You can have a fit pregnancy even if you are not IFBB Figure Pro Christine Pomponio-Pate! She gives her Top 5 Tips for a Fit Pregnancy in this Muscle&Fitness Hers November/December 2008 article:
1. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water is a good idea while working out–especially while pregnant. I drank at least a gallon of water a day before I gave birth. It was important for not only my health but also my baby’s health. Staying hydrated during pregnancy assists in transportation of nutrients to your baby. Drinking water will also help prevent bladder infections, which can be dangerous if you’re pregnant.
2. Calorie and food intake. During pregnancy you often hear the excuse, “I’m eating for two.” That’s not a free pass to eat anything you want. You need only 200-300 more calories a day than normal during pregnancy, but those calories should still be of the healthy variety.
You also need healthy carbs, so even as a competitor, this isn’t the time to “carb deplete.” Make sure you continue to eat plenty of protein and also include healthy fats. Omega-3s are very important for a fetus’ healthy brain development.
While staying away from certain fish and high amounts of peanuts/peanut butter (since they’re thought to possibly cause peanut allergies in babies), you can still find great sources of omegas. I ate plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which provided the folic acid that’s extremely important in preventing birth defects.
3. Weight Training. Weight training is perfectly safe and also healthy to do while pregnant. Yet it’s important to listen to your body and not do anything in the gym that makes you uncomfortable. While pregnant, you should avoid lying in the faceup position.
Don’t do any moves that require you to lie flat on your back or–obviously–on your stomach. There are certain core exercises you can do, but you should avoid doing crunches, even into early post-pregnancy. You don’t want to permanently damage the muscles that aren’t yet healed, especially if you had a Caesarean section.
4. Cardio. It’s a great idea to do cardio while pregnant. I often did two-a-days because the cardio made me feel better. It relieved morning sickness and helped energize me throughout the day. On the days I missed cardio, I often felt tired and nauseous. Keep a close eye on your heart rate, and don’t overexert yourself while performing your cardio routine.
5. Watch dangerous chemicals; add more natural foods. During my pregnancy, I was the healthiest I’ve ever been. I attribute my good health in large part to what I was eating and products I was using on my skin.
I was more conscious of what I was breathing and exposed to, such as house-cleaning products. I’m a bit of a clean freak and am constantly cleaning, but I found “greener” ways to do it. I began using all-natural products and switched to organic foods, including organic milk, eggs and meats.
I stayed away from caffeine and all sweeteners. I also limited my protein shakes to one a day. Obviously, everyone is a little different in their needs. You should listen to your doctor and do what’s best for you.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES