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Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Working out out While Pregnant

I’ve told you how to keep your body healthy through eating while pregnant, now let’s talk about working out while pregnant.  In the past, women have been told not to work out while pregnant. There wasn’t a lot known about the effects that exercise would have on the baby. Now, we know that working out is very beneficial to a pregnant woman. Some benefits could include shorter labor, easier labor (all those squats don’t seem so silly now, do they?), and healthier babies; not to mention easier recovery times and a shorter time to get that pre-baby body back. Today, I’ll discuss myths that go along with exercise and pregnancy. The next blog will be exercise that should and shouldn’t be done while pregnant.

**Always check with your doctor before you engage in any exercise while pregnant.**

**If you don’t feel well, don’t work out that day. Always listen to your body.**

Myths

  • Never get your heart rate above (fill in the number) during pregnancy.  Everyone is different, therefore every heart rate is different. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists abandoned the target heart rate philosophy for preggos a while ago.  What you should go by is the PRE (perceived rate of exertion), which means that you stop when you feel you’re going too hard and you keep going when you feel like you can. A good rule of thumb, even for you non-preggers, is to try to talk when working out. If you can’t carry on a conversation without taking deep breaths between each word, you should probably slow it down. If you can sing with no problem while working out, kick it up a notch. You should be able to talk, but not a mile a minute.  What you should also pay attention to is how hot you get. Especially during the first six weeks or so, you don’t want to get your body temp too high because of the possible effects that has on the fetus. 
  • You can’t do ab exercises while pregnant. This is also a myth. Strengthening your core has huge benefits while pregnant. It helps in labor and delivery and recovery time, as well as posture. After the first trimester, you shouldn’t lay flat on your back anymore, so gentle standing pelvic tilts, seated belly breathing, or tightening abs, holding, then releasing, are good ways to keep ab muscles in top condition.
  • You can’t run during pregnancy. If you were a runner before pregnancy, you can be a runner during. As long as you feel up to it, run your little heart out. Remember though, you’re not striving to break any goals, just to maintain where you are now. Don’t be training for a marathon while you’re pregnant.
  • If I exercise too much during pregnancy, I will pull nutrients from my baby so he/she won’t grow properly. Your baby is not going to go without nutrients. In fact, if it doesn’t have what it needs, it will take it from you and your store of nutrients. In order for you to get what you need (remember, Mommy, you need to make sure you’re ok, too), eat smaller, more frequent meals. Make sure to take your prenatal vitamins, too. “Babies of mommies who exercise during pregnancy are born leaner, but organ size and head circumference are normal. So don’t be afraid to exercise during pregnancy,” says Laura Riley, MD, spokeswoman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and author of Pregnancy: You and Your Baby.
  • If I never exercised before, now is not the time to start. Wrong! You should not become Ms. Fitness of America in the next 9 months, but you should by no means keep your preggo butt on the couch.  Walking, swimming, stationary biking, and yoga are all good exercises you can begin while pregnant. You can even begin to lift light weights, but get a trainer to show you some easy exercises to start with.  You can start with just 10 minutes a day and progressively move up from there. Please don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to sit around and do nothing.
  • Any sign of trouble — like spotting or pain — means I should stop exercising and not do it any more during my pregnancy. Those are signs to stop what you’re doing immediately, as are nausea, dizziness, and lightheadedness, but it doesn’t mean you need to stop exercising forever. Make sure you’ve eaten well that day, make sure you’ve had enough water, and talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
Me after a workout, 14 weeks preggo

Me after a workout, 14 weeks preggo

Stay sweaty, and safe, my friends!

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11/14/2012 workout…arms

Today I focused on biceps and triceps and a little bit of shoulders. My arms are already feeling it, but that might be because I haven’t been able to work out in a while. These are some great exercises to add to your arm arsenal! You can do all of these with just dumbbells except for the tricep cable push-down, you’ll need a cable machine for that.

I did 8-10 reps with each exercise…lift a weight that will cause you to think you absolutely can’t do anymore after 10 reps (that means more than 3 lbs). I did three sets of each, alternating the exercises.

Biceps

Triceps

Shoulders

If you lift enough weight, your arms should feel it when you leave the gym. (or the area where you work out.)  For some of you, this may not be enough, that’s ok, add some more exercises to each section. I’m working my way back up to my “normal” after taking two months off.  For some of you, this may be more than enough, and if that’s the case, take away one exercise. Always modify exercises to your ability.

Stay sweaty, my friends!

Eating Healthy While Pregnant 2

Last week I told you what you should be eating during your pregnancy months, and today we will go over a list of what you really shouldn’t nom on while preggo. Most of these are due to changes in your immune system, which makes you more vulnerable to food borne illnesses.  While it may not hurt the baby directly, those who have ever had food poisoning knows its not a good situation for anyone.

What to avoid completely:

  • Raw eggs: You really shouldn’t be eating raw eggs anyway because of the salmonella risk, but this is definitely a no-no during pregnancy. Sorry, ladies, no licking the batter after making those yummy cakes and pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Unpasteurized juice, milk, cheeses, etc: The process of pasteurization takes out all the yucky bacteria and toxins.
  • Fish like swordfish, shark, tilefish and marlin: These fish are way too high in mercury, which isn’t good for anyone. Sorry, ladies, no shark for dinner. (Has anyone ever eaten shark? I’m curious how it tastes.) Other fish with lower counts of mercury is great during pregnancy and non-pregnant life because of the omega-3 fatty acids (hello, baby brain growth!)
  • Sushi: This is a bit controversial. Some say to avoid it completely, some say to limit it. Sushi may contain illness inducing parasites. I had some sushi the other night, and it was delicious. I am not sick, but I went ahead and took the risk because I was CRAVING salmon sushi. If you don’t want to risk it, but can’t get it out of your head, order a roll that comes cooked.  I’m wondering if Japanese women completely cut sushi out of their pregnancy diets, and if they don’t, then we shouldn’t worry about it either. Just in case though, maybe only once a trimester 🙂
  • Alcohol: Some people will tell you a 4 oz glass of wine is ok, and it may be ok. However, the powers that be still don’t really know how much alcohol leads to FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) and its different for everyone. Just like it takes less for one person to get drunk than another. My opinion is to just to give it up cold turkey. And if you drank a lot before you found out, don’t worry too much about it. With Little Man, I celebrated a Texas Tech win a little too hard the week before I found out, and he is perfectly fine. If it happened before you found out, it doesn’t count 😉

Foods that are OK, sometimes:

  • Caffeine: I talked about caffeine in the last post. Again, no more than 300 mg/day. There are still studies out looking at caffeine as a cause to miscarriages and low birth weight. Enjoy your iced frap mocha-whatever, but limit it to one. 🙂 (My caffeine must haves are chocolate and Dr. Pepper.)
  • Nitrate-rich foods: Hot dogs are included in this list. These foods have additives that are linked to brain tumors and diabetes. Let’s face it, hot dogs aren’t really a stellar nutrition choice anyway. They are, however, a must have at a baseball game. Go easy on the foot-longs, ladies.

Foods that were once banned, but now are ok:

  • Soft cheeses: These cheeses, like brie and feta, are now ok as long as they are made with pasteurized milk. ]
  • Deli meats: As long as they are cooked or heated. If you stick your turkey sandwich in the microwave, or order your Subway toasted, you are good to go! The heat kills whatever bacteria may be lurking in your deli meat.

Remember to wash all your fresh fruits and veggies especially if you don’t buy organic (no judgement, I don’t either), because we don’t know what’s on them.

Good luck ladies!!

Stay sweaty, my friends!

Eating Healthy While Pregnant

Since I am now working on little person #2, I thought I would address some issues that pregnant women have in terms of keeping (or starting) a healthy lifestyle. On some of these, I really have to take my own advice. Today, I will discuss food. The next one will be about working out while pregnant.

Healthy Pregnancy Tip #1

  • First thing to remember, YOU ARE NOT EATING FOR TWO. There, I said it. Stop with this mentality. There is not a full grown adult in your belly. It does not need 1200 calories of its own food to survive. For most of your pregnancy, your little bundle weighs less than a pound! The most your baby needs is an extra 300-500 calories. That’s just like adding a snack.

Healthy Pregnancy Tip #2

  • Just like you are not allowed to eat as much as you want, you are not allowed to eat whatever you want.  This is the advice I’ve had to give myself repeatedly since I got pregnant.  If anything, you need to eat even healthier than you did before. Here are some guidelines to eating while pregnant (source: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/eating-right-when-pregnant)
    • Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Recommended daily servings include 6-11 servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products, and three servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts). Use fats and sweets sparingly.
    • Choose foods high in fiber that are enriched such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables.
    • Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet while pregnant. You should take a prenatal vitamin supplement to make sure you are consistently getting enough vitamins and minerals every day. Your doctor can recommend an over-the-counter brand or prescribe a prenatal vitamin for you.
    • Eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day to help ensure that you are getting 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy.
    • Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods per day to ensure you are getting 27 mg of iron daily.
    • Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens. Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C a day.
    • Choose at least one good source of folic acid every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, veal, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas). Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.4 mg of folic acid per day to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
    • Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day. Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe. Know that excessive vitamin A intake (>10,000 IU/day) may be associated with fetal malformations.
  • Now, I know…believe me, I know…that healthy foods don’t always sound appetizing. Sometimes, to me, the only thing that sounds appetizing is a bean burrito from Taco Bueno. (The non-pregnant me wants to slap the pregnant me sometimes).  Just try…think about the life growing inside you. You want it to be the strongest is can be. If you don’t eat so well one day, that’s ok, just try again the next day.

Healthy Pregnancy Tip #3

  • WATER, WATER, WATER. Just like in non-pregnant life, water is the most important liquid you can put in your body. In fact, its more important in pregnant life since you are creating amniotic fluid for your baby to swim in for 9-10 months. Drink it all the time.
  • If you need the occasional caffeine boost (first trimester anyone?), coffee is ok, sodas are fine but also think about the amount of sugar in a soda. The recommended allowance for caffeine while pregnant is 150 mg – 300 mg a day. Here’s a little breakdown of common caffeine products:
    • Starbucks Grande Coffee (16 oz) 400 mg
    • Starbucks House Blend Coffee (16 oz) 259 mg
    • Dr. Pepper (12 oz) 37 mg
    • 7 Eleven Big Gulp Diet Coke (32 oz) 124 mg
    • 7 Eleven Big Gulp Coca-Cola (32 oz) 92 mg
    • Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Buzz Ice Cream (8 oz) 72 mg
    • Baker’s chocolate (1 oz) 26 mg
    • Green tea (6 oz) 40 mg
    • Black tea (6 oz) 45 mg
    • Excedrin (per capsule) 65mg

Good luck my fellow pregnant warriors! If you’re not pregnant, send this on to someone who is…EVERYONE knows someone who is pregnant.

Stay sweaty, my friends!

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