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Working Out During Pregnancy: Myths Vs. Facts

Working Out During Pregnancy: Myths Vs. Facts
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Discovering you are pregnant can be an exciting time, but it can also be very overwhelming as you try to determine what changes you need to make in order to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. One of the things you may be wondering about is whether or not to exercise during pregnancy, and what is safe and what is not.

According to the National Institute of Health, pregnant women should exercise for 30 minutes a day for optimal well being. If you are not sure where to begin, or whether or not continue with your favorite workout, then we have broken it down for you. Just remember to check with your healthcare provider before you begin.

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1. I should not start a new exercise routine during pregnancy.

In most cases, it is perfectly safe for women to begin an exercise routine while pregnant. Of course, you should check with your health care provider to rule out any potential problems, but unless your pregnancy is considered high risk, you should be in the clear. Remember, even starting a simple walking routine provides a great deal of benefits.

2. I should give up running while I am pregnant.

If you were an avid runner before pregnancy, there is no reason to give it up now, assuming you have a healthy pregnancy. While you may need to make a few changes to your regular routine to ensure safety, running still provides a great and efficient workout.

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3. I should not exercise during pregnancy because it can harm my baby.

Many women are concerned that working out could be harmful to their unborn baby. While it is true that you need to be mindful of both your breathing and your body temperature, many forms of exercise are totally OK. The important thing is to not overexert yourself. If you are uncertain about whether or not a particular form of exercise is safe, check with your health care provider.

4. I should not do any abdominal exercises during pregnancy.

While it may seem counterintuitive to work on your abdominal muscles while pregnant, it is actually a good idea. Keeping your core strong during pregnancy will help you both during and after childbirth. You should, however, avoid doing any exercises in late pregnancy that require you to lie flat on your back as these types of exercises are not safe while pregnant.

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5. I should only do very “light” workouts so I don’t deprive my baby of nutrients and oxygen.

In most cases, you can continue with your usual workout routine while pregnant. You will most likely find that as your body changes so will your level of activity, and paying attention to how you are feeling during an exercise routine is critical. Your growing baby will continue to get everything it needs from you, and the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise plan will be advantageous to both of you.

6. I should be concerned if I have any pain while exercising during pregnancy.

Experiencing pain during pregnancy can be alarming at any time. Pain during pregnancy is not uncommon, though, and is not always a reason for concern. If you experience pain while working out, it may simply be a typical discomfort. However, if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, dizziness, or nausea, then it is important that you contact your doctor or midwife as this could indicate something more serious.

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7. I should be concerned about injuring myself while working out during pregnancy because it can be unsafe.

With all of the changes your body is going through while pregnant, there are some exercises you should avoid. Because your sense of balance is off during pregnancy, you should avoid any exercises that require large or sudden movements. Your joints loosen during pregnancy, so you should make sure you are not over-extending in any movements. Lastly, any high impact sport or physical activity that could result in forceful contact should  be avoided.

8. I should pay close attention to my heart rate when I exercise during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, your heart rate automatically increases. With this in mind, it makes sense that you should pay attention to your heart rate when working out during pregnancy. However, the intensity of your workout is what really matters. According to Dr. Roger W. Harms at the Mayo Clinic, pacing yourself and being able to carry on a conversation during your workout, are the best indicators of whether you are overdoing it or not. If you cannot easily talk, and are having shortness of breath, then you should consider slowing down.

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Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamjonfuller/ via flickr.com

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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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