During pregnancy sleep does not come easily. A few months in, your stomach will be carrying more weight, disrupting the balance in your delicate body which is not used to having more strain around that area. It consequently leads to bodily aches and pains that leave you unable to have a comfortable night’s sleep, and instead you’ll find yourself waking up during the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep.
Good Night Maternity, a website that specializes in pregnancy and baby feeding pillows have given us several ways in which you could benefit from having a pregnancy pillow.
First, they provide full body support, ensuring your whole body (including the most common problem areas: neck, back and spine) is under less strain, which will quickly reduce the symptoms of the aches and pains. The most important support is for your stomach, and the pillow will tuck underneath it to make sure it isn’t awkwardly dragging your whole body down. Although you could create support for your body using your regular pillows, they are not carefully designed for that purpose, and require several to cover all stress points (which can make things very messy).
Maternity pillows also instruct your body to sleep on your side, which is the optimal position in preparation for childbirth. This is most likely how you’ll be sleeping anyway, if you’re more than a couple of months into pregnancy, but the support provided by the pillow can ensure that you don’t find yourself rolling around in bed. The pillow is encouraging better sleep, and just as importantly, in the ideal position.
A third, but lesser known reason for getting one is because of their functions even after your baby is born. A lot of newer maternity pillows will double up as a breastfeeding support pillow, giving you an easy, comfortable position to breastfeed. Buying these separately can often cost the same, if not more than a pregnancy pillow, so investing early can save you the trouble, while leaving you sleeping like a baby in the months leading up to childbirth.
Last but not least, despite their name, pregnancy pillows can be used even when you’re not pregnant. That’s right, they make for a great pillow on their own! Many have reported that they’ve kept these pillows around, or use them as their primary pillow to this day. In fact, many partners have found themselves in a rather jealous position!
Whether you’re due in 12 months or 2 months, it’s never too early or too late to buy a maternity pillow. However, the earlier the better, as you just can’t put a price on getting good night’s rest.
In our last post we discussed how short, high intensity workouts were more effective than long, drawn out cardio workouts for dealing with a skinny-fat body type. But it isn’t just skinny fat people that benefit from this kind of exercise, almost everyone can. It is great for building strength and conditioning, and an extremely effective method of weight loss thanks to the long-lasting metabolism boost provided. In this example we’ll give you a better idea of what constitutes a ‘high intensity’ workout.
The first set of exercises are:
- Push ups
- Butt kicks
These are powerful, full body movements that recruit muscles across the body. To make sure the exercise is intense, you’ll need to perform them quickly. You’ll want to catch a breath between exercises, but it’s also worth considering going down the high intensity interval training (HIIT) route whereby you do a low intensity, aerobic exercise in between high intensity exercises (e.g. a jog).
The second set of exercises are:
- Jumping (jump rope, box jumps, jumping jacks, etc.)
- Jabs and Cross
These exercises are the more traditional ‘high intensity’ workouts. Sprinting in particular is incredibly effective, and will tire you extremely quickly, although it’s not an exercise that can be performed during your gym routine, for obvious reasons. Next, there is jumping, which can easily be done in smaller spaces. If you are doing them quickly, and launching yourself as high as you can, you’ll burn calories extremely fast. Here’s a good list of some exercises from the vert shock program. Third, there are jabs and crosses (see video below). Whereas sprints and jumps are focused primarily on your legs, jabs (think of boxing the air) is a bit like jumping for your arms.
These are the most basic high intensity exercises. However, as you move on you’ll likely want to look into more advanced ones. You can also find ones that incorporate weights or the latest training equipment like TRX.