This is not your typical before and after photo.
But this transformation is as inspiring as any weight loss story.
Strength training and daily movement is so important for health, and this is true especially for women before, during and after pregnancy.
Stephanie began training with me four years ago. At the time she was overweight and unhappy with her lifestyle habits. She knew she could do better and wanted to be fit and strong to travel, hike and live a full, fun life.
In her initial “transformation” Steph lost weight and gained strength. She found a consistent workout routine that fit her busy schedule. She paid more attention to her eating choices and made healthy meals a priority.
During the course of working together I’ve had the privilege to share in Steph’s journey outside the gym as well. I remember the night she came in and told me she had a date with a new guy. That guy ended up becoming her husband.
I danced at Stephanie and Joe’s wedding and celebrated the news of their first child.
Stephanie maintained her workouts through all of this, including after learning she was expecting. (It is perfectly safe, and actually a key component of a healthy pregnancy, to continue a workout regimen when expecting.)
Pregnancy is not a time to start an exercise program or do strenuous physical activity you’ve never done before, but you can and should maintain a workout routine you’ve already been doing.
For Steph, this meant 2-3x per week strength training. As the months passed, we modified workouts to accommodate a growing baby and increased fatigue.
Working out during pregnancy has many benefits. Not only can it minimize unnecessary weight gain for mom, it produces healthier babies and can lead to shorter labor and deliveries.
Women who exercise throughout pregnancy are able to get back to workouts sooner and find they may bounce back faster.
Additionally, abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti) is often minimal or non-existent in women who have strength trained regularly before, during and after pregnancy.
Strong core muscles help minimize back pain which comes with pregnancy, too.
The benefits of exercise both before a pregnancy and during, as well as after, are well documented. If you’re an expectant mom and you’ve been consistent to an exercise routine prior to conception, you can safely maintain your workouts under the care of your doctor and guidance of a qualified trainer.
Stephanie’s transformation from fit woman, to blushing bride to glowing momma-to-be is one of my all-time favorites. Working with clients through the years and getting to share in their life journey is one of the best things about my job.
Fitness looks different at different stages of life. The main goal should always be health, and healthy doesn’t always look the same. Right now, Steph’s goal is to be as healthy as possible for herself and her family.
Now that the little one is here, and once Stephanie has recovered from the demands of childbirth and the first months postpartum, her goal will be to stay fit and strong so she can be there for her child and enjoy every moment.