If you're pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, you might wonder what types of exercises you can safely do to keep your body in tip-top shape.
Years ago, the general consensus was that exercise during pregnancy was a complete no-no. But that has changed significantly, and now, many women exercise throughout all of the nine months they are with child.
Brandi Dion was one of those women. Brandi is a lifelong athlete, personal trainer and triathlon coach, who kept up with her (rather intense) fitness regimen through both of her pregnancies.
What advice does she have for you?
Staying active throughout pregnancy is key.
Simple, low-impact, low-intensity strength training to build muscle and help strengthen your core for an easier delivery and post-delivery is a good option if you are looking to do something different than your normal routine.
You can also strengthen your core with sit-ups and other ab exercises, as long as you are able to do them comfortably.
It's important to listen to your body. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.
What can you do to prepare even before you get pregnant?
It's a good idea to get into a structured fitness program. The consistency, camaraderie and motivation of a group atmosphere -- such as CrossFit or a boot camp class -- will help keep you interested and coming back.
What about after pregnancy? What sorts of exercises should you be doing?
Again, listen to your body and do the exercises that feel comfortable. Modify what you can, but don't aggravate that uncomfortable soreness.
Finally, hydration and getting enough omega-3s is really important for your developing fetus and also for post-pregnancy recovery.
Join Brandi as she discusses her journey through fitness and pregnancy, and offers tips for getting in your best shape before, during and after those crucial nine months.