5 Tips for Fighting Pregnancy Fatigue

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During pregnancy, you may start to feel more tired than you’re used to — especially during the first trimester when baby is making major developments, and in the third trimester when you’re carrying extra weight and baby is sitting lower. Depending on the severity of fatigue you’re experiencing, there are a number of natural ways to help combat tiredness and increase your energy to help you feel better!

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1. Drink more water! The good news is, you can help boost your energy and fight pregnancy fatigue! Start by increasing your water intake, since your body needs extra hydration during pregnancy and many people don’t drink enough water; remember if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!

2. Exercise more often. It may sound surprising, but including 30 minutes of exercise a day can actually help decrease fatigue as exercise will cause the body to release endorphins. Just getting your body moving will help you reap the benefits of exercise. Ten minutes of exercising, a few times a day can be more managable– especially if you have a busy schedule or too tired for a full workout. Along with additional water for pregnancy, you’ll also want to add a glass for every half hour you’re exercising. Another bonus for pregnancy exercise? If you’re struggling to fall asleep or finding your body restless at night, including exercise in your daily routine can help your body relax in the evenings, help you fall asleep faster, and even provide you with a more restful sleep. Try mixing up your routine with a few cardio sessions and a few circuits every week, changing things up keeps your body (and your mind!) challenged. Finish off your day with a few light stretches to rest your body and prepare for sleep.

3. Decrease the sugar. Your diet may also be to blame when if you’re experiencing some excess tiredness. Too many refined sugars and flours, combined with not enough fiber and iron can make your body feel sluggish. Refined sugars may give you a quick boost, but your body will crash fast and feel even more fatigued. Instead try including some citrus fruits for a snack and natural sweeteners like agave nectar.

4. Eat more protein, fiber, and iron. These nutrients will help reduce fatigue symptoms by keeping your body (and belly) feeling full and energized. If you notice you’re fatigued at the same time each day, break up your meals into smaller portions more often. Try to include iron-rich foods; leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and meats, in every meal– as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, since research shows that citrus can help the body absorb iron.

5. Nap. A fifteen minute power nap can be extremely refreshing and well deserved during pregnancy. Your body is working hard so your baby can grow and develop properly, and this can deplete your body of its energy. It’s also common to be uncomfortable during sleep, so the quality of your nightly zzz’s might not be cutting it. When you’re body is tired, you’re more at risk for catching colds, so be sure to take a few minutes at your desk after lunch, or a short nap after work to recharge.

When visiting your doctor, it is extremely important you mention the fatigue you’re experiencing– he or she will probably run some bloodwork to check your thyroid, as well as your iron, which is associated with anemia and quite common in pregnancy. Check that you’re cleared for exercise and discuss your fitness routine with your doctors to ensure all your activities are suitable for you and baby!

Julianna

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Lose the Baby Weight with Erica Ziel

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Whether you’ve just had a baby or it’s been many years, these workouts (10 of them!) are designed to get you feeling great and looking amazing!  From Knocked-Up to Knock Out workouts focus on toning, sculpting, and conditioning your entire body, with an emphasis on strengthening your pelvic floor and deep core muscles.

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With over 2 hours of workouts, you can mix and match your favorites and go from Knocked Up to Knock Out!

Including beginner and intermediate workouts with core exercises that focus on kegels, not crunches. Tone your whole body with workouts that include arm sculpting, functional squats and full-body, Pilates-infused exercises.

Once you are ready, you will be motivated to move onto the intermediate and advanced workouts. Challenge your core while rebuilding your abdominal strength with workouts that include: butt and leg sculpting, plyo exercises, cardio intervals, and advanced full-body, Pilates-infused exercises.

A Bonus Workout Booklet (downloadable printout with digital purchase) includes 18 ways you can mix and match the workouts to form your own custom beginner, intermediate, or advanced workouts plus Erica’s best tips on going from Knocked-up to Knock Out!”

Available in a 2 DVD set & Digital Streaming!

As always, be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program and be sure to sign up for the

Knocked-Up Fitness Newsletter to stay updated!

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Diary of a Fit Mommy: Tips from Sia Cooper

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Hi there! My name is Sia Cooper and I am the owner of Diary of a Fit Mommy; a blog dedicated to prenatal & postnatal diet & fitness. I am currently 35 weeks pregnant and would like to share my workout routine with you.

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Fitness has been the number one aspect of my pregnancy that has kept me sane and feeling my best! I could not have imagined going through my pregnancy without some type of workout plan. I experienced round ligament pains heading into my second trimester and upon entering the third, it was all lower back and sciatic pain from there on. There were times when I had little to no energy left, but I pushed through, set the alarm, put on my workout clothes, and headed to the gym anyway. Was it worth it? Most definitely!
For the most part, my cardio & strength workout routines have not changed very much throughout all 3 of my trimesters. There have only been minor tweaks such as lowering my weights or avoiding certain exercises on my back. No matter what, I always begin with cardio to get me started and warmed up.
I will typically do 30 minutes at a time on the Elliptical machine, the Stair Climber, or the Treadmill when in the gym. Sometimes, this tends to get a little boring! If this is the case, I will change things up and complete sprinting/jogging intervals at my local track to get some fresh air.(Note from Erica: Sprinting/Jogging can be ok during pregnancy for some but be sure your doctor is ok with you engaging in more intense workouts and that it feels good for your body.)I use an iPhone app called MapMyRun to help keep track of how far I run and how long it takes for me to complete every mile! Before pregnancy, I favored CrossFit style exercises; therefore, my cardio consisted of mountain climbers, jumping jacks, plyometric box jumps, and burpees-something that I cannot do at 8 months pregnant so I will likely return to these forms of cardio when building my postpartum fitness plan. For now, the other forms of cardio have been extremely helpful in keeping the weight gain slow & steady and have taken my joint pains away.

My biggest tip for cardio is to listen to your body and to start off slowly. My doctor has personally given me the green light to allow my heart rate to go a little above 140bpm safely. Also, stay hydrated!
After completing 30 minutes of cardio, I head straight to the weight room! My favorite routine for weights consists of a total body workout lasting 45 minutes. I love squatting whether it’s with the free weights or using a Kettlebell because it has helped keep my backside perky and strong during pregnancy. Squats are also key to an easier labor and delivery because it helps strengthen the muscles that assist with pushing. To start off, I will do a simple 3 sets of 10 reps for squatting with free weights at 65lbs. If I am using a Kettlebell to squat, I will use a 25lb bell and do 3 sets of 12 reps. I make sure to rest between 30-45 seconds before completing each set. My lower body (buttocks, hips, thighs) is where I tend to gain most of my weight; therefore, lower body exercises are what I usually tend to focus more on. If you are not a fan of using weights, wall or air squats work just fine! After squats, I will complete my lower body routine with basic lunges and side lunges using the 25lb. Kettlebell with 3 sets of 12 reps.
For my upper body routine, I absolutely love doing tricep dips because they are easy to do and you can do them anywhere. At the gym, I use a weight bench or a plyometric box and at home I will use a sturdy chair as my prop. I will complete 3 sets of 12 reps of this exercise. Also for arms, I will do front lateral raises using a 10lb dumbbell in each hand. For this specific exercise, I only do 3 sets of 10 reps. As for my last arm circuit, I will sit do simple dumbbell curls with the same 10lb dumbbells in each hand. I will do 3 sets of 10 reps for this exercise as well, resting for 30-45 seconds in between each set.
To cool down, I always stretch and do a few yoga poses. My favorites are the cat pose, childs pose, and the downward dog pose. This helps keep my muscles from getting sore and also keeps me flexible. Yoga has treated me very well during pregnancy by easing my lower back and hip pain.
My biggest tips for exercise during pregnancy is to take it slow, drink plenty of water, and listen to your body. Your body will let you know what it can and cannot do. If you exercise throughout your pregnancy, you will not only sleep better, but feel better as well. You will bounce back faster to your pre-pregnancy weight and have a faster recovery from your labor and delivery. Good luck to you all!

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To connect with Sia and keep updated on her story you can find her at:

Diary of a Fit Mommy: www.fitmommydiaries.blogspot.com

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Biggest Loser Google+ Hangout Live Workout with Danni!

How awesome that I had the opportunity to participate in today’s Biggest Loser Google+ Hangout Live Workout with Danni Allen (winner from season 14) – who I also met last summer! Super awesome gal!

Love these exercises for you moms at home that need a quick workout without any equipment and for you pregnant mamas, you can do a majority of the exercises just be sure to modify when needed. Danni did a great job of showing modifications (Thank you Danni!). Check out Biggest Loser on Google+ and watch the video below:

*Be sure your doctor has given you the approval to workout both during pregnancy and after baby*

What are your favorite exercises at home that require no equipment?

Keep up the hard work!

Erica

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After Baby: 3 Exercises to Get Your Abs Back!

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After you’ve had a baby, I know you’re just dying to get your abs back, but before you jump back into doing 100’s of crunches and holding planks forever – be sure you read why you must AVOID crunches right after baby here.

Crunches too soon after baby could actually cause more harm then good, so here are 3 exercises that can help turn your deep core back on, plus the Hip Rolls will feel amazing on your low back! Do all 3 exercises very slow, this will help you focus on reconnection your abdominals and doing the exercises correctly. They may seem simple but if you move to quickly through them you may not feel your deep core engaging and if you progress to more advanced exercises before your middle is ready you risk creating more separation.

So what are you waiting for!? Do these 3 exercises; 3 to 5 sets everyday if you like – it’s a great way to remind your abs to fire all day long!

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Hip Rolls: 10 reps

1. Lye flat on your back, knees bent, and feet hip-width apart.
2. Slowly articulate, one vertebrae at a time as your roll your hips up. Pause at the top then slowly articulate rolling your back down. Think ribcage first.

Tips:
· Do a kegel
· Scoop your lower belly in and up
· Squeeze your butt and add 10 pulses at the top for some extra booty lifting!

 

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Single Leg Drops: 10 reps then switch legs

1. Lye flat on your back, start with knees bent and one foot flat on the floor (to give your back more support if needed) then progress to table top legs as shown.
2. Inhale as you slowly lower your right leg down as low as you can maintain your abdominal connection.
3. Exhale to pull your right leg back to table top.

Tips:
· Do a kegel
· Scoop your lower belly in and up, especially as you lower your leg.
· Relax your shoulders
· Draw your ribcage down and together – this will help you activate your upper abs too!

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Roll Backs: 10 reps

1. Sitting tall, knees bent and feet flat out in front of you.
2. Exhale as you draw your ribcage down, tuck your pelvis and scoop your belly in as you roll back slightly. Only roll as far back as you can connect your abs.
3. Inhale as you sit back up tall, stacking your spine and using your abdominals to help you get there!

 

Practicing these key abdominal movements will engage your core, help you avoid abdominal muscle complications like diastasis recti, and help you to safely tone and tighten your tummy after baby! Be sure to check out the Knocked-Up Fitness Digital Programs for more prenatal and postpartum exercises, workouts and tips!

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Fabletics Your First Outfit $25 + FREE Shipping!

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Making exercise a part of your routine is what Knocked-Up Fitness is all about — and I think it is super important to have workout outfits that are cute and comfortable, to get you excited to put them on and get sweating! I’m very excited to be a part of the Fabletics Masters Program too!

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Fabletics offers a complete line of soft, comfortable exercise gear for a variety of activities.  You can complete their quick customer profile, where you choose what you like to wear, how you like to wear it, and the type of exercises you need your active wear to be suitable for — then choose from a variety of outfit options tailored just for you! The best part is Fabletics gear is super affordable and great quality, which is especially important for your changing pregnancy body! Plus, its great after baby when you’re working hard to return to your pre-baby body (or even better).

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Visit the Fabletics Website to take advantage of getting your first outfit for only $25 + FREE SHIPPING!!!

fabletics

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Tips for Pregnancy Exercise: Knocked-Up Fitness Featured on FitPregnancy.com!!

Maintaining a fitness routine during pregnancy can be challenging, but more and more studies show that prenatal exercise can benefit the health of both you and your baby! FitPregnancy.com is featuring an article (9 Pregnancy-Friendly Treadmill Tips), and incorporating some of my favorite tips for safe, effective cardio exercise during pregnancy!

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“The best way to figure out if you aren’t working hard enough, or if you are working too hard, is to imagine someone running or walking next to you.”

Performing this Talk Test is an excellent tool in gauging a safe range of cardio exercise during pregnancy. Be sure to check out some of the Knocked-Up Fitness prenatal workouts and videos you can definitely fit in at home, no matter how much time you have to dedicate to working out today! As always, listen to your body and check with your doctor to be sure you’re cleared to exercise.

Don’t miss anything sign up for the Knock Out Mama’s Newsletter, with exclusives, promo’s, free printables, and more!

 

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Introducing Real Mom Blogger Keri Lynn Ford, 18 Weeks Pregnant!

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Knocked-Up Fitness is very excited to introduce trainer and pregnant momma Keri Lynn Ford to the Real Mom Blogs! At 18 weeks into her first pregnancy, Keri discusses the excitement of pregnancy so far, and her positive outlook on working in the fitness industry while being Knocked-Up!

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Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I am a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), an ACE-certified lifestyle and weight management coach, as well as a Mad Dogg Athletics certified spin instructor. After college, where I was a cheerleader at the University of Deleware, I spent years as a Celebrity Trainer, working with people like Alison Sweeney fromThe Biggest Loser, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Laura Prepon and Kaley Cuoco. I also previously organized and coordinated bootcamps in Los Angeles sponsored by Jillian Michaels’ online program. Now, I have put all of my knowledge and experience into my role as creator and head of IgniteGirls®, an online fitness community for women. I am also currently 18 weeks pregnant with my first baby!

Q: What has your pregnancy experience been so far?
A: I have earned the nickname Firecracker Ford, so as you can imagine, one of the hardest side effects I have had to deal with is fatigue. I have a hard time getting out of bed feeling refreshed (in part because of my insanely disturbing pregnancy dreams) and ready to take on the day. It feels like everything takes a little longer than I would like. On the days I feel more like me, I just make sure to run with it!

Q: What is the most exciting part of pregnancy so far? What are you most nervous about?
A: I’m really excited that this is my first baby. That being said, that also scares the s%&t out of me. I actually had a miscarriage earlier this year, so I feel all the more grateful this time around. While there are many things that can go wrong during a pregnancy, I have tried to focus on all the things that can go right! Meditation and breathing exercises have helped calm my anxieties, especially through those first several weeks when I was most on edge. I can’t wait to meet a little mini version of me and my husband; I think that will be the fun part, along with watching the baby experience all of his or her “firsts” in the world.

Q: What are your favorite prenatal fitness activities?
A: Spin class has always been my go-to. I am still teaching once a week, for as long as I can. After baby is born, I know I will be really excited to get back in the saddle. I love designing the workouts to upbeat playlists; it keeps me and the class motivated, since you can’t help but move to the beat. In addition, I have been continuing to lift a few times a week, with the appropriate modifications.

Q: Any activities you’re finding more challenging or more enjoyable with this pregnancy?
A: Everything. As a previous fitness competitor who loves intense exercises like boxing, spinning and gymnastics, it’s amazing how much I need to scale things back simply because I am out of breath so quickly. In general, my motivation to even do simple tasks was lacking, but thankfully, now that I am in the second trimester my energy has picked up a bit!

Q: How are you finding balancing working in the fitness industry while pregnant?
A: There is definitely a little pressure to “keep my figure” because I feel like everyone is watching, but at the same time, I really have loosened the reigns on being so regimented with my diet and exercise. There was a time when I weighed all of my food out and knew every body measurement. I don’t want to know that now. I want to know that my baby is healthy, and that I am doing the best I can with how I feel on that given day. If I feel great, I will embrace it and use that energy burst to do some extra cooking in bulk, go for a walk with the dog or head to the gym. If not, I am ok with laying low too. The best thing about running an online fitness community, is that I work from my home office. This flexibility has saved me, and I give so much credit to the working moms who have to leave the house and go to an office full-time.

Q: What has surprised you most about being pregnant and maintaining or changing your exercise routine?
A: I didn’t expect to continue doing back flips or handstand push ups, but I also didn’t expect to feel tired as easily. Everyone is different though, and the key for me will be to listen to my body. I crave stretching, especially for some tightness in my back. I’ve also been doing about a half hour of low impact cardio on the elliptical followed by targeted resistance training – it feels so good to get my heart rate up a little bit and engage my muscles.

Q: Do you have a birth plan?
A: I am working with a fantastic doctor and I plan to deliver at the beautiful, new hospital just a few miles from our house!

Q: Any baby gear you have to have or really want?
A: I’m still doing research about the many, MANY things that are “must-haves,” but I think next on my list is a u-shaped pillow for sleeping more comfortably. I also want to make sure to get a durable stroller – I don’t see myself jogging with one, but definitely some brisk walks in the fresh air.

Q: What 3 words best describe the kind of mom you hope to be?
A: Loving, inspiring and supportive.

Q: Any pregnancy cravings?
A: My family and friends know I have a killer sweet tooth, and a hard time turning away a dessert (especially ice cream!), but during my pregnancy I am loving salt! I’m trying to keep my choices low sodium so I don’t blow up like a blow fish, but a salty soup or sour cream and onion potato chips never tasted so good. I’ve also craved creamy textures like milk (I stick to organic!) and cheese. This is probably because I didn’t drink milk for such a long period of time during my competition days. The hardest part is making an effort to eat enough protein. Greek yogurt with fruit, lean organic beef and eggs have been my staples, but I haven’t been a fan of chicken as of late.

Q: What is your favorite thing about pregnancy?
A: As an admitted biology geek, I think it is just SO COOL that there is a baby growing inside of me – I mean, seriously how amazing is that? It really is a miracle! I love reading about week to week changes, hearing the baby’s heart beat and seeing the ultrasounds. Those are my favorite parts, hands down.

Q: On the flip side; your least favorite thing?
A: Prego brain! Oh Mylanta! I pride myself on being organized, and even thinking three steps ahead. I keep ending up at the grocery store a few times a week because I keep forgetting what I went in there for in the first place! The lack of memory is making me crazy and frustrated.

Q: What have you found most difficult to adjust to during pregnancy?
A: I think most people would expect me to say my changing body is the most difficult adjustment, but bring it ON – I am embracing the curves! I’m keeping my food choices clean 85% of the time and maintaining a regular gym routine, so I am not incredibly worried about the after. I don’t want to put pressure on myself to be back to my pre-pregnancy body within a certain time frame, and I plan on enjoying every second of this new adventure.

Q: Anything else you want to add?
A: I hope that my pregnancy journey gives me even more insight into my clients that are currently pregnant, trying to conceive or starting a journey as new mommies. I also look forward to developing some new online materials and lifestyle programs specifically for the IgniteMommies. I look forward to hearing from all of you! You can find me at www.IgniteGirls.com and connect on any of our social media platforms there.

 

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If you have a question you want the Real Moms to answer, Tweet us @KnockedUpFit or Instagram @KnockedUpFitness and be sure you #RealMomBlogs
If you’d like to be featured on the Real Mom Blog, submit your information; including what week of your pregnancy you’re in, what pregnancy # this is for you, and a short biography to info@Knocked-UpFitness.com.

Check back with our Real Moms soon!

 

 

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