How to stay healthy and fit during pregnancy
A letter to you from Esther van Diepen. Esther is Dutch, founder of Mom in Balance, and a mother of four.
For the next nine months, your body will be all about growing your healthy baby! This asks for energy, focus, discipline, perseverance and a strong body. Being pregnant is a top sport, where you will use every bit of extra energy. Sports and healthy nutrition can make a big difference in how you will feel.
Several studies showing the main positive benefits of sport and healthy nutrition during pregnancy will encourage you to put on your sneakers right away and get active. Here are ten reasons to continue to exercise during pregnancy.
- You feel healthy and fit and get more energy.
- It has a positive effect on the development of your baby.
- It ensures that your condition is maintained or even improves.
- It contributes to a healthy weight gain.
- You have less problems with pregnancy ailments.
- It promotes a good night’s sleep.
- You have better stamina before, during and after your delivery.
- You will have your own body back sooner after childbirth.
- It gives a relaxed feeling and a good mood.
- Exercising with other pregnant women stimulates and provides nice contacts.
In a healthy pregnancy, you can basically continue to exercise until just before childbirth. Your baby will grow considerably in the coming months and, as the baby’s growth changes, you will have to adjust your sport schedule whilst continuing your active routine in a responsible and healthy way.
Here are some basic guidelines.
- Make sure your body temperature does not rise too much.
- Train at a maximum of 70%, with a maximum heart rate of 145 heartbeats per minute.
- Drink plenty of water during and after exercise.
- Take a carbohydrate-rich snack before and after exercise.
- Don’t exhaust yourself completely.
- Don’t exercise for much longer than an hour at a time.
By far the best sports that you can keep doing during your pregnancy are walking, swimming, cycling and a combination of strength and cardio exercises giving a total body workout. There are several groups where you can follow a tailor-made workout for pregnant women, such as at Mom in Balance, up until your due date and where you can meet and connect with other pregnant women.
When the baby arrives, your family is in a whole new rhythm. The better you feel yourself, the more you can enjoy the early years of motherhood. So, try to eat healthily and make time for sports. But also take the time to relax. With a body that is rested, strong and in good condition, you will get through the broken nights more easily and find the energy to be involved with your family, your work and everything else that is important to you.
The best project to work on is you!
Esther van Diepen| Mom in Balance
Esther van Diepen, Founder of Mom in Balance, is Dutch in origin, and living in Singapore with her four kids. With her Top Sport background, she developed the Mom in Balance sport program with experts in the field of fitness during pregnancy. She loves the outdoors, nature, being on an adventure with her family, and living in different places around the world. She started Mom in Balance in 2008, when living in New York, as an outdoor and online sport program, and she runs different programs for an active pregnancy, to get back in shape, and to ‘Mpower’ every mum. With 350 great trainers, the program runs worldwide as well as in Singapore. With these outdoor workouts, mums will keep a healthy sport routine during pregnancy and rebuild fitness through cardio fitness after their delivery.
Anna Kwan | Beloved Bumps
Anna is a postnatal exercise specialist. She runs small group classes both in person and virtually and also sees clients on a one-one basis at their home. She specialises in postnatal core rehab and diastasis management.
Jim Webster | Coached Lab
Jim is a sports scientist at Coached Lab which provides professional diagnosis and programs with results that track progress. Formerly the domain of elite athletes, Coached Lab made sports science testing friendly and accessible to everyone. Their unique fat burning test is a metabolic efficiency test that measures how the body uses its energy during exercise. By looking at metabolic rate, they are able to identify the ideal training zone to maximise fat burning and lose excess body fat. Their resting metabolic rate (RMR) test is a non-invasive test that identifies the minimum energy expenditure that a body uses daily to function. Knowing this number allows ease in planning a nutritional strategy to facilitate significant weight loss or muscle gain based on each person’s unique metabolic condition. If you want to lose weight, improve health, and accelerate performance, their unique testing services and programs can help.
Health 2 Mama
Health 2 Mama are a team of female physio trainers. They use their expertise as physios combined with their knowledge of strength training and women’s health to help mums ease into exercise during pregnancy and after birth safely - or if already exercising, help them to maintain their strength and fitness. They have Ease into Exercise, Go Mama and Super Mama training programs available and also unique online programs specifically for pelvic floor strengthening and diastasis recti healing via their app.