The week of July 20 is Healthy Pregnancy Week at DietsInReview.com.
You know Jillian Michaels best as the no-nonsense trainer from NBC’s Biggest Loser. She’s also grown a fitness empire of her own and through that has been able to help men and women alike transform their bodies and regain the healthy lives they deserve to live. Jillian joins our healthy pregnancy week to share tips for how moms-to-be can stay fit.
Here are Jillian’s tips for fitness during pregnancy:
1. Before embarking on any kind of exercise program, it’s always advised to check with your doctor first. This ensures that he is aware of the kinds of activities you intend to do and he can provide guidance and even make suggestions.
2. From about half way through the pregnancy, you should avoid any exercises that require you to lie on your back. This position puts pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which will diminish blood flow to your brain and uterus, and can make you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated. Some women are comfortable in this position well into their pregnancies, but this isn’t necessarily a good gauge of whether blood flow to the uterus is affected. Placing a pillow under your right hip or buttock will allow you to be almost supine without compressing the vena cava.
3. Make sure to avoid heavy weights. During the third trimester, hormonal changes are thought to induce a greater laxity in joints, tendons, and ligaments in order to help accommodate the delivery of your new arrival. This makes you more susceptible to sprains and strains, so make sure to use light weight and body weight only at this time.
4. Abdominal and back exercises are important. They help with postural changes and stability and keep your body strong after the baby’s born, when you’ll have a lot of lifting to do. Since doing crunches on your back is not safe, switch to standing pelvic tilts or lying on your side or on your hands and knees; concentrate on bringing your navel toward your spine. You can also experiment with wall sits, side-lying bicep curls, side-lying lifts, side-lying lateral raises, side-lying tricep extensions… you get the idea.
5. Stretching is critical. Although proper diet and exercise can go a long way toward keeping you healthy and contributing toward an easy birth, they are only part of the equation. You have to stretch as well. In fact, the third trimester is a great time to make stretching the focus of your fitness routine. Stretching is a great way to keep the blood flowing through your muscles, relieve tension, and keep your body supple. Here are a few stretches to explore: child’s pose, child’s kneel, tailor stretch, full back stretch and calf, ankle, and foot stretches.
Learn more about the Jillian Michaels diet and fitness plan online or in her new book Master Your Metabolism.