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What Exercise To Do When You’re 3 Months Pregnant

What Exercise To Do When You’re 3 Months Pregnant
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At 3 months pregnant, the morning sickness may be beginning to wane and your energy may start to come back. The first trimester is the perfect time to start an exercise program to keep you and your baby healthy through the rest of your pregnancy. This article will help you be strong at 3 months pregnant.

Why Exercise When I’m 3 Months Pregnant?

Research shows that regular exercise during pregnancy can increase energy and decrease discomfort (like lower back pain, as well as foot and ankle swelling). It can also help with labor and delivery, as well as relieve some of the stress of carrying a baby around 24/7.

What does this mean for you at three months? While it may be difficult to exercise for the first few months due to morning sickness and fatigue, most women are feeling better by their third month. Exercise can alleviate some of the lasting effects of fatigue and nausea, making life a little easier on you.

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How Should I Exercise?

This depends on your activity level before pregnancy. WebMD states that women who were active before pregnancy can continue with modifications as needed. Listen to your body and check with a doctor to make sure that your plan is right for you and your baby. If you were not active before pregnancy, start by consulting with your doctor. Strenuous workout programs are not recommended during this time. Walk, swim, or grab those stylish yoga shorts and head down to the gym for a prenatal yoga class. These are great ways to get your body moving without putting undue strain on yourself. Regardless of your activity level before pregnancy, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily. Moderate means that you have enough breath to talk while working out, but could not sing a song if you tried.

Which Activities Should I Consider?

Always check with a healthcare provider before exercising during pregnancy. Women with conditions such as heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, or risk of preterm labor may be advised not to exercise. Once you’ve gotten your doctor’s approval and you’re beginning your exercise plan, here are few activities to consider:

Aerobics – Low-impact aerobics are recommended; high-impact aerobics are not. Most classes offer low-impact modifications for high-impact moves, so you can still get a workout without all the jumping around.

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Running/Walking – These are excellent choices depending on your fitness level. Hydrate often, and listen to your body to make sure you’re not putting undue stress on yourself.

Strength Training – This is a great exercise for pregnancy. However, avoid lifting heavy weights. This can put strain on you and the baby. Fit Pregnancy has a great article on safe weight-lifting techniques during pregnancy.

Swimming/Water Aerobics – Many women enjoy the pool while pregnant because the water supports their weight, giving them a break for a while. Swimming and water aerobics work on both aerobic capacity and strength, making them an ideal pregnancy workout choice.

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Yoga – The stretching and strength work in yoga is great for pregnant bodies. However, there are a few positions to avoid. Twists, inversions, and lying flat on your back are not recommended. Your instructor will be able to show you how to modify positions in order to keep you and your baby safe.

What Exercises Should I Avoid?

Not all sports and activities are recommended during pregnancy. Here are a few that can be dangerous for you and your baby. Avoid contact sports like football, hockey, soccer, and basketball. They pose an injury to both you and the baby. Anything with a high risk of falls is also not recommended during pregnancy, like skiing, gymnastics, horseback riding, surfing . Scuba diving is another dangerous activity to avoid. The change in pressure can be harmful to the baby. Breathing from an oxygen tank has also been shown to increase birth defects.

The Bottom Line

Exercise is a highly recommended way to increase energy and relieve stress. With the approval of your healthcare provider, you can choose from a number of different activities to make sure that you enjoy what you are doing and stay motivated. The end of the first trimester is a great time to start a workout routine that will set you up for success through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and beyond.

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Featured photo credit: 40 Weeks Pregnant/Future Street via flic.kr

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Paisley Hansen

Freelance Writer

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Published on July 22, 2021

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week
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It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

    These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

    Get the recipe here.

    2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

      This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

      To try this recipe, go here.

      3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

        Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

        Check out the recipe here.

        4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

          Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

          5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

            This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

            Find the recipe here.

            6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

              The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

              Get the recipe for this dish here.

              7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                You can find the recipe here.

                8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                  Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                  Find the recipe here.

                  9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                    This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                    Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                    10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                      Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                      The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                      11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                        Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                        Find the recipe here.

                        12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                          This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                            Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                            This easy recipe can be found here.

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                            14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                              Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                              Find out how to make it here.

                              15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                The recipe can be found here.

                                16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                  This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                  Find the recipe here.

                                  17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                    Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                    Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                    18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                      Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                        Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                        Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                        20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                          Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                          Get the recipe here.

                                          Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                          Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                          Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                          1. Lose the Sugar

                                          Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                          2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                          Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                          3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                          Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                          When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                          Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                          Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                          More Healthy Eating Tips

                                          Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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