Posted in Super Momma

4 common injuries for a new mom

The physical burden of pregnancy, unfortunately follows high risk for more injuries for a new mom. Weakened musculoskeletal system, lack of rest and sometimes even nutrition, focusing on your new born and trying to cater to baby’s needs and depriving self from much needed recovery time are some contributing factors. Let’s look at 4 common injuries for a new mom:

Thumb sprain/ pain

Repetitively picking your little one up, can sprain your thumbs. What’s a sprain? Sprains occur when we over stretch our ligaments, since ligaments are non-contractile therefore, fiber will start tearing under excessive stress. That’s what we call a sprain. Once you sustain a sprain, your brain recognizes the injury and tells the surrounding muscles to tighten up in order to protect the area from a secondary injury. Some local massage followed by stretching, and changing the way you pick your baby up will aid in resolving your symptoms.

Shoulder and neck pain

Especially if you are Co-sleeping, hugging your little one, you are putting excessive stress on your shoulders by staying in stiff positions and feeding into bad sleeping postures. Not to mention how much stress, repetitive lifting and carrying your baby puts on your shoulders. As the day goes on, due to fatigue, and stress of multi tasking, starts being more challenging and instead of actively using our muscles, we start depending on our static stability more. Now, what is static stability? There are two types of stability in our body. Static stability is provided by static structures such as bones and ligaments. Dynamic stability is provided by moving structures such as muscles. Once muscles fatigue, we shift our dependence onto static structures. Determination in getting work done motivates our body to focus on the end result not on how we are hurting ourselves. All my super mommas know what I am talking about!

When it comes to comes to neck and back problems, they always come hand in hand. Our spine is formed of 33 bones which are all interconnected with many ligaments and muscles. If you have neck pain, it will trickle down to your back and vice versa. An over-stretched and weakened core during pregnancy, puts a new mom at a high risk to experience some sort of a back problem such as sciatica, bulging disc or simply stiffness and pain. Especially for breast feeding mom, one of the hardships of breastfeeding is the slouched posture we are put in. The result: neck and back pain. Once we start losing our natural curvatures setting off our pain receptors screaming, “I’m beyond my extensibility and I will break if you keep pushing me in that direction.” what’s the solution? Keep good posture. If you can, prefer supported sitting to unsupported siting. Benefit from a lumbar roll while in supported siting. Once you are done with breastfeeding, or at the end of the day, do couple of stretches and exercises to restore good posture.

Posted in Super Momma

Toning up after giving birth: When &How?

img_1702
5 ft 4 inc 115lbs pre pregnancy
Most pregnant moms (99%!!!) cannot wait to get back to pre-pregnancy size; a smaller waist and firmer butt & thighs after giving birth. We lose a lot of strength in our core due to the over stretching of our abdominals and we lose core stability. Even though a new mom loses about 10- 15 pounds after delivery, the million dollar question remains to be “when can I start working out again?”

Once you are discharged home, the first week you will be very busy with your newborn especially if you’re a first-time mom. Healing time frames differ for vaginal delivery versus cesarean section. If you had a vaginal delivery, you feel very sore on your bottom for about 3 weeks. If you had a C-section, you feel pain on your incision site. I am sorry to say this but after a C-section, most activities will be achy. Every time you try to sit up, get in/out of bed, reach for something etc., you will have some aches/pain that will last for about 4-6 weeks.A vaginal delivery helping time is 6 weeks where a C-section is 8 weeks. Since many women experience abdominal separation, it is advised to wait out 6-8 weeks before you start any abdominal exercises. Best exercises to focus on initially are the ones that are going to keep you up right first.

img_6592
Still 5 ft 4 inc 155 lbs at 32 weeks
You can first start working on your mid back, shoulder stabilizers and your gluteals. These muscle groups will help you with proximal strengthening. What does that mean? These muscles will keep you upright, resist the pull of gravity and reverse the adverse effects of bad posture(s). Some shoulder exercises to perform are shoulders squeezes, wall slides, airplanes, angels and horizontal adductions. Some gluteal strengthening exercises you can do at home are clamshells, side lying straight leg kicks, squats (form is important for proper activation), butt busters and fire hydrants.

You can start in your core stabilization exercises with transversus abdominus activation(TrA). Very important ladies!! TrA is a deep stabilizer in your core that needs to be active to support a healthy good posture and protect your spine from any injury or simply prevent back pain. Waiting about six weeks on average after vaginal delivery is optimal before you start with any aggressive abdominal training that can include sit ups, crunches, reverse crunches, straight leg lowering etc. If you had a C-section, that time frame stretches to eight weeks to ensure soft tissue healing.

What exercises helped you the most to recover and get fit? Which exercises you liked? Which exercises you hated? Please comment below and let me know!

Stay awesome!

 

 

Posted in pregnancy

How to prepare for traveling during pregnancy 

l_101360929When I was 7 months pregnant, I was traveling to Antalya, Turkey which is a 10 hours flight to Istanbul, following an hour flight connecting flight to Antalya. Meeting my family in Antalya, we were going to travel by car for several hours over 2 weeks period. Even though my doctor was not worried about my travel, my father’s cardiologist strongly advised against the amount of traveling I was getting ready to do. His concern was I was more likely to develop blood cloths in my calves due to increased blood volume, swelling in my legs and upcoming inactivity.

Since I had made all the arrangements previously and my doctor cleared me for traveling, I did not cancel my travel plans. At the same time, I was not going to ignore a cardiologists concerns so I started thinking how to tackle possible problems and better prepare for my travels.

http://www.thepodiatrycentre.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/edema-preganancy-315x315.jpgCalf muscles play a vital role in returning blood back to the heart. When you are sitting a long time, since your knees are bent, your calves will not be able to pump the blood back towards your heart efficiently to provide full return. That’s why everyone experiences some amount of swelling during long travels. When you are pregnant, your blood volume also increases so more blood volume also means more residual blood in your calves. That’s why pregnant women are at a greater risk for developing blood clots after prolonged traveling .

There are 5 ways that you can tackle these problems and minimize any risk to your baby and your body.

e64cc62a2a20a84d7ad6404bdb80b7601- Drink adequate water: the blood has two parts two parts: plasma and particles. Drinking more water is always important since a more viscous blood will flow better and will not clot as easily.

2- Limit salt intake to prevent swelling: salt also attracts water at all cell levels. Once you increase your salt intake, your body will also retain more water to maintain osmosis. You will experience more swelling in your legs and hands. Limiting your salt intake will also decrease your chance to experience increased swelling.

3- Move as much as you can: the best way to reverse adverse effects of sitting is standing and walking. If you are traveling by air, you can stand up or walk up and down in the aisle but if you are traveling by car, then you are more restricted. What you can do is exercising in your seat. You can curl your toes, pump your ankles or draw alphabet with your feet, and march in place.

http://www.healthy-heart-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/fish-oil-heart-benefits.jpg4- Omega 3 fats such as fish oil has many great benefits and one of them is they act as blood thinners. Taking fish oil regularly will also be helpful.

5- Compression stockings: you can find compression stocking almost anywhere. Most stockings offer mild compression which is adequate in decreasing swelling in your legs.

Ensure you are making these changes couple days before and during your travels.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

 

 

Images retrieved from:

http://images.meredith.com/parents/images/2009/03/l_101360929.jpg

http://www.thepodiatrycentre.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/edema-preganancy-315×315.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/2

 

http://www.healthy-heart-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/fish-oil-heart-benefits.jpg

Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Weight gain during pregnancy

The first trimester is the toughest when it comes to eating and controlling your weight. You all know what I am talking about. You feel sick all day long, you cannot eat, even if you eat you may not be able to keep it in, and heightened sense of smell does not even let you look at some food groups. Controlling yourself in the first trimester is very hard and you are likely if you can eat some food then keep it actually in.

http://cdnpix.com/show/imgs/794674b4a789e9679bedc38af7a50f39.jpg

During my first trimester I could only eat bagel with cream cheese, pizza, pasta with cheese and any citrus fruit. I could not stand garlic, hummus or anything green including salad spinach etc. I knew not eating would make me weaker and also I had to go to work so I would have a bagel in the morning, some fruit in the afternoon, then pizza and some soup in the evening. I knew I was not in taking nutritious food, but that’s what I managed to eat at that time. I was not too concerned either because I knew this period was transient and I was going to get some supplementation from prenatal vitamins. I was able to take control of my food intake, make healthier food choices and control my cravings as well as portion sizes better once my nausea settled.

http://www.babyyourbaby.org/images/pregweightdiagram.gifThe recommended amount of weight gain is 11-33 lb during pregnancy. If you are gaining less than 11lbs then your baby may be underweight and premature. If you gain more than 33 lbs, it will be harder for you to move around with all that extra weight, you may set yourself for gestational diabetes and/or high blood pressure, and it will be harder to lose all that extra weight post pregnancy. I know people who gained 50-70 lbs during pregnancy and unfortunately, it was really hard for them to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight since it took months and a big commitment and lots of sacrifice.

Tips to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy

woman-eating-two-burgersPeople will try to convince to eat whatever you want in large amounts because you are eating for two.

Learn to say no. Remember your baby only needs 300 calories on average a day so there is no need to double up your portions. All the extra calories are unnecessary and will be stored in your body.

P-portionControl-enHD-AR1Stop eating once you get full.

As your uterus keeps expanding into your abdominal cavity, there is will be less and less room so overeating will create a lot more discomfort for you. Pace your self and remember portion control.

fresh-produceAdd more fresh produce to your diet; keep them available in your fridge.

If you like to snack, have fresh produce and healthy snack ready in your kitchen. If you have good food choices such as hummus, yogurt, edemame, veggies or fruit in your fridge you are more likely to snack on those before you open a package of cookies.

e64cc62a2a20a84d7ad6404bdb80b760Drink water, keep hydrated!

Remember you may not be hungry, you may be thirsty. There is not really a recommended amount of water intake you need to reach. However, still ensure that you are drinking water not soda, coffee or all other zero calorie carbonated drinks. Remember nothing will replace water. If you do not like the taste of plain water, then try adding some fresh cucumber, lemon, mint, and/or strawberries for some flavor. You know what works best to make yourself drink more water.

Sweet tooth challenge 

avoid-sugar

If you have a sweet tooth and it is hard for you to give up on cookies, cake, ice cream then definitely try portion control. During my first trimester, magnum brand double chocolate caramel ice cream bar would relieve my nausea. Weird right?! I would crave for it right before bed between 9-10 pm. After I put on 8lbs during my second month of being pregnant, I knew that habit had to stop. I started eating only half and saving the other half for the following night. Cut your portion size in half, eat slower for a prolonged satisfaction period and avoid from eating in front of TV since you can indulge a lot more without realizing.

Avoid packaged products and baked goods and take control of your cravings.

article-2145853-1324353C000005DC-829_468x443

Sugar is the #1 substance that 99% of the population is addicted to. There is sugar in everything especially in packaged products. More sugar you eat, more you will crave for it. During my pregnancy, I would crave for dates right before bed after I had my ice cream bar. I would tend to eat about 12-14 of them in one sitting and I know it a big sugar load for my system. I would try to hold off on that to have it when I wake up in the morning. More you expose yourself to late night snacking, more your body will store. If you can hold off on your cravings and eat in the morning, you are more likely to burn that off throughout the day.

If you are struggling with nutrition and weight gain, see a professional.

I am not a nutritionist or a dietitian and all the information that I offer on my website is drawn from my personal experience as a new mother. If you are really struggling with what to eat, want to learn more about different food groups and how they affect your body, also has weight issues, I advise you to see a professional who can guide and help you. You can definitely talk to your OBGYN, see a nutritionist or dietitian.

During my pregnancy, I really enjoyed reading and learning more from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blue Print book, and Primal Blue Print Cookbook as well as Quick and Easy recipe book. If you want to learn more about nutrition, making better food choices and how to make healthy food in seconds, these books are treasures that are definitely worth checking out.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from:

http://cdnpix.com/show/imgs/794674b4a789e9679bedc38af7a50f39.jpg

http://www.babyyourbaby.org/images/pregweightdiagram.gif

http://s3.amazonaws.com/etntmedia/media/images/ext/773200008/woman-eating-two-burgers.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e6/4c/c6/e64cc62a2a20a84d7ad6404bdb80b760.jpg

http://www.yeahmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/avoid-sugar.jpg

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/05/17/article-2145853-1324353C000005DC-829_468x443.jpg

Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Essential exercises of the second trimester

good-pregnant-posture-Due to your growing baby and increased amount of relaxin in your system, your posture, your laxity and the way you move will start changing. You all have heard of Newtons third law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you are carrying a baby in your belly, the weight of the baby will change the way your spine is. You arch will get exaggerated, your core stabilizers will be inhibited, then your hamstrings will tighen up to put the “breaks on” to stop that forward pull. These are just some of the changes in your lower half.

Even though, we refer to our spine as neck, mid back and low back, in reality, our spine is made up of 33 bones that are interconnected via ligaments, muscles, and fascia. The point is if your curvature in your low back changes, it will eventually change your alignment in your neck. That is one of the reasons why pregnant women tend to suffer a forward head posture that also accompanies rounded shoulders and tight chest. As the weight you are carrying in the front increases, you can imagine the increased stress on your joints and muscles.

Following a program that consists of both stretching and strengthening is essential especially during your second trimester since your body is going under more stress as your baby keeps growing inside of you. If you have not started with a workout routine, this is the time for it! Do it asap.

If you can spare 20-30 minutes daily, performing couple stretches and strengthening exercises will be helpful during your pregnancy, labor as well as postpartum. You can either alternate your days as upper and lower half, or you can dedicate stretches to one day and leave strengthening exercises for the next day.

Upper half

Some stretches to focus on should be for your neck and chest. Doorway stretches are really good for your neck while seated stretches for both right and the left side of your neck will alleviate muscle tightness and spasms. After stretching what is tight, the next step is to strengthen what is weak. My favorite muscle groups to focus on are your triceps and upper back. You can either use weights or an elastic band for both exercises. Another choice is simply using your body weight. Tricep dips on the edge of a couch, modified push ups or regular push ups if you are able to, and/or planks will help you strengthen your upper back.

 

Lower half

When it comes to stretching, keeping your hips mobile and unrestricted will aid your low back pain and prepare you for labor. Hip flexors, adductors, hamstrings and calves are the muscle groups that need to be stretched. Holding 30-60 seconds shall be adequate hence it will allow muscle to start relaxing. Strengthening your abs is out of the question and crunches make it to the top of the exercises that you need to avoid while pregnant. Whet you can do instead is focusing on your deep pelvic muscles and gluteals. Kegel exercises, double leg bridges that you can advance to single leg later on, clamshells and again planks are great exercises. As the exercises get easier, you can also add 5-10 seconds holds for each rep.

deep-breath.jpgAn important tip to keep in mind to avoid holding your breath during exercising since it can also affect your blood pressure. You cannot vocalize, without taking a breath so  easiest trick is to count out loud while you are exercising.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Tune in for more information and instructions on detailed exercise programs, until then stay awesome!

 

 

Images retrieved from:

http://nataliacoretraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/good-pregnant-posture-.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/5e/ca/90/5eca90a2734aa6ef23d94bb84725d611.png

http://www.pregnancyexercise.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/New-pregnancy-exercise-stretches-078-260×300.jpg

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/stretching-for-weight-training_05.jpg

http://www.stretching-exercises-guide.com/images/doorway_stretch_90.jpg

http://www.bloomingfit.com/userfiles/image/kneelhip1.jpg

http://images.agoramedia.com/wte3.0/gcms/stretching-while-pregnant-722×406.jpg

http://pluslifestyles.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Setu-Bandh1.jpg

http://img.aws.livestrongcdn.com/ls-1200×630/cme/cme_public_images/www_livestrong_com/photos.demandstudios.com/getty/article/69/110/482640294_XS.jpg

http://snowbrains.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/deep-breath.jpg

Posted in pregnancy

How to battle back pain during pregnancy

Hello everyone!

In my previous post I talked about why we develop back pain during pregnancy and in this post, we will talk about how to tackle the pain. Pre-pregnancy, I worked out 3 times a week  that consisted of cardio and lifting. When I stopped working out in my first trimester, I lost some of my muscle mass. That was not a good outcome for my body since I started developing some back, neck and pelvic pain. Four factors that can create back pain during pregnancy are losing muscle mass, postural changes, developing baby and hormones. Here are four ways how you can tackle back pain during pregnancy.

#1 Avoid standing or sitting for too long 

use-support-pillows-while-sitting-during-pregnancyAs you move along your pregnancy, your activity tolerance will change. As nausea and fatigue slow you down in your first trimester,  your growing belly will limit your activity tolerance in your last trimester.  Today, we all are used multi tasking where we go non-stop all day long. My advice to you is take it easy and take breaks to make it more manageable and less painful for your body. Avoid prolonged activity such as sitting or standing for too long. Being in a position for an extended period of time will increase the stiffness in your back. If you are sitting for an hour, getting up may be harder. If you are standing for an hour, you may start getting radiating pains from your back to your legs. Remember to give yourself adequate rest breaks.

mh5m455i7it6hzhj_oxn-wqA low back pillow such as OPTP lumbar support can also prolong your sitting tolerance. You can purchase it on Ebay or Amazon for under $20. This hot dog shaped pillow fits in the curvature of your back and supports your spine during sitting in front of TV, while you are at the dinner table or even while driving. You can take it with you anywhere. A little support for your back, will make it also complain less.

#2 Stick to your exercise program

Following an exercise program that consists of both stretching and strengthening is very important. Stretching will prevent over tightening of your muscles, while strengthening will keep your muscles active and engaged that will give the support for your growing baby and changing body.  20-30 minutes of daily exercising will be helpful during your pregnancy, labor as well as postpartum. When it comes to your upper back, the key is to stretch the front of your chest and strengthen your upper back. When it comes to your lower back, the key is to stretching your hamstrings, calves and hip flexors, while you strengthen you gluteals and deep core stabilizers.

Pilates and yoga are also great tools to use while pregnant. Pilates focus on core stabilization and hip strengthening while yoga focuses on improving overall flexibility, and strength by using your own body weight.

 

#3 Use a belt of support

If your back pain is hard to manage, then it is ok to get a little external support. I have a small frame and during my second trimester, I started getting some back and pelvic pain where I could not stand more than 10 minutes. When I was registering for my registry, I came across Medela Maternity support. Thinking to myself, “it is under $20 so can’t hurt to try”, I am glad I made the purchase. This belt provided gentle support for my low back which eased my pain. I was able to stand for longer periods of time which allowed me to attend some house chores. It is made of stretchy material so it did not dig into my belly as it gently lifted and supported my stomach. This belt attaches in the front via velcro system so it was easy to put on, adjust and take off. Hassle free! Definitely recommended!

 

#4 See a professional

pregnant-ptSeeing a health care professional throughout your pregnancy is a great idea. Even though, your ongoing aches and pains will stop once you give birth, alleviating those symptoms can be as simple as seeing a physical therapist or chiropractor as little as once a week, regularly. A health care professional can address any misalignments in your body, can use manual techniques to decrease muscle spasms, correct misalignments, and unlock aching joints. They can use tape to support your growing belly to alleviate your pelvic and back pain, give you tips on which exercises to perform to keep your musculoskeletal system as strong and efficient as possible.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Do not miss my next post on essential exercises of your second trimester!

Stay tuned in, stay awesome!

Images retrieved from

https://www.inlifehealthcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Use-Support-Pillows-while-Sitting-during-pregnancy.jpg

https://df86e1f1124ca74e8a31-9462e40b2390ee19fc5d9d822c269b91.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/ProductImages/large/292158.jpg

https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/83c2e6e4-e6f2-4775-ae92-88c63e74670b_1.c7a62e15ca2eb9ead0528f402a9ea559.jpeg?odnHeight=450&odnWidth=450&odnBg=FFFFFF

http://handprintshomehealth.com/images/pregnant-pt.jpg

Posted in pregnancy

Onset of back pain during pregnancy

http://www.spineuniverse.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/gallery-large/wysiwyg_imageupload/3998/2015/07/31/pregancy_backache21374070_M.jpgPre-pregnancy, I worked out 3 times a week  that consisted of cardio and lifting. When I stopped working out in my first trimester, I lost some of my muscle mass. That was not a good outcome for my body since I started developing some back, neck and pelvic pain. Four factors that can create back pain during pregnancy are losing muscle mass, postural changes, developing baby and hormones. Lets look at each one of them in more detail.

Losing muscle mass: Our body is very smart when it comes to conserving energy and prioritizing, and responds to demands very efficiently. If your pregnancy prevents you from your workouts, it is inevitable that your body will stop sustaining your muscle mass. Once the muscles around your joints are weakened, you are more prone to biomechanical faults, decreased control and increased pains and aches due to daily demands.
good-pregnant-posture-

Postural changes: As your growing baby gets heavier and heavier, the forward pull on your body becomes more and more. Your core weakens due to over stretching and posture also responds to this pull. Your neck juts out more, shoulders get rounded and curvature in your low back is exaggerated. All these changes creates uneven weight bearing in your joints and alters your biomechanics which creates aches and pains.

Developing baby: As your little one gets bigger, it all gets really tight in your belly which will start exerting more pressure towards the outside. Your internal organs are shifted, and there is a different demand from your musculoskeletal system. Your core muscles get stretched out and weaker so they no longer are able to support you as well as they did pre-pregnancy. When your spine does not have the stabilization and guidance during movement from your core, you are more prone to injury.

http://hms-consultants.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/wp1e749ec9_1a.png

Hormones: One of the reasons to why pregnancy women go through mood changes, experience morning sickness and have a “glow” is due to rapid hormonal changes in the body. Besides estrogen and progesterone, relaxin hormone is essential to keep your joints more flexible to prepare you for labor. While all of these hormones are absolutely critical to complete your pregnancy, they also put you at risk for sprains and strains due to increased laxity. In a nutshell, increased laxity plus weakened muscles equals up to injury followed by pain waiting to happen. Be mindful and careful during any physical activity.

 

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Check out part 2 series of how to battle back pain during pregnancy next!

Tune in for more information, until then stay awesome 🙂

 

Images retrieved from:

http://www.spineuniverse.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/gallery-large/wysiwyg_imageupload/3998/2015/07/31/pregancy_backache21374070_M.jpg

http://hms-consultants.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/wp1e749ec9_1a.png

 

 

 

Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Exercising during pregnancy

how-to-exercise-during-pregnancyMany women continue to run, lift, do sports such as crossfit while they are pregnant. There is 15% chance of miscarriage until baby’s heartbeat is present. Genetic problems, drug or alcohol abuse, hormonal imbalances can cause or contribute to miscarriage vs. exercising does not. I think the myth is that if you jump up and down too much or if you lift heavy, you may experience a miscarriage. The fact is that your baby is protected very well in your womb and is not going anywhere.

I am a practicing doctor and due to the nature of my job, I do not get to sit down. I also tried to work out for about an hour 2-3 times a week. At least, that was my pre-pregnancy routine. During my pregnancy, I went to the gym twice and in both instances, after 15 minutes of light workout, I was so out of breath that I had to leave. When I got home, I was wiped out for 2 hours. Due to the extreme fatigue and not feeling well, I could not make it to the gym so I ended up cancelling my membership.

Even after cancelling my gym membership, thanks to my job, I was able to stay active by moving around whenever I was at work. Then when I was home, I would keep active with gardening, cooking, light cleaning etc. I stayed away from prolonged sitting and bending over too much to pick something up from the floor, or getting something from the cabinet/ fridge since those would give me back pain. I also got a piece of elastic band to work out some muscle groups for two main reasons: 1- I was losing my muscle mass since I was no longer lifting weights. 2- I was getting a forward head posture and wanted to oppose the forward pull by getting my back stronger. I did couple exercises periodically to keep my upper back, shoulders and hips in check. I would also take walks around my neighborhood to stay active and de-stress from daily drama.

832b6b14-7d48-4fd6-9b96-94751736f15d.crop_1000x525_0106.resize_1200x630.format_jpeg.inline_yesWhen it comes to what kind of exercise in what amounts is right for you, it is mainly up to you and how you feel. There are really no recommended guidelines. First trimester, due to fatigue and nausea, I do not think any soon-to-be mom can stick with a strict exercise program. Second trimester is the time that you start feeling better, however your blood volume is already 50% increased, baby is getting bigger and placenta is fully developed so you are carrying around some extra weight. You may find out that your exercise capacity is not the same. Third trimester is the time that everything starts getting tight that you start waddling even when you are walking so moving around definitely gets restricted.

494389547_XSIf you already have a routine and able to go on with some adjustments, and then do it. If you are a crossfit athlete, I advise you to use less weight during lifts. If you like to run, I advise you to either slow down your speed or cut down on your distance. If you cannot run anymore but like to stay active, you can use the elliptical, which is a great alternative to running or simply walk.

Pilates and yoga are great tools to use while pregnant. Pilates focus on core stabilization and hip strengthening while yoga focuses on improving overall flexibility, and strength by using your own body weight.

6 Don’t’s of exercise

  • Refrain from hot yoga since high temperatures may affect your and your baby’s health
  • Make sure you are not holding your breath. If you are holding your breath, you may increase your blood pressure during exercising
  • Ensure you are drinking enough water before and after exercise to avoid dehydration
  • Do not push yourself beyond your limits- this is not the time for that
  • Your tolerance differs everyday – your body is changing daily so what you could tolerate will be different so stick with a program that has variety of exercises
  • If exercising is new to you then tut more emphasis on stretching since keeping more flexible and mobile can aid during labor

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from:

http://michaellloydmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/how-to-exercise-during-pregnancy.jpg

http://viralportal.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/832b6b14-7d48-4fd6-9b96-94751736f15d.crop_1000x525_0106.resize_1200x630.format_jpeg.inline_yes.jpg

http://img.aws.livestrongcdn.com/ls-article-image-640/cme/cme_public_images/www_livestrong_com/photos.demandstudios.com/getty/article/223/36/494389547_XS.jpg