In the new book, Fit & Healthy Pregnancy: How To Stay Strong and In Shape for You and Your Baby, authors Kristina Pinto, EdD, along with Rachel Kramer, MD have created a fitness and wellness guide based on the notion that a fit mama is a happy mama. Laid out in easy-to-read chapters based on each trimester of pregnancy and beyond, the book takes a comprehensive look at a woman’s changing body, the nutrients it needs and a multitude of exercise tips to keep it strong and healthy.
In the not-so-distant past, once a woman found out she was pregnant, she was relegated to nine months of sedentary activity. Even doctors believed that a woman with-child was a delicate flower who needed constant rest. Thankfully, health professionals are now encouraging mothers to walk, run and move, as long as they listen to their body’s cues for adjusting activity. This is the “guiding principle” of Fit & Healthy. The authors provide a wealth of information, but each woman is different and may need to tweak their individual routine accordingly.
The book is laid out in chapters based on the timeline of a pregnancy from conception to post-labor and everything in between, making it the perfect companion to other popular month-by-month guides like What To Expect When You’re Expecting. In each section, a general overview is provided about how mom’s body is changing, and what milestones her baby might be achieving in the womb. Dietary guidelines are discussed and tips for healthy weight gain are provided. Then, stretching moves are described and appropriate exercise activities are encouraged.
I found some of the most useful tools of Fit & Healthy Pregnancy to be the sections titled, “Doctors Note,” “Training Tip,” and “Fitness Rx.” These are stand-alone sidebars sprinkled liberally throughout the book that offer important nuggets of advice including, use ice baths for your feet to aid recovery from a workout and to reduce swelling.
The primary focus of Fit & Healthy Pregnancy is tailoring a workout plan for each trimester of pregnancy based on the mother’s health and fitness level. Popular exercises are discussed in length including walking, running, swimming and biking. Special attention is also given to the numerous health benefits of stretching and illustrations are used to show how each stretch should be performed.
The benefits of regular daily activity are abundant including weight control, mood improvement, better sleep, energy boost and improving circulation. These are equally important for a mother-to-be, plus, keeping a strong healthy body aids in the rigors of pregnancy itself and certainly comes in handy in the delivery room when women are putting their bodies through the ultimate endurance test. Fit & Healthy Pregnancy challenges the naysayers who discourage pregnant women from exercising and provides a realistic helpful guide to help them along the way.