My fit pregnancy: Talk to my trainer Pegah

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My second trimester is almost over and to be honest with you, my pregnancy hasn't been as intense as I expected (oh hi, haven't you heard? I'm an overthinker), my back and hips are taking a beating, but other than that, I can't complain. While I'm no expert, exercising has helped me a lot physically and mentally: I work out five days a week for around 1:30 hours, two cardio and, three strength training days. I'm not lifting as heavy as I was pre-pregnancy but still do deadlifts and squats with moderate weight. While I'm eating A LOT because being hungry is now my second favorite sport, I try as much as possible to eat healthy-ish. My cravings include cold apples, oatmeal, chocolate ice cream and Spanish food. I also want sushi and wine, but well those will have to wait. My doctor approved my routine, my weight gain has been on track and I don't feel deprived at all (except when I want rose). 

So to give you some perspective about working out while being pregnant, I interviewed Pegah Olfat, my trainer who specializes in women and works with tons of preggos. 

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Pegah's approach to training pregnant women

My approach is the same as it would be with ANY client. That initial consultation is so important when it comes to building that authentic and real relationship. Identifying her goals, exactly what type of support she is looking for, etc., etc.. helps me then determine what types of customized fitness plans would be best. 

Pegah's TOP five reasons why exercise is important prior to pregnancy

ACTIVITY IS CRUCIAL. When you are active prior to pregnancy, you are more prone to remaining active throughout. I always encourage my clients to create a realistic schedule that they can stick to. Babies will begin to pick up on your activity level, reaping the benefits of any form of movement while in utero! How incredible is that?

HEALTHY WEIGHT GAIN. You are more prone to maintaining a healthy weight gain throughout your future pregnancy. We all know that gaining weight is completely normal and a part of pregnancy’s beautiful journey. However, there is a specific range of healthy weight-gain that your doctor will advise you stick to.

MOOD BOOSTER. One of the best feelings in the world? That post-exercise adrenaline rush! Your mood may be inconsistent during this time, but working out has shown to produce better moods for moms-to-be!

ENERGY. You’ll sleep better which leads to you feeling way more refreshed, energized and revived. This increase in energy may also lower any anxiety and stress. Who doesn’t want that? 

LESS SWELLING. During pregnancy, your body will hold onto more fluid, which leads to swelling. Exercise will help limit this by boosting and improving your body's blood flow.  


Her TOP five favorite activities for women trying to conceive

Light Weight Training. 2-3 days a week of light-moderate weight training can lead to a stronger core, more muscle tone, strength and overall endurance. All of this could lead to a stress-free labor and childbirth. 

Walking. Whether you go on a brisk walk outdoors or take it to the treadmill, 30-45 minutes of walking will lead to better circulation of blood to the extremities.

Stretching. Appropriate stretches can lead to increased flexibility. More flexibility leads to less backaches and better posture.

Swimming. Aerobic exercises will strengthen your heart. Like walking, this will boost oxygen levels in your blood.

Prenatal Yoga. Not only will this also help you stretch, but taking time to disconnect and meditate will reap mental benefits, too. This can help you relax and have more peace of mind, improving your overall well-being. 

If none of the above is your thing, that is totally OK! Find something that you love that keeps you moving!

Healthy eating during pregnancy is crucial for both the mama and baby (growth and development). I advise my prenatal clients to eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, protein sources and dairy products. Each prenatal client will have different macro needs depending on their weight pre-pregnancy. Personally, I do not do fitness nutrition regimens or guides for pregnant women and leave that for their doctor or nutritionist. 

Having a baby is one of the most beautiful decisions made in life. Give yourself grace through the process. Making positive lifestyle changes from nutrition to fitness will definitely lead to a healthier you. The healthier you are, the healthier your pregnancy and baby will be. 

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For me? Being pregnant is AMAZING and I can't wait to meet Cookie. I'm trying as much as possible to keep myself working out, eating right and meditate. Pegah helped me through my first and second trimester and we're about to plan for the third. My doctor loves that I keep working out and moving as much as possible. It's good for me and Cookie, it'll help me to have a good delivery and hopefully, everything will be okay. I sleep as much as I can, rest and do a lot of stretching when my back starts to hurt. We are good and Cookie keeps growing and moving! So far, moving is one thing that keeps me sane, makes me feel like myself and it's great for the both of us.  

Love,

Bela 

Wearing Lululemon + APL. Pics by Christine Hanks.