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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

5 Healthy Must-Do's for Pregnancy

If there is ever a time to take care of yourself in life, it is most certainly before, during and after pregnancy. Now that I am pregnant with my fourth baby, I am getting a little more experience on what really feels good and nourishing for my body and my baby during these times. I hope that these tips help you along in some of the most important times in your life!

1. My first and probably most important tip is to get your vitamins and minerals. I personally take my Vitalizer strip of vitamins every single day. In fact I don't know that I have missed a day in years. As a personal trainer and nutrition consultant, I get asked a lot which vitamins or supplements I recommend. I always come back to Shaklee, because I did a LOT of research many years ago, when I started changing my health, and Shaklee was the one company that's purity and quality standards were optimal and met my standards. The reason I love my Vitalizer strip is because it has almost all the supplements I need in one little package. The strip contains probiotics, multivitamins, Vitamin B and C complex, all 7 Omega-3 fatty acids, the most potent form of Vitamin D, 26 antioxidants working together, and the full spectrum of vitamin E from all 8 natural forms. It helps with all these important aspects of health:
  • Bone health
  • Breast health
  • Heart health
  • Immune health
  • Physical energy
  • Reproductive health
  • Digestive health
  • Healthy hair, skin, and nails
2. Secondly, let me tell you something you may or may not want to hear. Exercise!!! I am not saying that you have to go hog wild and run a half marathon or start doing Crossfit. But I am saying that exercising on a regular basis - think 5 days a week or so for about an hour a day - will help you feel more energized, confident, stronger and more healthy. The benefits are nearly endless, but let me share a few.

Think about it this way. Let's say you were training for a marathon. You certainly wouldn't wait until race day to actually run your first steps of training. You would be training and running for months beforehand. The same thing applies to pregnancy. You have a huge athletic event coming up called labor and delivery. You don't want to go into it cold turkey. You want to strengthen and tone your body in preparation for this big event. Not only will it help labor go easier (if that's possible), but you will feel so much better during your pregnancy and you will recover much faster after you give birth. Yes, you will. Trust me. And when you have to resume all your responsibilities and all your parenting yourself just days after you give birth, you will NEED to recover as soon as possible.
This is two of my sisters and I running the Diva Dash 5K when I was about 12 weeks pregnant

I get questions all the time about what exercises you can and can't do during pregnancy. Listen to your body. Most likely, you will be able to do the same types of exercises you did before you were pregnant. I have always worked out through the very last days of my pregnancies, and it has been awesome! Not only has it helped me relieve stress, keep my body strong for birth, and given me energy for all the tired days, but it has also helped me lose baby weight fast and keep my core toned and able to bounce back fast. Just do it. :-) Feel free to check out all my Tabata workouts I have shared - they are only 20 minutes for a full body workout!

3. Drink tea - especially Nettle and Raspberry Leaf tea. Nettle leaf tea is a fabulous source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamins A, C and K, and potassium. Raspberry leaf is helpful for toning the uterine muscles, which may help make contractions more efficient. It is also high in many nutrients, including vitamins C, E, A and B complex, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium.  I personally drink at least one cup every day. It gives me energy, relieves some of my nausea, and keeps me focused on putting healthy foods and drinks in my body.
I like to make a bit glass jar full of this tea, so I have a few days worth ready whenever I want some. I buy both teas in bulk from my local co-op, and use a couple tablespoon fulls of each in each batch I make. You can also add a little raw honey, if you want it sweetened.

4. "What you put into your body is what you get out." Have you heard that before? I'm sure you have. The thing is - it is true. When you add a baby into your body, this becomes even more of a truth. My next tip is about eating pure, organic, healthy food.
Words to live by!!! 
I cannot even begin to tell you how much of a difference this will have on you, your body and your baby. If you want more heartburn, constipation, weight gain, headaches, stomach upset, and swelling, then ignore me. However, if you want to feel your best, gain an appropriate amount of weight, deliver a happy and healthy baby, then please fuel your body and your baby's growth with good, wholesome food. Remember, packaged processed stuff isn't really food. If you are eating something that you could still eat after letting it sit in your cupboard a year, then that probably isn't a good choice. What I am talking about is the good stuff - fresh veggies, fruit, organic and grass fed meats, fish full of Omega-3's like Alaskan salmon, anchovies, sardines, safe herbs, coconut oil and other healthy fats, and lots of water. For more great information on what to eat, check out "Think You Know About Nutrition, Think Again!"

Don't forget about your baby. You are making a full person in there. Not getting enough calcium? Well, then baby is going to take it out of your bones. Not getting enough Omegas? Well, your baby's brain, eyes, skin and much more might suffer from that deficiency. If for no other reason, eat well for your baby. The choices you make right now are going to affect your child for the rest. of. their. life!

Often times, people don't know how good it feels to truly feel healthy. Try it and let me know what a difference it makes in you!

5. Give your mind a rest! Holy cow, do our minds work overtime or what? Does the word stress mean anything to you? The havoc that stress and a lack of rest takes on your body is huge! I never realized this until I started suffering from stress-related issues - neck aches, headaches, stomach pains...It is just no fun.

Here are a few ways you can curb that stress and give your mind a rest:
  • Take a nap! I try to get a nap almost every day. It is so refreshing to give my body time to rejuvenate, heal, and rest. Even a 15-20 minute nap makes a difference!
  • Sit in the peace and quiet for a few minutes and breathe deeply. Don't underestimate the power of a deep breath. It does wonders! Check out Proper Deep Breathing for great tips!
  • Try some yoga. I love prenatal yoga. It is so relaxing, while at the same time energizing your tired body. I enjoy still teaching yoga while I'm pregnant, as well as doing it at home. Check out What Yoga Can Do For You.
  • Read a daily devotion, take time to count your blessings and talk to friends and relatives. One of my favorite devotion books ever is Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst. It really keeps me focused on what's important when it is so easy to lose my cool. 
What do you like to do to pamper and take care of yourself while you are pregnant? Please share your tips and thoughts with us! I would love to learn from you as well.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this great info! The vitamins are especially interesting to me, but the website doesn't say how many are in a box. Is one box a month's supply? Thanks again for all this great info, and for all the links!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed the post. Your comment makes my work worthwhile. :-)

      There are 30 days of vitamins in the one box. I order mine monthly, and it works perfectly. If you have any more questions, please just ask!

      Delete
  2. Swimming was great for me and it still is 40 years later. I swim 3 times a week.

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's so important to take care of yourself for the new life growing inside of you.

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Your thoughts and tips are what make this blog shine!