Pregnant, fit & fabulous!
As an aerialist, I have always taken good care of my body for two main reasons: Health & Aesthetics. As a circus performer, one tends to be a bit more vain than the average person. Let’s face it, any circus producer will tell you that your work relies not only on how talented you are but also how great you look on stage. So, bearing that in mind, I made sure that I took the same necessary steps to keep my body healthy and strong without having to go nuts at the gym after delivering my baby. These are special moments in our lives and should be treasured rather than dreaded. I’ll show you three easy tips (that worked for me) on how to stay fit and look fabulous during your pregnancy, allowing you to enjoy every precious moment of it. If you look good, you’ll feel good! Keep in mind that everyone is different and remember to always ask your health care provider before starting a new diet and/or exercise.
1. You’re not eating for two
That old saying is well past it’s due date. Ask any health care provider and they’ll tell you that you are only “eating for one”. In general, most women need around 300 extra calories per day during pregnancy, not another 1200! The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that calorie levels never drop below 1200 calories per day for women. So, healthy eating habits during pregnancy are crucial not only to your health but your baby’s as well. Understandably, we all get crazy cravings during our pregnancy but instead of heading out to your nearest fast food chain, eat nutritiously and avoid high calorie foods. Your health care provider can help you create a healthy eating plan that’s right for you. However, the exact amount of extra calories you need depends on your weight before pregnancy. It’s important to gain the right amount of weight for your body. Doing so will help protect the health of your baby. Women who gain too little are more likely to have a small baby (less than 5 1/2 pounds). Women who gain too much are more likely to have an early baby or a large baby. They may also have health problems themselves such as diabetes, high blood pressure and varicose veins. If you began pregnancy at a healthy weight, you should gain 25–35 pounds over the nine months; most physicians recommend this.
2. Lotion is your best friend
As soon as I found out I was pregnant I began using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks immediately! (Yes, even though I wasn’t showing yet). Well, you can’t argue with the results! I ended up having no stretch marks at all during both my first and second pregnancies. I know, I couldn’t believe it either! It really does work, especially if you use it religiously. I used it, at the very least, once a day. During growth spurts, your skin can get pretty itchy, when this occurs DO NOT SCRATCH! Instead, use the palms of your hands and rub your belly lightly to alleviate the itch, never use your nails. Your skin is a very grateful organ, take care of it and it will take care of you.
3. Prenatal Yoga
This workout will increase your energy and stamina, and build strength, flexibility and balance. I was still performing when I found out I was pregnant so, I decided to stop right away. A lot of circus women I know continue to perform until their bellies start to show, I decided to play it safe and stop early. Whenever you choose to stop performing is entirely up to you, in any case, exercise during pregnancy is very important for both you and your baby. I decided to do Prenatal Yoga workouts everyday to keep my body limber and strong and Prenatal Yoga with Shiva Rea is a great way to help you stay fit without being too strenuous on your body.
I hope these tips help you the way they helped me. May you have a happy and healthy pregnancy. Good luck! ■