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How to stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy

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Keeping fit and healthy during pregnancy can have a lot of benefits, for both you and your baby. You will find it easier to lose that baby weight after the pregnancy, as well as ensuring your baby is the healthiest it can be.

Some women are worried about trying to diet or exercise while they are pregnant, or are unsure of how to do it the right way. Let's look at the right type of exercise, diet and supplements that will help you and your child stay completely fit, healthy and happy.

Exercising During Pregnancy

The more active you are during pregnancy, the better your body will react to the changes and deal with childbirth. It will also become easier to shed any weight gain once your baby has been born, without any fad diets.

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby, in fact most evidence says the complete opposite. This means you should keep up with your normal exercise routine until you no longer feel comfortable doing so.

Exercise tips:

• Yoga is one of the best exercises for those who are pregnant. You can find special yoga pregnancy classes or attend a regular one, which will work just as well! These are also great places to meet women who are also experiencing pregnancy.
• Avoid contact sports or exercise with a risk of falling. This includes things such as squash, horse riding, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling.
• Always warm up and cool down, before and after exercising. This will help keep you and your muscles limber.
• Drink plenty of water and other fluids when exercising. Also, avoid too much exercise when the weather is particularity warm.

Dieting During Pregnancy

A healthy diet is not just for you during pregnancy, it is for your baby too. Eating healthily when you are pregnant can help your baby develop, as well as making you feel fit and happy. Fad diets should be avoided at all costs, especially those which tell you to avoid a certain food group.

Make sure you get a variety of different foods during your pregnancy, in order to give your baby the nutrients that he or she needs. You will need to increase your calorie intake by an average of 200 calories per day, especially in the third trimester of your pregnancy.

Healthy eating tips:

• Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. It can be fresh from the local market or frozen in your freezer, as long as you get your 5-a-day!
• Eat wholemeal carbohydrates instead of white. Swap your white bread, rice and pasta for a wholemeal alternative.
• Only eat a small amount of foods that are high in sugar, fat or both. You don't need to cut them out, just ensure you keep them to a minimum.
• Research into the foods that you need to avoid when pregnant, before putting together a healthy eating plan.

Getting Your Vitamins and Nutrients

Hopefully, if you are eating healthily, then you should be getting a good amount of vitamins and nutrients in your diet. However, as a pregnant woman there are some that you will need more of than before. Make sure you are getting enough of the following in your diet, or through supplements:

• Vitamin D – For strong teeth and bones
• Vitamin E – Helps the baby form and helps red blood cells
• Vitamin C – Builds up a healthy immune system
• Folic Acid – Helps support the placenta and can also help prevent birth defects
• Iron – Reduces the risk of premature delivery or low birth weight

These are just some of the vitamins that you should be getting more of, on a daily basis. You may find a multivitamin especially for pregnant women is the easiest way to achieve a higher intake. Or perhaps you may want to take these nutrients separately.

Staying fit and healthy during your pregnancy can ensure that everything runs smoothly (or as smoothly as can be)! Keep a note of these top tips and feel free to add your own to the list.

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