Last updated on Jun 18th, 2020 at 06:22 am

During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes, and while itâ??s important to embrace them, it is also important to stay fit and healthy.

Here are a few tips to help you do just that! 

Eating for two? 

One of your priorities while youâ??re pregnant is to ensure that your baby gets the nutrients it needs for healthy development. A deficiency in vitamins and minerals means that your body starts drawing on reserves, which could leave you feeling fatigued and prone to illness. 

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With that in mind, these are the top foods you should aim to include in your pregnancy diet… 

  • Soya – packed full of protein, soya is a versatile food source and is commonly eaten in the form of soya beans, soya mince and soya milk

  • Beans – Beans are considered a â??super foodâ??, as they provide a concentrated source of fibre, protein, folic acid, zinc, iron and calcium

  • Oily fish – Tuna, salmon and sardines are a top source of the omega fatty acids and essential proteins needed for healthy foetal development

  • Sweet potatoes – Cheap and nutritious – they contain vitamin C and folic acid, and are high in fibre too

  • Whole grains – Such as popcorn (without the salt and butter!), barley, oats and wholegrain seed breads provide necessary rare vitamins, minerals and fibre.  

  • Dark leafy green vegetables – Spinach and cabbage are versatile vegetables, and provide your baby with vitamins A, C and K – which are necessary for healthy eye development

  • Lean meats – Such as beef, chicken and turkey, are packed with protein and choline, which is vital for your babyâ??s brain cell development

  • Walnuts – As a rare source of Omega 3, walnuts contain the essential fatty acids needed for healthy brain development

  • Greek yoghurt – A top source of calcium for healthy bone development, this â??thickâ?? yogurt is available in all grocery stores

  • Eggs – Another valuable source of choline and protein, eggs provide vegetarians with a suitable alternative for these vitamins

The wonder of working out 

So, that sorts out your nutritional needs! But what about exercise? Many women are concerned about putting on too much weight during pregnancy, or not being able to stick to their regular exercise programme. 

While you certainly canâ??t continue with impact sports such as kick-boxing, there are still plenty of exercises and activities you can do, that will help you stay healthy and help prevent you from putting on more weight than necessary.

Swimming – Towards the end of your pregnancy, it is entirely normal to start feeling heavy, uncomfortable and immobile. One of the great things about swimming when pregnant is the weightless feeling you get. Added to this, it takes the pressure off your joints – instant relief. Swimming gives your whole body a low-impact work out, and works all your muscles, making it one of the best exercises you can do to help stay fit during your pregnancy. 

Pre-natal yoga – Yoga in general focuses on deep breathing, and increases your strength and flexibility, all of which can help better prepare you for labour. It also improves circulation and oxygen intake, and is a great stress reliever. Look online for pre-natal yoga classes near you, or ask your yoga friends for recommendations. 

Walking – Walking at a moderate pace increases cardiovascular fitness and helps tone your legs and bum. Itâ??s also free – all you need is a pair of comfortable walking shoes and youâ??re good to go. Aim to walk for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day if you can. 

So there you have it – the essentials of what you need to help keep you healthy and fit during pregnancy. 

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.