33 Reasons to Exercise Now

Here is a great article I found at fitpregnancy.com

33 Reasons To Exercise Now

The benefits of exercising during pregnancy begin immediately and will last your whole life.

pregnant woman walking with hand weightsPEATHEGEE INC/GETTY IMAGES

The benefits of moving more during pregnancy begin immediately and last your whole life. Your baby will start reaping the benefits in utero, too. Here’s a laundry list of reasons to start exercising today, along withexcuse-busting ways to overcome some common obstacles.

1. You’re likely to gain less weight. Research shows you might put on 7 pounds less than pregnant women who don’t work out, while still staying within the healthy weight-gain range.

2. Labor and delivery may be easier. No guarantees, of course, but strong abs and a fit cardiovascular system can give you more oomph and stamina for the pushing stage. One study found that prenatal water aerobics regulars were 58 percent less likely to request pain medication during labor than non-exercisers.

3. You lower your gestational diabetes risk by as much as 27 percent.High blood sugar during pregnancy puts you at extremely high risk for developing type II diabetes in the decade after delivering and raises the odds of preterm delivery or having an overweight baby. If you do develop it—and many fit women do because genetics and age play a significant role—exercise may help prevent or delay your need for insulin or other medications.

4. You get that “prenatal-spin-class high.” Active moms- to-be report better moods than their sedentary peers, both immediately following a workout and in general throughout their pregnancies.

5. You’re less likely to cry, “Oh, my aching back.” Some two-thirds of pregnant women experience back pain, but water workouts, yoga and pelvic tilts can offer relief. Exercise during the second half of pregnancy seems to be especially helpful.

Related: Poses with Perks: What Prenatal Yoga Can Do for You

6. You’re less likely to get constipated. Pregnant women’s intestinal tracts often get backed up due to high progesterone levels and a growing uterus, but exercise, along with a high-fiber diet, keeps your digestive system humming.

7. You have more energy. On days when lifting your remote control seems like a tall order, even a 10-minute walk can revive you.

8. Odds are, you’ll deliver a svelter baby. Babies born with excess fat are significantly more likely to become overweight kindergarteners, and overweight newborns of moms with gestational diabetes are more prone to develop diabetes later in life.

9. You can enjoy the greatest flexibility of your life. Relaxin, a pregnancy hormone that loosens your pelvic joints in preparation for delivery, also relaxes the rest of your joints. With careful stretches, like those done in prenatal yoga workouts, you can capitalize on this window of opportunity.

10. You’re more likely to avoid a forceps delivery, C-section or other intervention. Regular exercisers are 75 percent less likely to need a forceps delivery, 55 percent less likely to have an episiotomy and up to four times less likely to have a Cesarean section, research has found.

11. You’re likely to be fitter in middle age. In a study that followed women for 20 years after delivery, those who’d exercised throughout pregnancy could run two miles 2 ½ minutes faster than those who’d taken a workout break while pregnant. The continuous exercisers were also working out a lot more.

12. You’ll get positive attention. Everyone smiles when they see a pregnant woman on a power walk. No one is more popular at the gym than the pregnant woman on the biceps machine!

Related: 20 Reasons You’ll Miss Being Pregnant

13. You feel less like a beached whale and more like a hot mama. Women who exercise throughout pregnancy have abetter body image than those who sit out the nine months.

14. Your labor may be shorter. A landmark study found that among well-conditioned women who delivered vaginally, those who had continued training throughout their pregnancy experienced active labor for 4 hours and 24 minutes compared with 6 hours and 22 minutes for those who’d quit training early on. Two hours less of hard labor is nothing to sneer at!

15. You learn to chill out. With its emphasis on breathing, meditation and joyful movement, prenatal yoga helps stressed-out moms-to-be stay calm. Plus, a regular prenatal yoga practice can teach you to relax rather than tense up when you feel discomfort, a helpful skill during labor.

16. If you work out in water, you enjoy a wonderful sense of weightlessness. For some women, swimming or water aerobics may provide their only relief from painful foot and ankle swelling.

17. You’ll likely experience less leg swelling. Your body retains more fluid during pregnancy, and your growing uterus puts pressure on your veins, impairing the return of blood to your heart. Exercise can limit swelling by improving blood flow.

18. You may be less prone to morning sickness. Though nausea stops many women from exercising, many moms-to-be report that they feel less queasy after a workout or that the exercise takes their minds off the nausea for a short time.

19. You may boost your child’s athletic potential. One study found that 20-year-olds who were exposed to exercise in utero performed better at sports than same age peers whose mothers did not exercise during pregnancy.

20. You’ll bounce back faster after delivery. Compared with new moms who were inactive during pregnancy, those who exercised are more likely to socialize and enjoy hobbies and entertainment post-baby. They just seem to cope better with the demands of new motherhood.

21. You’re likely to be healthier and leaner when your kids head off to college. Twenty years later, fit women who’d exercised throughout pregnancy had gained 7 ½ pounds, compared with 22 pounds for women who had taken a break while pregnant and resumed exercising afterward. The continuous exercisers also had lower cholesterol levels and resting heart rates.

22. The sense of accomplishment and confidence spills over to the rest of your life. Finishing a prenatal power walk makes you feel like you can conquer the world!

23. Your child may have a healthier heart. The developing babies of prenatal exercisers have more efficient hearts than those of non-exercisers, and this higher cardio fitness level seems to last into the childhood years.

Related: The Simple Way to Help Protect Your Baby’s Heart Health

24. If you smoke, exercise may help you kick the habit. In a small study, pregnant smokers reported that exercise gave them confidence to quit, decreased their cigarette cravings, boosted their energy and “helped them feel more like a non-smoker.”

25. You might sleep better. Some pregnant women who work out say they fall asleep faster, slumber more soundly and snooze longer than inactive moms-to-be.

26. You’ll meet other expectant moms in a prenatal exercise class. Get their phone numbers; you may be meeting up for playdates or babysitting co-ops soon!

27. You may be at lower risk for the No. 1 cause of premature birth. That’s preeclampsia, a complication that involves high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. About 5 percent to 8 percent of pregnant women develop it, and the numbers are growing.

28. You’re more likely to avoid prenatal depression. This is especially true if you exercise outdoors because bright light has antidepressant effects. Some 12 percent to 20 percent of pregnant women experience depression, which is linked to poor sleep and marital problems after delivery.

29. You feel more in control. When your body is changing in all kinds of wacky ways and your entire life is about to be transformed in huge, unknown ways, a regular exercise routine offers consistency and the knowledge that you’re doing something great for both yourself and your baby.

30. You look better. Exercise increases blood flow to your skin, enhancing that pregnancy glow. Plus, when you’re calmer and fitter, it shows.

31. Your children may grow up to be smarter. Some research indicates that kids of moms who work out during pregnancy have better memories, in addition to higher scores on intelligence and language tests.

32. You bust out of your exercise rut. Pregnancy often forces you to try something new— to swim when you used to run, to try Wii Fit Ski instead of snowboarding, to give Pilates a whirl.

33. You keep your immune system humming. Moderate exercise such as walking lowers your risk of catching a cold by as much as half. Researchers believe the data applies to exercising moms-to-be as well.

5 Best Activities For Moms-To-Be

Walking: Strengthens heart/lungs, increases stamina.

Water Exercise: Strengthens heart/lungs; reduces strain on joints.

Prenatal Pilates: Strengthens entire body, especially core muscles.

Weight Training: Increases muscle tone and strength.

Prenatal Yoga: Increases strength, stamina and relaxation.





Kitchen Workout

Some days there is no way to fit in your traditional workout, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done! This is where the “Kitchen workout” comes into play. Yesterday I literally was going all day and couldn’t get my desperately needed workout in by it’s self, but here is what I did. There are always a few minutes/seconds in between cooking and prepping dinner so I fit in a couple squats, lunges, tricep dips and stand ups. I didn’t have to leave the kitchen, food was perfectly cooked and I got my workout in! Life is fully of excuses, it’s finding ways around your excuses that end in positive results!

Squats – 20
Reverse lunges – 10 each side
Tricep dips – 10 (with or without doggy kisses!)
Single leg stand ups – 10 each side
Lateral lunges – 10 each side
Repeat 3 times or until dinner is ready!


Back in the Game


It has been a week since we had to make a trip to the hospital and a week since my last workout. I have taken the time to let me body recover and to make sure to perfect my eating habits to decrease the chance of going back to the hospital again. Wednesday was the lowest energy I have been in a long time and it felt like my abs had been through one of the toughest workouts ever thanks to all the contractions. By Friday some of my energy had returned and I no longer felt like my blood sugar was tanked.

To detail how my meals have changed…first and foremost I have increased my eating frequency. Every couple of hours I will have a meal or a snack with both protein and complex carbohydrates. I was sometimes doing this before, but now I am not missing a snack!  I am completely staying away from sugary snacks and drinks to avoid the huge spike in your blood sugar. I will have the occasional soda, natural and sweetened with Stevia, to satisfy my sweet tooth, but nothing else. Stevia is a natural sweetener that will not affect your blood sugar levels like regular sugar, but is a much healthier option than artificial sweeteners.

Yesterday’s meals…

Breakfast: 2 Sausages, Quinoa bake, and protein shake.
Snack: Trail mix with dried fruit, cashews and pecans.
Lunch: Chicken breast, sauteed squash, zucchini and carrots, and gluten free mac’n cheese
Snack: Apples and natural peanut butter
Snack: Chia Seed Bar
Dinner: Sweet potatoes cooked in Natural Bacon grease, bacon, asparagus and grilled pork chops.
Snack: Right before bed I will typically have a small amount of nuts or a protein muffin and a glass of water.

The reason I have been so conscience about my food and eating is due to the fact that my blood sugar seems to be running lower than my normal. This can be expected the baby is taking a good amount of the nutrients away from me to grow. Because my blood sugars tend to be lower I have the tendency to uptake sugars quickly and utilize them even quicker. For those of you who may not be a familiar with how your blood sugar works. When you eat something sugary (cookies, candy, cereal, bread, etc) your body is able to take in those nutrients much quicker than protein or fat, which quickly increases your blood sugar. As seen in the image below protein and fat take longer to be broken down into fuel and do not affect the blood sugar as does carbs.


Some people may notice that immediately after eating something sugary or made of simply carbohydrates they have energy, but within an hour they are looking for something else to eat or caffeine to bring their energy up.

This doesn’t mean that people do not need carbohydrates, we do! But we need to be smart about when and what types we are consuming. Carbohydrates that are more complex and provide a great amount of nutrients are items such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, vegetables and fruits. These will not have as dramatic effect on the blood sugar as items such as white rice, tortillas, sugars, cereals, etc.

Some women’s blood sugars, like mine, may run lower than their “normal” during pregnancy, which can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, weakness, blured vision, hunger or headaches.  Maintaining a steady diet in protein, fats and complex carbohydrates can ensure blood sugar levels remain steady throughout the day.

Women who have or are at risk for having gestational diabetes will actually have the opposite or high blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels. This is called hyperglycemia. (See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/gestational/what-is-gestational-diabetes.html#sthash.nXpsbDst.dpuf)


Today’s workout…

1 mile (1600 meter) Row on Rower

Leg Press – 3×10
Walking lunges with barbell – 2x8each leg
Barbell RDLs – 2×10
Lateral box step ups – 2x10each leg (holding Kettlebell in hands)

Post workout feelings – GREAT! Minimal contractions, lots of water consumed and legs were happy to get a short workout in!!!

No good Tuesday!


Well it seems even trainers make mistakes and end up in the hospital! Luckily this was just a short visit to get my contractions under control, but it was a lesson learned by me.

It must have started Tuesday morning when I was running late getting out the door and only grabbed a protein shake for breakfast and a protein bar for snack later that morning. Lunch was make shift (I hadn’t got the chance to get to the store) I had eggs, chorizo, tomatoes and cheese. Afternoon snack (worst pick of all) a few dark chocolate chips. Finally, dinner was pot roast, carrots and kale chips. Overall this may seem like a good day of food, but when you look a little closer the calories and nutrient content are on the low side.

Thus the problem began, at 7pm I began having contractions, which is typical for me. Normally I just make sure to relax, drink some extra water and they fade away. An hour into contractions, 36 ounces of water down and they were only picking up pace. By 9:00pm I called the doctor, who recommended I take a trip to my labor and delivery ward. Not fun when you have a 21 month old just barely in bed, tired husband and lets be honest no one likes to go to the hospital.

I am glad we went in as my contractions began to be almost two minutes apart, not painful, but uncomfortable for the bladder by all means. After running several test I received the lovely terbutaline shot (Nurse warned me it burned and holy crap did it!). Contractions slowed and we were set to be released. The end results determined that I was well hydrated, but I had ketones in my urine. This means that my body was utilizing fat stores rather than carbohydrates and that I was in a calorie deficit. You can compare this to a body builder right before they have a show. This could have been the reason my body was contracting when it wasn’t needing to. Turns out my glucose test also determined my blood sugar levels are low, meaning my body readily utilizes carbohydrates! Typically, a fasting glucose level should be between 86-120, but mine was well below at 68.

This isn’t a terrible thing, but it does mean I need to consume a higher number of calories to keep my body happy and that I need to ensure I am balancing my meals efficiently with protein and complex carbohydrates. Several weeks ago I noticed that I was having trouble with spinning and nausea, which I also attributed to food intake. At that point I found eating simple carbs (sugars, breads, etc.) would cause me to drop in blood sugar and become dizzy. Now I have also come to realize I need more calories during the day. This may seem like a no brainer, but the struggle is most times I don’t feel hungry in between meals. Therefore, I have started eating meals/snacks (regardless of being hungry) every 2-3 hours to ensure my blood sugar will remain stable and not drop too quickly. It has taken two days to feel like my blood sugar is at a sustainable level and to get my energy back. Obviously, no workouts for the time being, but I am hoping to get back to it this weekend.

Moral of this story is – life can take over and especially as mom’s we forget to take care of ourselves (ex: not eat enough), but when you are pregnant you need to ensure you are taking care of yourself for your babies shake. Luckily everything looked great with our little girl, but now it is time I focus on food!


When life takes over stay true to your nutrition

Our schedule has been next to impossible to fit in my workouts, so I have been focusing on my food! When in doubt make sure you are eating as healthy as possible. I am sure many of your have heard the saying “Getting fit is 80 percent nutrition” or that “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym” – both having a great deal of truth. To explain why we need to consider our daily schedules. Typically a person spends thirty to ninety minutes working out per day, leaving between 22-23 hours left to make great decisions. With the fact that you are eating at least 3 times per day, plus 2-3 snacks, you have many more opportunities to make bad nutrition decisions than working out. Plus, if you aren’t fueling your body properly and are unable to optimize your metabolism you may not see changes you desire.

IMG_20160223_130330635_HDR IMG_20160223_130727231

Therefore, today I made the meals for he remaining part of our week. Lunches for this week included Naked Chicken Fajitas, in a skillet I sauteed one onion and 5 garlic cloves in grape seed oil. Then added chicken breasts chopped into pieces and cooked fully. When they were fully cooked I added my spices chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, and cumin. Mixed thoroughly, add peppers and cover to cook. In the containers I added black beans, peppers and chicken mixture, tomato slices, shredded cheese and a dash of cilantro. For the side I had half an avocado for some healthy fat.  This is an easy and delicious meal!

Friday-Fun Day!


1 mile Row (1600 meters)

Incline Bench – 10
Walking lunges with Dumbbell bicep curl to overhead press – 10

TRX Single Leg Lunges – 10 each side
Bosu/TRX Push-Ups with Pikes – 10

Bosu Overhead Squats – 10

10 Minutes on the Stair Stepper

Healthy & Quick Dinner


Simple Fish Tacos

Black beans
Lettuce (I prefer Boston lettuce)
Tomatoes chopped
Shredded Cheese

Lime Juice

Directions: Place tin foil on baking sheet and put tilapia on pan. Place lime juice on tilapia and then season with seasonings. Bake under Low Broil for approximately 20 minutes.

Use lettuce for “tortilla” and piece together your Fish Tacos as desired. Enjoy!

Jump Ro-pee-ing and Hot Breakfast

Have you ever had the sensation of peeing your pants, or actually peeing your pants, while working out? Well I have, and today was no exception. If you are a first time mom or new to working out, many women experience some weakening of the pelvic floor muscles which can cause you to slightly pee your pants when working out. When you are pregnant this sensation can be exacerbated by the extra weight on your bladder and post baby this can be due to weak muscles. This is where strength training can play a huge roll in recovery!

Today’s workout involved a lot of jump roping! Due to the snow that came through Colorado my workout was limited to the indoors, but I wanted to get some cardio in. Thus, my first choice was jump roping! Turns out my one weakness, since the start of this pregnancy, has been that damn jump rope. While it may cause a few extra trips to the bathroom jump roping is a great way to increase your heart rate, burn a good number of calories and break a sweat.

Keep in mind that due my weaker pelvic floor muscles I have incorporated exercises to build these muscles up in each of my workouts. Exercises such as hip thrusts, squats, core, etc. can help build a stronger pelvic floor. I have seen a huge improvement in my own pelvic floor over the past several months. In September, at my CrossFit Competition, I immediately would feel the “peeing your pants” sensation. Today, I didn’t have any issues until the very last set on the jump rope.

The moral of this story is regardless of this fun occurrence it is important to keep working out. The benefits for mom and baby WAY out weigh the embarrassment of a little uncontrolled bladder.

As Billy Madison would say, “You ain’t cool unless you pee your pants”. Stay strong and keep working out!

500 Jump Rope

Single Leg Stand-Ups with KB Overhead Press – 10 each side
10 Push-Ups
10 Tricep dip with feet on Fit Ball
20 Figure-8 Lunges
20 KB Mountain Climbers
10 Fit Ball Pike
15 KB Goblet Squats
100 Jump Ropes

Repeat 3 times


Here snowy day breakfast recipe!


Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa
Feeds 3-4 people

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Coconut or Almond milk
1 pinch of salt
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
¾ lemon zested, ¼ squeezed juice
1 cup blueberries
2 tsp flax seed

Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer with cold water to remove bitterness until water runs clear and is no longer frothy. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, 2-3 minutes. Stir quinoa and salt into the milk; simmer over medium-low heat until much of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir maple syrup, lemon zest and lemon juice into the quinoa mixture. Gently fold blueberries into the mixture. Divide quinoa mixture between bowls and top with 1 tsp flax seed and serve!!!

For more breakfast recipes click here.