Being Active While Pregnant

The Internet lit up with the image of expectant mother Natalie Portman hiking. When you’re expecting, it’s important to keep active. Why?

Pregnant women who exercise:

• Have more energy
• Less back pain
• Rebound to pre-pregnancy shape faster
• Have a better body image
• Experience less stress and depression.

The baby can also reap the benefit of mom’s activity. Researchers have found that a regular workout routine during pregnancy helped lower the heart rate of fetuses at 36 weeks. The follow-up of babies at one month found effects of mom’s exercising could still be seen in the babies’ heart rates after birth. Babies of active mothers are also more likely to have a reduced chance of diabetes and lower BMIs.

Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. If your doctor hasn’t put restrictions on your activities, you may find that 20- to 30-minutes of a moderate activity can give you a great physical and mental boost. But before you start any exercise program, consult your doctor. Once cleared for activity, try starting with a simple walk around the block or light stretches. You’ll notice your mood improves, you sleep better and you may have an easier labor and quicker recover. So lace up those shoes and enjoy your own walk about town!

Thankful & Happy

A large number of research studies have observed the habits of happy people. In each of these, a reoccurring thread appears in each of the researchers’ conclusions: the happiest participants regularly express gratitude.

When saying “thank you” or expressing gratitude by other means, researchers found we interrupt negative thinking, which triggers anxiety or anger. By shifting the focus from this detrimental, negative thinking, a positive, constructive thought pattern is achieved. The result, people become happy.

Also, the effect of gratitude on mood and outlook is almost immediate. When subjects considered what they were grateful for, the average participant felt their mood and outlook shift within minutes.

Here are a few easy tips to help you use gratitude to create more happiness in your life:

• Smile and say thank you to everyone who performs a small service or courtesy: the cashier, a busboy, the mailman, the person who held the door for you. 
• Find a reason every day to say thank you to your family.
• Start your day by considering three things you are grateful for in your life.
• When negative thoughts creep in, find three things about yourself for which you are thankful.

If you find that you struggle with anxiety, depression and anger, talk to your doctor. We are here to listen. Together we can help you cope with mood swings, depression, anxiety and anger.

And always remember, we are grateful for you, our patients, staff and readers.