Some women love being pregnant. The time flies by, and they feel more beautiful and feminine than ever before. For others, it can mean nine long months of feeling agitated and uncomfortable in their own skin. Today prenatal/postnatal fitness expert and new mom Sara Haley shares her tips in her own words for feeling strong and sexy throughout pregnancy.
6 Stay-Strong Tips for Pregnancy
1. Move it, move it. Get up and move every day. By staying in bed and wallowing the day away, your blood and oxygen flow slows down, which can make you feel even less energized and motivated. Whether it’s simply walking to the grocery store or getting to the gym, the more you move, the more energized you’ll feel and the more comfortable you will be in your new body.
2. Ride the highs. Take advantage of your high-energy days. Some days will be better than others, so do what you can when you can. If you have been working out prior to being pregnant, you can do what you’ve been doing but at a moderate level (make sure you can talk out loud). For some, that might be turning a run into a jog, moving a bike ride outside onto a stationary bike, or taking a group fitness or yoga class while making sure that you don’t get too hot. (Let your instructor know as well, he or she may be able to help you modify.) Pregnant or not, the body was meant to move, so move! No one feels sexy or strong after sitting on the couch all day.
3. Move them hips. Whether you’re a dancer or not, shake those hips! Put your hands on your baby belly and rock those hips side to side, front to back or in big circles. Not only is it a great way to work on your core while you’re pregnant, but it will feel fabulous if you have any back pain. I love dance cardio as a workout.Depending on how I was feeling that day and how far I was into my pregnancy, I had to modify. Some days I had to put on slower songs and take the bounce out of my step, and on others, I felt like a “rock star” and moved across the floor like I wasn’t even pregnant. Either way, it made me feel sexy and strong to be doing something I’d always done, even if it was at a different level than I was used to. Plus, what’s sexier than a woman who can move her hips? So let your hair down, put on your favorite song and get those hips moving!
4. Lift the weights. The best way to feel strong is to be strong, so weight train at least twice a week. In order to have a healthy baby, you must gain a healthy amount of weight for your body, but why not keep some muscle (or add some) while you’re doing so? Besides, you’ll soon have a growing baby by your side that will eventually weigh much more than 10 pounds, and you’ll be lifting him or her multiple times a day. Be ready for that new baby by working on both your muscular strength and endurance. This means sometimes working on lifting more weight, as well as sometimes working on adding more reps.
5. Eat regularly and drink lots of water. I hear pregnant women complain of constipation all the time, which definitely does not lead to feeling sexy. I can honestly say that I did not have any constipation during my pregnancy, and I credit it all to a regular exercise regimen, healthy eating and drinking lots of water. Eat often and drink more water than you think you’ll need. I don’t believe in “eating for two” (most doctors only recommend an extra 250 to 350 calories in the second and third trimesters), but perhaps think about “drinking H20 for two” instead. That way you’ll be sure to stay hydrated. When your body is functioning regularly, you’ll feel just as sexy and strong as ever!
6. Show off your baby belly! Nothing is sexier than a woman who feels confident in her own skin. Find a top that makes you feel sexy and shows that baby off! I found that the farther along I was in my pregnancy, the less self-conscious I was about showing my baby belly off. It’s no wonder so many people want to touch that belly when you’re pregnant! (Another reason to stay strong—to fend off those baby belly attackers!)
Great tips, Sara! Did you feel like a sexy beast when you were pregnant? What did you do to stay strong? —Erin