I have been wanting to write a blog post on exercise and pregnancy for a while now. Since I am not an expert in fitness I thought I’d ask one of my BFF’s who is an amazing fitness rockstar a few questions. Julie Diamond is a well-known, highly respected Personal Fitness Trainer who is passionately committed to empowering her clients to reach their maximum fitness potential.
Her dynamic approach to health & fitness is FUN & EDUCATIONAL with tough love mixed in.
She has trained clients of all ages (ranging from 5-93 years old) & all fitness levels (from beginners to pro-athletes) & all walks of life (from celebrities, athletes, businesspeople, weekend warriors, Moms & people recovering from or dealing with illness/physical disabilities).
Julie’s mission is to encourage & assist clients to attain their FITNESS BEST & to Educate them on how to maintain a healthy, fit & balanced lifestyle in this hectic world.
HERE IS MY Q&A WITH THE FABULOUS MISS DIAMOND –
1. What are your Top 5 strengthening/toning exercises while pregnant:
*Kegel Exercises: Helps strengthen & tone the pelvic floor in preperation for labor & delivery.
*Pelvic Tilts: strengthens the abs – Best if done against a wall.
*Squats: Strengthens & tones the thighs & is quite useful if you plan or end up delivering your baby in the squat position.
*Swimming: Great Exercise for expectant women b/c it uses large muscle groups & provides cardiovascular benefits with no pressure the joints & ligaments.
*Walking: Keeps you fit & moving without jarring the joints & ligaments & can be done anywhere & everywhere.
2. What are your Top Stretches during pregnancy:
*Chest Stretch: pregnancy changes your center of gravity which causes your body to make posture adjustments that can lead to aches & pains.
With arms bent at shoulder level grasp both sides of a doorway. Lean forward & stretch your chest. Hld for 10-20 seconds & Repeat 5 times
*Back Stretch: Back pain & pressure often goes along with pregnancy being that all the weight is carried in front.
Get down on hands & knees & relax your back keeping head & neck aligned with your spine. Slowly arch your back feeling your abs & glutes tighten – allow your head to slightly droop/tilt down as you round your spine. Repeat several times a day
*Butterfly Stretch: Hips tighten up naturally & during pregnancy you may feel this even more, not to mention opening up the hips will assist in childbirth.
Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together. Bend your knees & bring your feet about 12-18 inches away from your body. Gently put pressure on your knees with your hands – bring knees up a few inches & down a few inches. Repeat several times throughout the day
3. what are some good guidelines for having & maintaining a healthy fit pregnancy:
* POSITIVE THOUGHTS – this is key when you have a beautiful baby growing inside you — MEDITATE!
*Drink plenty of water
*Nutrition: eat healthy & clean most of the time – allowing yourself to give into cravings on occasion. BALANCE is key & DON’T skip meals!
4. Is there anything a new mother can do after birth to strengthen the Abs?
* Great question – most women are in a hurry to get their belly back to (at least) where it was pre-pregnancy! Many factors come into play with this question … i.e. Did you have a vaginal delivery or c-section? Were there any complications? How active were you before & during your pregnancy?
In addition, some women develop a gap in their abdominal muscles as their belly expands during pregnancy or labor – this is called DIASTASIS RECTI – This gap takes 4-8 weeks after giving birth to close & if you start ab exercises too soon than you risk injuring those muscles.
My advice is to begin with Aerobic Exercises first i.e. walking, jogging , swimming &/or biking.
5. How long to should someone wait to exercise after giving birth?
*The “GENERAL RULE” is 6 weeks. But consult with your Doctor or Mid-wife because as I explained previously MANY FACTORS determine when you can begin. After a vaginal delivery walking & stretching is generally quite safe within days of giving birth. After a c-section walking is often encouraged to promote healing, avoid blood clots & other complications.
& KEEP IN MIND — your joints & ligaments are loose up to 3-5 months after giving birth.
6. Do you have any motivational or inspirational advice you would like to give ?
*It’s every women desire to get rid of the excess pounds asap after giving birth — REALITY CHECK: it takes time! You just allowed your body to nurture a new life – WHAT A BEAUTIFUL THING YOU HAVE DONE — Treat your body as you would your new child — WITH LOVE!
Begin by setting short term, attainable goals & celebrate your goals when they’re achieved i.e. – A massage, a new article of clothing or jewelry ( Doesn’t have to be expensive).
Write sayings that inspire you & post them in places you will see them.
Keep in mind — if you can go through 9 months of labor & childbirth you can certainly get your body back in shape – be kind & patient … with a little TOUGH LOVE mixed in!!!
For more info or to contact Julie Diamond
Julie also teaches a rocking and totally awesome 60 min work out class at Burn 60 in Brentwood Ca. 3 days a week . Monday , Wednesday and friday at 1 pm for more info on Julies classes go to :