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Monday, June 17, 2013

Nutrition and Fitness After Pregnancy


When a new baby comes into your life it's easy to be selfless. You're constantly thinking about the care of your baby and what they need; changing diapers, feedings, cleaning etc. This is extremely important since your baby relies on you for their physical and emotional development but taking time for your own health is also an important thing to remember. With the proper nutrition and physical activity, after pregnancy, your body will more easily be able to handle the exhaustion and stress that a new life can add. Plus it's a good way to loose the extra baby weight too.




Nutrition:

Calories- Know the right amount of calories your body needs daily. If you are breastfeeding, your body needs about 500 more calories a day. To calculate your personal calorie intake visit choosemyplate.gov and click on "Daily Food Plan". This choosemyplate.gov is a new initiative in place of Mypyramid.gov.

Water- We all know we need to eat the recommended 5 a day fruits and vegetables but what we forget is how much water we need. Water is necessary for almost every function in the body and is essential to life. The water recommendation is 8 cups per day if you are not breastfeeding and 10-12 cups a day if you are. 



Whole Grain Pancakes
Whole Grains- Whole grains offer high levels of antioxidants along with vitamins and minerals. Its recommended that women over the age of 19 consume 3 servings a day. These can range from brown rice, whole grain breads, popcorn, whole grain pancakes, cereals and oatmeal. I've recently switched to an awesome brand of whole grain pancake mix that tastes amazing! The brand is called Kodiak Cakes-try them out! You buy these at the following stores: Target, Dan’s, Macey’s, Reams, Harmon’s, Smith’s, Fresh Market, Associated Foods Stores

Calcium- This is one of the most important nutrients a women can get. Calcium helps build strong bones and prevents osteoporosis (porous bones) later in life. Women can  build up their calcium supply in their bones until about the age 25, this is why calcium is vital for young women. Women need about 1,000 milligrams a day and nursing mothers need about 1,200. 


Exercise/Fitness:

Exercise can help shed pounds, increase endurance and stamina and most importantly to new moms it releases those "feel good" endorphins. 

Post pregnancy fitness ideas

  • Stroller walking/running
  • Go for a brisk walk
  • Water aerobics
  • Bicycling
  • Home workout videos
  • Smaller things that make a difference like parking further away in a parking lot, taking the stairs or crunches/push-ups during a few spare moments. 
Try to incorporate your baby in the exercises you do. This way you don't need to find a sitter and you can interact with your baby while increasing your fitness. 


Kissing Baby Push Ups



Baby Bend: Hold the baby in front of you and sit all the way down, bringing your butt to your heels while keeping arms straight. Stand up again and repeat.

Leg extensions for Quad work out


Do what you can, when you can
      Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get in a work out or if you didn’t eat the healthiest of foods one day. You are busier and more tired than you probably have ever been, and your new baby is of course your number one priority. Try to get in activity when you can, and don’t get upset if it doesn’t work out. Try to eat the healthiest and best you can as often as you can. Listen to your body and never do anything that hurts, strains, or doesn't feel right. Just making little healthy changes to your everyday life will be extremely beneficial.




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