fitness, Health & Fitness, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

The Benefits of Walking During Pregnancy

Walking is highly recommended as one of the best forms of exercise during pregnancy.  There are many benefits to keeping up with a regular walking routine.  I am typically a runner, but I have enjoyed walking throughout my pregnancy and I’m still going strong at 37.5 weeks!  For me, one of the best parts of walking has been that it makes me feel great!  There are many other benefits too.  Below, I put together a compilation of the top benefits of walking during pregnancy.

Disclaimer:  You should always talk to your doctor before taking on a new exercise routine during pregnancy.

  1. Healthy baby – walking helps to keep both mom and baby’s weight at a healthy level.  With the baby’s weight in check, this can make the delivery more easy and natural.  It also makes it easier for mom to lose the baby weight after baby arrives.
  2. Lower risk of Pre-Eclampsia & Gestational Diabetes – Walking helps to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at a healthy level, therefore reducing your risk of developing pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
  3. Stress Reliever – This is a big one for me!  Pregnancy can be very stressful!  Walking helps to relieve stress, anxiety, depression and mood swings because it releases endorphins (the feel good chemicals) into your body.
  4. Bonding with significant other – This has been another huge benefit for me!  My husband has been joining me for almost all of my walks, and it has been a great way to unwind together, bond, and talk about our new lives with the baby.  If your significant other likes to walk, bring them along so that they can enjoy the benefits of walking too!
  5. Relieves aches and pains – There are lots of different aches and pains that happen during pregnancy.  I have had my fair share!  Walking helps to loosen your joints, ease your muscles, and relieve some of the pain you may be experiencing.  For me, this has mainly been hip pain.  I have noticed that if I go a few days without walking, my aches will be much more noticeable.
  6. Easier childbirth – So many people have told me this throughout my pregnancy, and I did a little research and it looks like it is true!  Walking increases flexibility and tones the hip muscles which can make for an easier/faster delivery.  When you are in good shape, your body is more prepared for childbirth.  I am hoping and praying that this is true!  I’ll let you know in a few weeks! 🙂

 

Something that is very important while walking during pregnancy is to listen to your body.  If you need to slow down, slow down.  If you need to take a break, stop and rest.  During pregnancy, the point isn’t to push yourself too hard, so be sure not to wear yourself out.  Also, don’t compare yourself to others.  Everyone’s journey is different and it’s important to remember to make decisions that are best for you and your baby.

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

My Top 10 Pregnancy Must-haves

I am currently 37 weeks pregnant!  I only have 3 more weeks to go before our baby boy is here!  It’s hard to believe that time is flying by so fast, and I am getting close to the end of my first pregnancy.  I wouldn’t have made it this far without some of my favorite products which have made the hard parts of pregnancy so much easier!  I’ll be the first to admit that pregnancy can be hard!  While there is so much joy and excitement that comes along with it, there is also a lot of aches, pains, and not so fun changes that are happening to your body.  Take a look at some of my favorite pregnancy products that hopefully can make your life much easier too!

  • 1. Burt’s Bees Belly Butter – Something that I have been nervous about during the pregnancy is stretch marks.  A friend gave me the Burt’s Bees Belly Butter as a gift and I have been using it every single day of my pregnancy and so far, no stretch marks!  This has also been helpful to prevent dry, itchy skin!  It really makes your skin feel hydrated and soft.

 

  • 2. Full-size pregnancy pillow – So this was a definite must-have for me!  I am an avid back sleeper, so when I found out that you need to sleep on your side after week 20, I was at a loss!  This pregnancy pillow has made all the difference.  It is huge and takes up half the bed and my husband calls it “the giant tooth” because it kind of looks like a big tooth!  It is super comfy and makes side sleeping for me more bearable!

 

  • 3. Wedge Pillow – Much like the full-size pregnancy pillow, this has been a huge help with getting sleep and helping with the side sleeping.  I learned early on that I get some really extreme hip pain when I sleep on my side.  I started propping this under my side and it helps to relieve some of the hip pain.  I would definitely recommend it!

 

  • 4. Memory Foam Mattress Pad– I think by now you’re probably getting the picture that sleep during pregnancy has been an issue for me!  Even with the two pillows above, I still have been having a lot of hip pain while sleeping on my side due to the pressure of sleeping on a hard mattress.  To help alleviate the pain, I got this Bamboo Memory Foam Mattress Pad to put over our mattress.  This mattress pad is super comfortable and soft and has made a world of difference for my hip pain!

 

  • 5. Rotating fan – I learned early on that pregnancy hot flashes when you sleep is a real thing (especially when you’re pregnant during the summer).  We don’t have a ceiling fan in our bedroom so having a fan next to my bed was a must-have.

 

  • 6. Bella Band – At the beginning of the pregnancy, I wanted to extend the amount of time that I could wear my regular pants and shorts, and Bella Band was a miracle in helping me do that!  I wore this over my pants for most of the first and second trimester.  It worked like a charm and was definitely worth the investment.

 

  • 7. Nature Made Pre-Natal Vitamins – These are really important for all new moms-to-be for obvious reasons!  I started taking them a few months before we got pregnant, and I have been taking them every day since!

 

  • 8. Erin Condren Pregnancy Journal – I am a huge fan of journaling and once I found out I was pregnant I couldn’t wait to begin documenting my pregnancy journey through a pregnancy journal!  I did a lot of research and looked at different kinds, but Erin Condren stood out as my favorite!  Each week I have been filling out details about my pregnancy and I can’t wait to look back on this some day to remember every step of the journey!

 

  • 9. The best pregnancy book:  What to Expect when you’re expecting – This has been my pregnancy bible.  This book has helped to explain everything I needed to know about pregnancy and I have referenced it countless times.  The best part about it is that since it is such a classic, you know that you can trust the information in it.

 

  • 10. A pair of good maternity jeans – It took a few misses to find a pair of maternity jeans that I really liked.   Once I found them, I ordered 4 more pairs of the exact same jeans because good fitting maternity jeans are hard to find.