massage together or watch your favorite movie or sport at home.
- Nurture each other as partners.This is essential as most of your worries will be about you and your baby to-be.
- Dedicate some time to bond as a couple.
- To someone who gets what you're going through. Join a mothers' group and share your experience.
- You can also talk to your mother, friend, mother-in-law, or sister. It's good to talk to a woman who has experienced motherhood.
- Don't bottle up your feelings. Don't brood. Talk.
- Talking helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It's also a good way to manage feelings of anger and frustration.
10. Go Shopping
- Buy maternity clothes.
- Buy baby clothes.
- Gift yourself a pair of comfortable footwear.
- Take a friend along with you. Or, ask your partner to accompany you.
- Walk around and window shop.
- Keep yourself hydrated all through the trip.
Blue Dress For A Romantic Date
- To de-stress and to have creative fun.
- Knitting engages both your mind and body and makes you optimistic.
- It also enhances your self-esteem and concentration.
- Knitting has been found to be therapeutic for people suffering from long term physical pain.
- Knit a jumper for your partner or your kid. Or knit a pair of mittens for your baby to-be.
12. Help Or Volunteer
- Help someone, anyone who needs your help.
- Go volunteer for a cause.
- If you're someone who loves animals, go feed the stray cats and dogs.
- I've fed crows when I was pregnant. In fact, I still do. And I can tell you the joy I derive from this single act is unparalleled.
13. Create A Kitchen Or Terrace Garden
- Starting a kitchen or terrace garden is easy and affordable.
- You can get seeds or plants from nurseries.
- You can grow both veggies and flowers.
- The easiest veggies to grow are tomatoes, spinach, chillies and herbs like coriander and mint.
- If you lack a sunny spot go for veggies which don't require too much sunlight. Like salad greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula, endive, and cress. Broccoli, peas, spinach, kale, beans, beets, Brussels sprouts etc. don't require too much sunlight as well.
- A small patch of green can do wonders in lifting your mood. And the act of creating one can keep you engaged and happy.
- About what you're going through. Learn online or read a book.
- Information helps. Particularly, when you're not feeling right or when you've a question and you can't reach your doctor.
- Reading about fetal growth from the 1st till 34th-38th week can be a joint activity for you and your partner.
- It's fun to learn about the changes in your baby. Because you can only feel some of it.
A Mother's Guide To Pregnancy
- If you don't know how to bake, this is the right time to learn.
- Studies show that baking can be therapeutic by turning negative energy into something constructive.
- During your pregnancy, baking can raise your spirits and distract you from feelings of discomfort or pain.
- So go cook up a storm in your kitchen. Surprise your partner and friends with home-made chocolate brownies, macaroons or cupcakes.
- Go easy on enjoying your creations. Have a piece or 2 at the most.These baked treats can pile up the kilos in no time as it's loaded with sugar, butter and flour.
Recipes For Yummy Cakes And More
- Yes, you can dance too and have fun doing it. But if you're in doubt, consult a doctor before you start.
- Do a slow dance.
- The best way is to switch on the music you love, spread your arms and legs and swing along.
- You can do a free style dance at your ease in your home.
- Do it as long as you can without discomfort.
- If you can or if you want to.
- You can indulge in any form of painting like oil, water, acrylic, glass, pastel, spray paint, etc.
- The idea is to create something from scratch and have fun doing it.
- You don't have to do a Monalisa, draw something that makes you happy.
18. Watch Feel-Good Films
- Good cinema can be uplifting. Choose films you like and watch with your friends or partner.
- You can watch movies at home, at your convenience, if you dislike watching movies in a theater.
- It's a good way to take your mind off any discomfort that you may experience in your first or third trimester.
- Whenever you can and even at your friend's silliest jokes.
- Second-time moms - bond with your kids.Tell them you'll be bringing home a brother or sister they can play with.
- Share your joy with your partner and kid.
- If you need help to laugh, watch a stand-up comic act. For example, watch Russel Peters perform and laugh aloud.
20. Let Go
- Plan for the delivery. Prepare a checklist of things you'll need in the hospital. Select a pediatrician for your baby to-be.
- For the rest, like your body weight, let go.
- You can't control how your body shapes or behaves. So don't try.
- Instead prepare to welcome your baby.
- Spend time with your partner and involve him in planning for the delivery and for bringing the baby home.
Fun And Fitness During Pregnancy
Do you think it's possible to have a happy, healthy and fit pregnancy?
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© 2014 Chitrangada Mukherjee