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8 Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy

Can you believe that just a generation ago, women were discouraged from exercising while pregnant? Indeed, pregnancy was a time to slow down, move less and avoid undue stress and strain on the body, thereby ensuring the birth of a healthy babe.

Nowadays, the benefits of exercise during pregnancy are well known. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a doctor or midwife who doesn’t encourage their pregnant patients to work out regularly.

As a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and mother of three (who worked out religiously throughout 2 of her 3 pregnancies) I can personally attest to the benefits of exercise during pregnancy. My clients and class participants sleep better, report fewer joint aches and pains, and have a more positive image of their changing bodies than their non-exercising friends. Some also report easier deliveries (alas, I was not one of them...).

In general, pregnant women can do the very same exercises as non-pregnant women, with a few modifications (for example, minimizing moves that require you to lie on you back after about 20 weeks). Below you’ll find some of the tips and general recommendations I regularly share with my clients, boot campers and friends!

1.    Maintain the status quo; pregnancy is not the time to worry about setting personal bests or dramatically improving your fitness. Aim for consistency in your workouts and leave the adventure racing for next year.

2.    Be kind to yourself; Your body, and what it’s capable of will change frequently and tasks that were once easy, may become more difficult as your pregnancy progresses  (I distinctly remember having to take out a set of risers in step class at about 24 weeks gestation). Relax in the knowledge that you’ll be able to do it (and more!) all again, once the baby is born.

3.    Focus on safety and form rather than speed; As your belly grows, you may find that you lose your balance more easily than before. Why? Your center of gravity has shifted, both forward and closer to the floor than you’re used to. Slower movements executed with perfect form will not only reduce the likelihood of injury, they can also result in improved strength and muscle size!

4.    Ensure proper hydration during exercise; During pregnancy, blood volume increases by as much as 33% (mom’s blood provides nutrients to both herself and baby). More blood requires more water for proper hydration. Many pregnant women suffer from night time calf cramps (aka ‘charley horses’); prevent them by upping your water intake before, during and after exercise.

5.    Focus on posterior chain work; Pregnancy changes a woman’s center of gravity. Heavy bellies and breasts pull shoulders forward, increasing strain on the upper and lower back. Try adding some extra back exercises to your workout; bent over rows, reverse flys and lat pulldowns are all good choices. Not only will they reduce the back pain frequently experienced during pregnancy, they’ll improve your posture and make you look taller!

6.    Protect your knees; Relaxin, one of the many hormones produced by your body during pregnancy, results in looser, more flexible joints. While beneficial during labour and delivery, it’s effects are not joint specific. Many women find that proper knee alignment during squats and lunges is more challenging during pregnancy, due to greater laxity in the tendons and ligaments of the knees. Pay attention to form and remember that the load your knees are bearing is increasing weekly!

7.    Prepare your upper body for the work to come AFTER baby is born; Infants need to be carried a lot. And they grow continuously, making them the perfect progressive resistance training tool! Strong backs, arms and shoulders will be needed (especially if you carry your baby in an infant seat...) in the months to come. Start training them now!

8.    Enjoy being able to buy stylish workout clothes; Maternity fitness clothes have come a long way in 10 years. No longer do pregnant women have to wear their husband’s gym shorts and old cotton t-shirts to work out in (yes, I really did!). Pregnancy is a great excuse to go shopping!

Tamara Grand lives in beautiful British Columbia Canada with her husband, three children, a ginger cat and a large stash of hand-dyed yarn. She works as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and enjoys pushing her clients and class participants out of their comfort zones. She’s happiest when they text her the day after a workout complaining about sore arms and legs.
She believes that exercise and healthy eating need to be part of everyone’s life and aims to inspire and motivate others by showing them that if she can do it, anyone can. She blogs about fitness, food, family and fiber (knitting fiber, that is) at fitknitchick.com and is always thrilled when you comment on her posts. Please follow her on Twitter @fitknitchick_1


**Although Tamara is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, she’s not YOUR personal trainer! Please see your health care practitioner for advice specific to YOUR pregnancy before you begin a new exercise program!


Trending on FitViews

Cinnamon Vanilla KETO Coffee Creamer Recipe

There are tons of keto coffee creamer products flooding the market right now. Some are fantastic options. Some chock full of nasty ingredients. But most of them are on the pricey side.

I decided to work on some clean, more budget-friendly, keto coffee creamer recipes we can easily make at home! (Check out my Keto Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer too.)⠀

This dairy-free Cinnamon Vanilla Keto Coffee Creamer is definitely one of my favorites. I just love cinnamon coffees. They're delicious. Plus, cinnamon is supposed to be good for blood sugar control. Win-win.


Keto Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee Creamer ⠀⠀☕☕☕ ⠀

INGREDIENTS⠀⠀1 can (13.66 oz) Canned Coconut Cream
2 teaspoons Organic Saigon Cinnamon⠀
2 teaspoons Organic Pure Vanilla⠀⠀
Low Carb Sweetener to taste, generally 5 to 10 packets OR 5 to 15 drops monk fruit (optional)⠀ ⠀
DIRECTIONS⠀⠀Add all ingredients to your blender. Blend, just until combined. About 30 seconds, scraping the sides if you need to. ⠀
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 to 7 d…

KETO Cocktails: The Lemon Drop

I love a good glass of red wine now and then, I mean it's practically a health food, right? ;) But sometimes I just want a cocktail. I'm all for moderation and having a drink now and then, but I'm just not down with the calorie, carb, and sugar counts of some of my favorites. Seriously, have you ever looked them up? Eek. So, I've set to work at converting my favorite cocktail recipes to be more keto diet friendly!

The first cocktail recipe I'm tackling is the keto lemon drop. I used to love these, but haven't had one in years because of the sugar in them. In my early twenties I had a friend who used to make them for me all the time. We would have a shaker full of these, a good dinner, and a chick flick on a weeknight, it was kind of bliss. Her recipe called for so. much. SUGAR though! Looking back I think she may have used a wee bit more sugar than most, but they were really good.





I think my keto-ized recipe comes pretty dang close to those delicious memories! It…

Paleo Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe

It's just not the holidays for me without a Starbucks peppermint mocha (or white chocolate peppermint mocha, mmm). I generally splurge once or twice during the holiday season with the real thing. Since going keto paleo, however, I'm not sure if I will. Sometimes the sugar just isn't worth it!


Problem is I like them, miss them, and would really enjoy them all season long!
So..... I decided I wanted to tackle the peppermint mocha and come up with Paleo-friendly version. With this simple recipe, I can have a peppermint mocha anytime.


Not only is this recipe Paleo, but it's also Whole30, gluten-free, vegan, primal, and 100% junk-free. Paleo Peppermint Mocha RecipeIngredients:
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(Regular, NOT light. Seriously, ew.)
1/3 cup Organic Cocoa Powder
2 to 3 Tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (Optional, leave out for keto or Whole30.)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Organic Peppermint Extract(Depending how pepperminty you like it. I do 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon Organic …

Keto Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe

It's just not the holidays for me without a Starbucks peppermint mocha (or white chocolate peppermint mocha, mmm. Swap recipe for that coming soon ;) In the past I've splurged once or twice during the holiday season with the real thing. However, now that I've been keto for over a year I know that the sugar load will likely have me not feeling great post-mocha. Is it worth it? I don't know...

Plus, I really, really like them and would love to have them all season long!

Hoping for a solution I picked up some ready made sugar-free peppermint mocha creamer at the grocery store, shuddered at the ingredient list, and promptly put it back down. Yuck. So I decided I wanted to tackle the peppermint mocha and come up with a dairy-free, sugar-free, Keto friendly version. It took some trial and error, but I think I've got it! Now I can have a keto peppermint mocha anytime.


Not only is this recipe Keto, but it's also paleo, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and sugar-f…

Hype or Help: Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Final Program Review

*This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission if you purchase items by clicking these links. It costs you no more.
Disclaimer: I received Jillian Michaels Body Revolutionfor review purposes. As always opinions are 100% honest and my own.

After three long months of testing this program I'm finally down to the review! I've had so many questions, and I hope to answer them all here.
So, is it hype or help? Have a seat, let's talk about that...

What you will need for these workouts:
A set of light, medium, and heavy hand weights to suit your ability level.


What's Included with Jillian Michaels Body Revolution: 15 Workout DVDsResistance CableFitness Guide BookFat Burning Meal Plan7 Day Kick-Start Your Metabolism Plan90 Day JournalBookmark
What's in the box? My unboxing video if you want to see it all:
The Body Revolution Diet Plan I've had a lot of questions on what exactly the diet plan for Body Revolution is. Let me break it down... The diet for this program…

Jillian Michaels BodyShred Full Review

I have to say my two months of BodyShred flew by! It seems like I just started yesterday. Ah, time flies while you're having fun. Right? OK, in this full review post, I hope to give you a good overview of exactly what the BodyShred program is as well as my thoughts and opinions on the program. So, is Jillian Michaels BodyShred hype or help? Let's chat...



Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED is Jillian's latest total-package fitness program. This set includes:


What's in the box:BodyShred Fitness Guide
BodyShred Meal Plan
BodyShred Rotational Calendar
BodyShred "Let Them See You Sweat" Workout Towel
DVDs-
     8 - Shred Style Circuit Workouts
       1. Launch
       2. Rise
       3. Amplify
       4. Escalate
       5. Conquer
       6. Triumph 
       7. Zenith
       8. Apex
     2 - Straight Cardio Workouts
       1. Fire Up
       2. Ignite
    Plus, bonus workout Opus and a disc on the cast and teaching the moves. So, a total of 12 DVDs are included in this set.


The BodyShred Workouts

The Top 20 Keto Diet Products on Amazon

With the popularity of the Keto Diet many companies are using it as a marketing ploy. Unfortunately, just because it says “keto” on the label doesn’t mean it is. There is so much junk out there that I would NOT recommend to a friend. So, for the past 6 months I've been weeding through all the new keto products and long loved keto staples on the market and weeding out the hyped up junk. What I've come up with is a top 20 list on Amazon. This list shares only the best of the ketogenic best you can find to support your Keto Diet lifestyle on Amazon! 

For my criteria in choosing products, they had to: Have clean ingredients.Be low enough in carbs to sensibly include them in a daily keto diet.Stand up to my quality standards for something I would (and for most of these do) regularly purchase.Taste good! (except, obviously in the case of the ketone meter, etc)Without further yammering, my picks for The Top 20 Keto Diet Products on Amazon:

1. 

2.
3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

<

Keto Paleo Friendly Coffee Creamer Recipe

Going keto paleo has me missing one thing: the organic grass-fed half-and-half I'd been having in my coffee. Since going paleo over a year ago I've searched and searched and just never found anything else I love in my coffee. I'd just about given up on a keto paleo-friendly coffee creamer!

I was almost to resign myself to black coffee forever, but then I decided to resort again to trying to make my own. This version is simple and quite delicious. Not only is it keto paleo, but Whole30 and 21 Day Sugar Detox friendly as well.




Keto Paleo Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee Creamer
Ingredients
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(the kind in the carton just won't do it)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Vietnamese Organic
1 teaspoon Organic Pure Vanilla for 100% Whole30 compliant swap for vanilla powder
2 teaspoons raw local honey or Organic Maple Syrup (optional, leave out for KETO, Whole30, or 21DSD)





Directions
Blend all ingredients well in your blender. Store in the refrigerator (the cinnamon tends to set…

Should You Do Carb-Ups on the Keto Diet?

I realize doing carb-ups on the keto diet is becoming quite the controversy in the keto community and just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I've been keto off and on since I was 25 (that's *cough* 17 years *cough*) and most recently steadily in ketosis for almost 2 years now. I've experimented with all kinds of versions of keto and have researched it into the ground. So, should you carb up on your ketogenic diet? Grab a keto mocha and let's chat about it.



OK, first Robert Sikes of Keto Savage has a really great podcast on what's going on lately if you're interested. He pretty much thinks exactly as I do on the subject. Check that out here

What is a carb up? Most people in the keto community are familiar, but for those who aren't, a carb-up is basically just taking in more carbs than you usually would on the keto diet in a short period of time. It's similar to carb loading. It can be done timed around exercise, as a heavier carb meal, or even before bedtim…

My Egg Fast Results

I went on an egg fast last week, something I do from time to time, and wanted to share my results with you. 

In the past I've been hesitant to discuss egg fasts here. I realize that egg fasts are a little controversial in the mainstream. They seem a little fad-crash diety. I get that. They're pretty accepted in the keto and low carb communities though. They can be a great tool to jump start a low carb or keto plan and are helpful at breaking a weight loss plateau too. For myself, I have no issues with them as a short-term tool in a more balanced approach.

That said, what exactly is an egg fast? Well, you'll find multiple definitions around the net, so I'll give you mine. An egg fast is a short period of time, usually 1 to 3 days, that you consume 3 to 4 eggs per meal plus up to 1 tablespoon of healthy fat OR 1 ounce of cheese per egg. And that's it. Water, tea, coffee, and all spices that don't contain sugar are fine. Pink Himalayan salt is often encouraged. Fats…

Trending on FitViews

KETO Cocktails: The Lemon Drop

I love a good glass of red wine now and then, I mean it's practically a health food, right? ;) But sometimes I just want a cocktail. I'm all for moderation and having a drink now and then, but I'm just not down with the calorie, carb, and sugar counts of some of my favorites. Seriously, have you ever looked them up? Eek. So, I've set to work at converting my favorite cocktail recipes to be more keto diet friendly!

The first cocktail recipe I'm tackling is the keto lemon drop. I used to love these, but haven't had one in years because of the sugar in them. In my early twenties I had a friend who used to make them for me all the time. We would have a shaker full of these, a good dinner, and a chick flick on a weeknight, it was kind of bliss. Her recipe called for so. much. SUGAR though! Looking back I think she may have used a wee bit more sugar than most, but they were really good.





I think my keto-ized recipe comes pretty dang close to those delicious memories! It…

30 Easy Prep and Pack Whole30 Lunch Recipes

The Whole30Program is amazing. I highly recommend it. Every time I've done a Whole 30 I have felt AMAZING by the end. It's a very empowering experience. It is not however an easy one. Mostly because the food prep can take much more time if you're used to grab and go options. A little planning ahead and you can definitely make it through the 30 days.

When it comes to Whole30 lunches, 3 things worked best for me:


Quick and easy salads.Prepping food on Sunday.Cooking too much at dinner and eating leftovers for lunch the next day.
I thought I'd share 30 of the awesome Whole30 lunch recipes I've found from my favorite bloggers (and a few from me!). I've included all three options I listed above. Some quick and easy salads, some to prep an entire recipe on the weekend and then portion them for lunches that week, and some to be cooked for dinner and the leftovers packed for lunch the next day. Play around and see what works best for you.

This list of 30 Whole30 Lunch Reci…

Paleo Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe

It's just not the holidays for me without a Starbucks peppermint mocha (or white chocolate peppermint mocha, mmm). I generally splurge once or twice during the holiday season with the real thing. Since going keto paleo, however, I'm not sure if I will. Sometimes the sugar just isn't worth it!


Problem is I like them, miss them, and would really enjoy them all season long!
So..... I decided I wanted to tackle the peppermint mocha and come up with Paleo-friendly version. With this simple recipe, I can have a peppermint mocha anytime.


Not only is this recipe Paleo, but it's also Whole30, gluten-free, vegan, primal, and 100% junk-free. Paleo Peppermint Mocha RecipeIngredients:
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(Regular, NOT light. Seriously, ew.)
1/3 cup Organic Cocoa Powder
2 to 3 Tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (Optional, leave out for keto or Whole30.)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Organic Peppermint Extract(Depending how pepperminty you like it. I do 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon Organic …

Keto Paleo Friendly Coffee Creamer Recipe

Going keto paleo has me missing one thing: the organic grass-fed half-and-half I'd been having in my coffee. Since going paleo over a year ago I've searched and searched and just never found anything else I love in my coffee. I'd just about given up on a keto paleo-friendly coffee creamer!

I was almost to resign myself to black coffee forever, but then I decided to resort again to trying to make my own. This version is simple and quite delicious. Not only is it keto paleo, but Whole30 and 21 Day Sugar Detox friendly as well.




Keto Paleo Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee Creamer
Ingredients
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(the kind in the carton just won't do it)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Vietnamese Organic
1 teaspoon Organic Pure Vanilla for 100% Whole30 compliant swap for vanilla powder
2 teaspoons raw local honey or Organic Maple Syrup (optional, leave out for KETO, Whole30, or 21DSD)





Directions
Blend all ingredients well in your blender. Store in the refrigerator (the cinnamon tends to set…

Jillian Michaels BodyShred Full Review

I have to say my two months of BodyShred flew by! It seems like I just started yesterday. Ah, time flies while you're having fun. Right? OK, in this full review post, I hope to give you a good overview of exactly what the BodyShred program is as well as my thoughts and opinions on the program. So, is Jillian Michaels BodyShred hype or help? Let's chat...



Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED is Jillian's latest total-package fitness program. This set includes:


What's in the box:BodyShred Fitness Guide
BodyShred Meal Plan
BodyShred Rotational Calendar
BodyShred "Let Them See You Sweat" Workout Towel
DVDs-
     8 - Shred Style Circuit Workouts
       1. Launch
       2. Rise
       3. Amplify
       4. Escalate
       5. Conquer
       6. Triumph 
       7. Zenith
       8. Apex
     2 - Straight Cardio Workouts
       1. Fire Up
       2. Ignite
    Plus, bonus workout Opus and a disc on the cast and teaching the moves. So, a total of 12 DVDs are included in this set.


The BodyShred Workouts

KETO Hot Cocoa Pancakes

OK, I know I've been on quite the low carb pancake tangent lately, but THESE! Seriously, these are yummtastic. Yummazing? Ya, they're really good. They just might be my favorite recipe I've ever done. Ever. OK, that might be my paleo apple crisp recipe, but that's not low carb...ooo, I wonder if I could tweak that low carb...

That would be brilliant!

You know, bloggers area always talking seo this and seo that (seo stands for search engine optimization if you're not a blogger) and I'm just over here yammering. I'm pretty sure when google's spider crawlers (anyone shiver at that word picture? eesh) get to FitViews they just think, "Yeesh, move along. Nothing to see here." Ha ha ha!

Anyway, pancakes. KETO Hot Cocoa Low Carb Pancakes no less. So good. 


As I've mentioned before I'm back to low carb (keto actually) and developing new recipes to make it easier to stick with. I find I just plain feel great when I eat ketogenic, and I definitely h…

Paleo Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers

Since going Paleo my family has fallen even more in love with our grill. Paleo and grilling just work well together. The past couple of years I've even been stepping outside my grilling comfort zone more and more. Grilling things I'd never thought to have grilled before and trying new flavor combinations. I have to say I'm pretty thrilled with the results of most of my flavor experiments. 

In the past I'd never have thought to grill fruit, but it's amazing. Grilling fruit and adding it to traditionally savory dishes? Brilliant.



Oh yes, and? New rule: every burger recipe for the rest of forever must contain grilled pineapple. OK, maybe more of a guideline. It's a seriously delicious combination though.

This Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger is always a crowd-pleaser at my house. It's not only Paleo, but Whole30, glutenfree, lower carb, and clean eating friendly. I promise you won't miss the bun! 

paleo, grilled pineapple burger, smoky grilled pineapple burger,…

Easy Paleo Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Growing up the only encounter I had with sweet potatoes was at Thanksgiving dinner. I hesitate to even call them sweet potatoes though. They were more like sugar coated sugar, with a side of sugar. Seriously!
The recipe was to coat a baking dish in margarine, add diced sweet potatoes, top with more margarine and a healthy heaping of brown sugar. Bake. And then? At the end you top the whole thing with a bag of marshmallows and bake again.
Blech! Needless to say I was never fond of sweet potatoes.
When I first went paleo I decided to reacquaint myself with sweet potatoes. They’re a great paleo-friendly carb source. I must confess the thought made me shudder, but I persevered. I tried them simple. Baked. I was so shocked. They're so good!
Now, I love sweet potatoes. They’re a go-to side dish for family dinners. Not only are they delicious, but they’re good for us and easy to make. The funny thing about sweet potatoes is they taste amazing all on their own. When it comes to sweet potato r…

Hype or Help: Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Final Program Review

*This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission if you purchase items by clicking these links. It costs you no more.
Disclaimer: I received Jillian Michaels Body Revolutionfor review purposes. As always opinions are 100% honest and my own.

After three long months of testing this program I'm finally down to the review! I've had so many questions, and I hope to answer them all here.
So, is it hype or help? Have a seat, let's talk about that...

What you will need for these workouts:
A set of light, medium, and heavy hand weights to suit your ability level.


What's Included with Jillian Michaels Body Revolution: 15 Workout DVDsResistance CableFitness Guide BookFat Burning Meal Plan7 Day Kick-Start Your Metabolism Plan90 Day JournalBookmark
What's in the box? My unboxing video if you want to see it all:
The Body Revolution Diet Plan I've had a lot of questions on what exactly the diet plan for Body Revolution is. Let me break it down... The diet for this program…

A Month of Whole30 Dinner Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love!

If you're doing a Whole30 chances are your whole family isn't doing it with you. In the past I've found that this can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to food prep. Making every meal completely separate is just a lot to do. One solution I have found is to make family-friendly Whole30 dinner recipes. That way, at least for one meal, I was just making one meal that everyone would eat. 

I thought I'd share some of the great Whole 30 dinner recipes I've found from my favorite bloggers (and my own recipes are in there too!). 30 Whole30 dinner recipes to be exact! This list should help you cruise through an entire month of Whole30 with great family friendly dinners.


One Month of Whole30 Dinner Recipes
Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili from Cotter Crunch
Ancho Beef Chili Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins from Cotter Crunch
Easy Paleo Tuna Green Chile Zoodle Casserole from Cotter Crunch
Whole30 Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas from Physical Kitchness
Burrito Bowl Stuffed Peppers from At…