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I don’t think it’s a secret that pregnancy can really take its toll on your body. If you have any question about it, just ask any woman who has ever been pregnant. It really is no joke.
I gained quite a bit of weight in my first pregnancy and even ended up in physical therapy after giving birth because of some knee issues that appeared largely due to said weight gain and not maintaining my fitness like I should have.
Health and fitness is an important part of living well and this is even more true when pregnant. That said, it can be even harder to find the motivation to stay fit when you’re dealing with all the other side effects of pregnancy. (Morning sickness, sheer exhaustion, cravings, and the list goes on.)
Today, I want to share some simple ways that you can stay healthy during your pregnancy as well as a new fitness app, Aaptiv, that I have been using recently to try to stay fit.
Staying Healthy During Your Pregnancy
Drink Plenty of Water
I cut out most almost all caffeine when I was pregnant the first time around with Little. I say “almost” because I realize that even decaf coffee has small amounts of caffeine and I still love a decaf latte. But besides that, I have switched to drinking almost exclusively water – preferably with lots of ice. I’ll still have a soft drink occasionally when not pregnant, but to be honest, I really don’t miss them very much. This is going to sound really cliche, but since I started drinking water so much, that nothing really quenches my thirst the same way.
I’m sure you’ve heard the stats – that we should drink at least 64 oz of water per day and even more when pregnant. I can tell a major difference in the way I feel when I haven’t had water. It can cause me to have headaches, be more sluggish, and feel overall worse.
This one can be particularly tough while pregnant. In my first trimester both times, there were days where all I wanted to eat was a fast food burger. Although, this pregnancy, I’ve craved Chinese take-out sometimes, too. And I always love sweets – pregnant or not.
Eating well isn’t just good for baby, but will help you control your weight gain as well. You’re going to gain weight, and maybe even a lot of it – everybody’s body is different. But, a friend told me once and they were right: “the brownies do the same thing to your body pregnant or not.” Remember that the old saying, “eating for two” doesn’t quite add up. In fact, you only need about 350 more calories per day in the second trimester and 500 more in the third unless you’re carrying multiples (source).
Making healthy meal and snack choices will help you feel better, give your baby the proper nutrients they need, and help you stay healthy. (It will also allow you to splurge every now and then on your favorite treat without the guilt!)
I’ve posted some of my favorite ways to squeeze in physical activity when you don’t have time to do a full work out here before. While you might not need to modify certain exercises as your pregnancy progresses, it is important that you incorporate exercise into your regular routine to maintain a strong, healthy pregnancy.
Some of my favorite ways to incorporate exercise in during this pregnancy have been to take walks around our neighborhood, doing some squats, and light (5 pounds or less for me) weight repetitions from time to time.
Whatever sort of exercise you choose to do, it is important to consult with your doctor to be sure it’s safe and recommended. Your doctor will be able to guide you to the best forms of exercise for your body and pregnancy.
Aaptiv: Workouts at Your Fingertips
One tool that I’ve been using recently is the Aaptiv fitness app. It’s an audio fitness app complete with almost any sort of workout you can imagine: cardio (on the elliptical, treadmill, outdoor running, etc.), strength training, yoga, walking, meditation, you name it. There are individual workouts and specific training programs to choose from.
Each workout has a professional trainer and soundtrack to keep you moving and guide you along the way. There really is something for everyone – including a maternity program for expecting mamas.
There is also a really engaged Facebook group for users where people post progress updates, challenges, and other tips. This can be really helpful if you choose to use if for accountability.
*Aaptiv has agreed to offer a full 30-day trial especially to Live Well Play Together with the promo code: BURPEES. (More details and instructions below.)*
Aaptiv: What I Like and Don’t Like
Even with all the convenience of an exercise app, there are definitely some things that I don’t love about the app. Below are some of the things I like and don’t like to hopefully help you decide it it’s something you’d like to try for yourself. (Spoiler alert: I think you should try it for yourself – especially since you can get a full month for free without any obligation!)
- It really is so easy and because it’s an app you can take it with you anywhere.
- The personal trainers
- Each workout and program is led by trainers that are encouraging, and really motivate you to keep it moving throughout the whole workout. It really is so much easier to get through a workout when you have someone guiding you and holding you accountable to keep going.
- The music
- Each workout also has a playlist, which I really enjoy. It beats trying to run the app and your own music in the background and the music syncs right up to the workout, which is perfect. I especially think this is useful for some of the running programs whether outside or on a machine.
- The variety
- Aaptiv is not your standard workout video with the same sorts of programs in each session. Because there are so many different workouts to choose from, you really can have a fully varied workout with several different focus areas each day. The times are also varied which I think is key when you’re busy. Some of the workouts last just 10-15 minutes if you need something really quick. Others are upwards of half an hour or more when you really want to spend some time working on your fitness.
- Something for everyone
- I really think there is something for everyone here. You can choose your preferred trainers, music genre, type of workout, level of difficulty, duration of workout, etc. This allows you to really customize it to something that you love and get the most out of.
- The accountability group
- The Facebook group I mentioned for users is really beneficial. The members are really engaged and encouraging. It is a great place to ask questions, get feedback, and be motivated by others.
While there are many things I really like about the Aaptiv app, the one thing that I consider the biggest drawback is the fact that it is audio only.
This is in the description of the app, so it comes as no surprise, but I find it difficult to fully understand how certain moves or poses are supposed to be done in the strength training programs. Especially being pregnant, I really want to be sure I’m assuming the correct form when doing these exercises to prevent falling and/or other injury.
Aaptiv: My Final Verdict
Overall, I think this is a useful app and one that can be really helpful if you like to have some guidance in your workouts. If you are looking for a convenient, easily customized, varied workout program for the full body, I definitely recommend checking out Aaptiv.
As I mentioned earlier, there Aaptiv has offered Live Well Play Together a 30 day free trial using the code: BURPEES.
To activate this free trial, simply go to the Aaptiv site and sign up for the monthly plan. You’ll enter the promo code: BURPEES into the Gift Code box, which will bring your total to $0.00. Full instructions for redeeming the promo code is available here. Be sure to enter this as a gift code.
Really, what do you have to lose?
Tell me, mamas. What are some ways that you try to stay healthy and fit during pregnancy?
*I used the 30 day gift code provided by Aaptiv above for this review, but was not sponsored or monetarily compensated. All opinions expressed are my own.