Your Pregnancy: Food and Fitness Tips from Fitness Pro Alissa Carpio


by For Two Fitness

Today we have to honor of presenting Alissa Carpio, a fitness expert and mom-to-be.  She has ben a certified personal trainer since 2002, focusing on competitive athletes and corrective exercise.  She holds a BS in Sport Management with an emphasis in Fitness and Wellness.  Alissa is an elite amateur fitness competitor and has completed several 10-mile runs.  She’s a mother of a 2-year old and is expecting her second child in August 2012.  Alissa has been freelancing since 2003 and past and current clients include Prevention.com, Pampers.com, MAX Sports & Fitness, Bodybuilding.com and MET-Rx Magazine.  Her areas of expertise include fitness, nutrition, pregnancy and parenting.  You can find more on Alissa at  www.alissa.net and on www.fitfigures.net.  Check her out on Facebook and Twitter too!  
 
 

 

Try adding this stretch, strength exercise and food to your diet for a healthy pregnancy.




Stretch: Yoga Squat – The yoga squat not only helps relieve back pain by providing an amazing stretch to the back, it helps open up the hips while working balance, endurance and core muscles.
 
To do this move, stand about six inches out from a wall.  Place feet slightly wider than shoulder width and facing out slightly or up to a 45 degree angle.  Maintain good posture and descend into a squat position by bending your knees and hips while pushing your hips back slightly, until your thighs are resting on your calves.  Knees should be in line with your toes.  Keep chest lifted out and up while maintaining a deep, steady breath.  Place hands in prayer position at your heart and place elbows on the inside of your knees.  Gently press out to deepen the stretch.  Hold for 10 seconds, working your way up to 2 minutes.  You can also place cushions, a bolster or a block under your bottom for extra support.  Once you feel comfortable, you may do this move without the wall support.  
 

Strength: Cable Underhand High Row – During pregnancy, the middle and lower back muscles, including those that support the shoulder blades, are often weakened.  Due to the altered posture many pregnant women adapt to compensate for the additional weight in the front of the body, shoulders and neck round forward and cause these muscles to weaken.  Keep them strong by adding the cable underhand high row to your exercise routine.  

 

Use cable bands attached at a high position or a free motion cable crossover machine at its highest position.  Grab the handles and rotate palms so they are facing the ceiling.  Your arms should be at a 45 degree angle.  Draw in your abdominals and keep your chest up and out.  By imagining your elbows drawing back and down towards the floor, pull the cables down and to your sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together.  Hold for a pause then slowly release to start position.  Perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions.  You may perform this exercise seated, standing, or in a squat position.  

 
 
Food: Eggs – Eggs are an often-overlooked, nutritional powerhouse food, especially for developing babies.  One egg contains all essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein – and the yolk alone provides all of the egg’s Vitamin D, and Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids DHA and AA.  The yolk also contains 91% of the egg’s Vitamin B12 and 95% the its folate (folic acid), Thiamin and Vitamin B6.  Many minerals are present in eggs, including copper, zinc and calcium.  
 
Particularly important to pregnant women is folate, which is known to help prevent neural tube defects.  Choline is a lesser-known nutrient found richly in eggs that helps with fetal brain development and prevention of birth defects.  Eggs have a great mixture of both heme and non-heme iron in an easy to digest form, making it a great choice for pregnant women and nursing mothers.  
 
If you’re worried about cholesterol, you can rest easy.  Over 40 years of research has shown that most individuals can consume eggs without significantly affecting their risk for heart disease.  And several international health magazines promote eating eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet.


Thanks Alissa!  We look forward to your next food and fitness tips!  

 




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