Exercising Through Your Pregnancy: What to Do on the Lighter Days

This entry also appeared on FitBump360.com this week.  I am so honored to be connected with the FitBump community as one of their fitness experts.


It’s a fantastic idea to exercise during pregnancy. As long as you listen closely to your body, you might find that challenging yourself in your exercise helps you feel happier, more energetic, and more refreshed in your pregnancy.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that you will need to honor your lighter days. Perhaps you’re feeling a little more tired, or you engaged in a heavy workout the day before and need to let yourself recover.

There are still things you can do on your slower days! As long as you have been cleared by your doctor and you know your body well, there are several great things that still help you strengthen your muscles and exercise your heart on a slightly slower and smaller scale.


Short Walks:

Walking is a great low-impact way to get some exercise, raise your heart rate a bit, and get some fresh air. Many of us don’t have the time to walk for 20-30 minutes at a time, but breaking up the time into two 10-15-minute walks can be equally effective. Just be sure to drink water, especially if the weather is warm.

Easy Planks:

If your body still feels okay doing planks, this is a great full-body exercise you can do at home – or anywhere! One of my favorite versions of a low plank (on your forearms) is starting with both knees down and lifting both knees together to the beat of music. You can also alternate touching each knee to the ground. Take breaks whenever you need!


Your hips can get pretty tight as your pregnancy progresses. I am personally a big fan of stretching while watching my favorite TV show. Next time you’re in your living room, try sitting on the ground with your feet together and your knees falling to each side. Lift up in your spine, then lean forward while coaxing your knees down to the ground. If you put your hands on your feet, try pushing each knee down with your elbows (gently!).

Arm Exercises:

Even if you are tired, there are some great arm exercises you can do while sitting down. Start by grabbing two full water bottles or even two larger soup cans. Hold one in each hand and reach your arms out to each side. Keeping your chest lifted, abs pulled in, and your shoulders anchored down the back, try these easy arm exercises:

  • Circle your arms back 20x, then circle them forward 20x
  • Keeping your arms outstretched to the sides with your palms facing forward, pulse the arms up and down 20x
  • Lean forward and reach both arms behind your body with your palms facing the ceiling. (Keep your chest reaching forward so that you’re not hunching your shoulders.) Keeping your arms straight and lifted behind you, pulse them up and down 40x.

Rest and Breathe:

Sometimes rest is the best thing you can do when you’re pregnant. Your body will tell you when to slow down, and it’s a good idea to listen. As you get farther along in your pregnancy, you might find that your breathing becomes a little restricted, and you might even feel a little dizzy sometimes. Use your down-time as a chance to sit quietly and focus on taking some deep and wide breaths. Imagine filling a balloon all the way down to the base of your back. Imagine that this balloon fills out wide to each side of your low back like wings.

Enjoy these exercises, and remember: always listen to what your body needs!

How Do I Get the Most Out of Private Training?

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How Do I Get the Most Out of Private Training?

When you decide to start private training, you can – and should – spend a lot of time seeking out the fitness method and the trainer that work best for you. Admittedly, these are big decisions and shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are a lot of factors that go into determining what kind of training method and training style work best for you. In the end, it’s all about finding the right personal fit regardless of what friends or popular media tell you to do.

But what if you’ve found what you’re looking for? What if you’ve chosen the right method and the right trainer? Is your work finished? What could possibly go wrong?

There’s no secret that the effort you put into your training leads to the results you see. Ok fine. But can you heighten those results even more? How can you get the most out of your trainer and the most out of each session? Are there questions or preparations you should consider? Or should you just show up and see what your trainer can do for you?

The tips I am providing here are based on my own experiences working with a range of great clients over the years. I definitely notice that there are ways my clients can get the best out of me, and I think it’s important to explore how and why this can happen.

So how can I make my training sessions more efficient and effective?

Here goes…


1) Start with an open mind. It’s very possible that you’ve had other trainers in your life. You may have focused on certain things with those trainers that worked for you at the time. Our bodies, life stages, and needs change over the years, and it’s possible that your next trainer will have a perspective and approach that’s completely new to you. Try to embrace this and see how your body feels with your new workouts. Never be afraid to stop training if it doesn’t work for you — but being completely open to someone and something new could be an amazing experience for you.

2) Ask questions. Getting to the bottom of your trainer’s philosophy will help you understand why he or she has created your program. These questions might also help you understand the philosophy behind the workout and how the muscles are being targeted. The answers you hear might change the way you approach your sessions, and they might even help you pay more attention to the way your body is responding.

3) Think about your energy. It’s amazing how the energy I receive from a client feeds the energy I put back into a session. Even without realizing it, I can move in less energetic or inspired ways with someone who is dragging. As a trainer, I totally understand that we all have those days, but try approaching your sessions with more energy and see how you it changes your experience. You attitude will make such a difference, and your trainer will also relate to you surprisingly differently.

4) Speak up! Your trainer can’t read your mind. Always tell your trainer when you feel any kind of sharp pain or when you experience anything that alarms you. Also be sure to give your trainer feedback on the exercises that don’t suit your body (and also on the exercises you love). Your trainer needs to learn over time what to avoid and also what to emphasize with you to get the best results.

5) Let your trainer be the expert. Once you are vocal about the kinds of exercises that don’t feel right for your body, also try to recognize that your trainer is there to push you beyond your limits. We all know how hard it is to go to the gym and motivate ourselves. Let your trainer be that motivating voice – and also the expert on what will change your body.

6) With time, don’t be afraid to ask for something new. You can get very comfortable with your trainer. Your body can start getting too used to your weekly workouts, and your results can plateau. You need to shake things up and surprise your muscles (and your mind!). Don’t be afraid to ask for new things from your trainer, and be specific about the new goals you’re hoping to achieve. I believe that variety is key, and I love being challenged by the changing needs and requests of my clients. Change can breathe new life into your sessions and lead to some surprising new results.


At the end of the day, private training is your opportunity to get amazing, individualized fitness attention. Know that you have every right to ask for what you need, and also know that you are asking an expert to come to you and do what he or she does best.

Private training has been my favorite part of my business, and I am grateful for the wonderful connections and lifelong friends I have made. I also want to continue growing and improving, and it’s the feedback I’ve gotten from my clients – both in and out of our sessions together – that has helped me do so. Never underestimate the roll you play in your private training relationship!