Pregnancy and exercise: Baby, let’s move!

During pregnancy, exercise can help you stay in shape and prepare for labor and delivery. Here’s the lowdown on pregnancy and exercise, from getting started to staying motivated.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Pregnancy may seem like the perfect time to sit back and relax. You may feel more tired than usual, your back may ache, and your ankles may be swollen. But guess what? There’s more to pregnancy and exercise than skipping it entirely. Unless you’re experiencing serious complications, sitting around won’t help. In fact, pregnancy can be a great time to get active =97 even if you haven’t exercised in a while.

Why exercise during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, exercise can:

  • Ease or prevent back pain and other discomforts
  • Boost your energy level
  • Prevent excess weight gain
  • Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related high blood pressure and postpartum depression
  • Increase stamina and muscle strength, which helps you prepare for labor

Pregnancy and exercise: Getting the OK

Before you begin an exercise program, make sure you have your health care provider’s OK. Although exercise during pregnancy is generally good for both mother and baby, you’ll need to proceed with caution if you have a history of preterm labor or certain medical conditions,including:

  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Placenta previa, a problem with the placenta that can cause excessive bleeding before or during delivery

Pacing it for pregnancy

For most pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended on most, if not all, days of the week but even shorter or less frequent workouts can help you stay in shape and prepare for labor.

Walking is a great exercise for beginners. It provides moderate aerobic conditioning with minimal stress on your joints. Other good choices include swimming, rowing and cycling on a stationary bike. Strength training is OK, too, as long as you avoid lifting heavy weights.

If you haven’t exercised for a while, begin with as little as five minutes of physical activity a day. Build up to 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on, until you reach at least 30 minutes a day. If you exercised before pregnancy, you can probably continue to work out at the same level while you’re pregnant ; as long as you’re feeling comfortable and your health care provider says it’s OK.

In general, you should be able to carry on a conversation while you’re exercising. If you can’t speak normally while you’re working out, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard.

Remember to stretch before and after each workout. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and be careful to avoid overheating. No matter how dedicated you are to being in shape, don’t exercise to the point of exhaustion.

Activities to approach with care

If you’re not sure whether a particular activity is safe during pregnancy, check with your health care provider. It’s best to avoid any exercises that force you to lie flat on your back, especially as your pregnancy progresses. Activities such as scuba diving and hiking at high altitudes are generally discouraged, as are contact sports and activities that pose a high risk of falling , such as water skiing, downhill skiing and in-line skating.

Staying motivated

You’re more likely to stick with an exercise plan if it involves activities you enjoy and fits into your daily schedule. Consider these simple tips:

Start small. You don’t need to join a gym or don expensive workout clothes to get in shape. Just get moving. Try a daily walk through your neighborhood. Vary your route to keep it interesting.

Find a partner. Exercise can be more interesting if you use the time to chat with a friend. Better yet, involve the whole family.

Use a headset. Listen to music or a book while you exercise. Use lively songs to energize your workout.

Try a class. Many fitness centers and hospitals offer classes designed for pregnant women. Choose one that fits your interests and schedule.

Get creative. Don’t limit yourself. Consider hiking, rowing or dancing.

Give yourself permission to rest. Your tolerance for strenuous exercise will probably decrease as your pregnancy progresses.

Listen to your body

As important as it is to exercise, it’s also important to watch for danger signs. Stop exercising if you notice:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vaginal bleeding

If your signs and symptoms continue after you stop exercising, contact your health care provider.

A healthy choice

Regular exercise can help you cope with the physical changes of pregnancy and build stamina for the challenges ahead. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, use pregnancy as your motivation to begin.

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How To Hire A Qualified Personal Trainer


 In this day and age, just about anyone can obtain a personal training certificate in a matter of a weekend.  What sets a qualified personal trainer or health coach apart from the rest and how can you easily choose the right one for you? This article will help you “Get Clear” on what questions to ask yourself when hiring your next personal trainer, and most importantly, how to explain to them exactly what you want. 

How to pick your qualified personal trainer.
First and foremost, just because someone looks like they are in good shape, doesn’t mean that they are a great personal trainer.  Oh the horror stories I have seen and heard about people who have hired their fitness professional from a reputable gym to be left feeling defeated emotionally, physically and psychologically. How will you know if your trainer is the right fit for you?

Here Are The Top 9 Qualities To Look For In A Qualified Personal Trainer that may help you take the guess-work out of your decision.

  • They ask a lot of questions and they keep the focus on you.
  • They perform a complete Health Screening and Fitness Assessment before writing your program.
  • They write a plan of action for you and give you the steps to easily achieve your goals, in a simple way.
  • They explain exactly why you are doing your program the way you are.
  • They clearly explain each exercise they have chosen for you, why they are doing them, and how they will benefit you.
  • They quickly modify an exercise on the spot if it’s not working for you at that time.
  • They know how and when to thoroughly progress you.
  • They tailor your program specifically to fit your needs.
  • They are up to date with all the current trends.

Getting clear on your weight loss and fitness goal.
Even the best personal trainer can’t help you, if you don’t know what you want.  Before stepping foot in a gym or picking up that phone, ask yourself, what is my goal?

  • Do I want to lose weight? If so how much?
  • Do I want to gain muscle?
  • Do I want to feel healthy?

What type of motivation style works for you?
 Next, you may want to get clear on the training style that works for you.  If you are just starting out after being sedentary for a while, or have just had a baby, then a boot camp style class or military style fitness instructor may not be the right fit for you right now, at this time. I have had clients come to me injured after taking a boot camp class.  Clearly that wasn’t the way to start after being stagnant for a while. If you don’t know exactly what you want, then find someone who will listen to your needs and who will be patient enough to help you come up with your very own goals together.  Just make sure that your goal feels right for you. 

In addition, remember you are going to be spending a lot of time with your newfound friend.  What type of person do you want to spend your precious time with?  What type of motivation style works best for you and your personality?  Are you the type of person who works best with an encouraging coach, or do you need a swift kick in the behind to get you moving? Do you work better with males or females? 

Here are some questions you can ask that may help you.

  • Are they qualified?  What are their credentials and how long have they had them? If you are searching for a qualified personal trainer it’s best if you hire someone who has had at least 10,000 hours of experience behind them, especially if they will be working with someone who has injuries.
  • Are they patient?
  • Do they listen to you and your needs?
  • Do they communicate in a way that you can clearly understand?
  • What type of training would they do to prevent injuries?
  • How will they know when to progress you?
  • What training styles do they specialize in?
  • Can they give you examples or references as to how they have helped clients achieve success in the past?

Do they know how to help you with your nutrition plan?
In addition, I hear clients say that the trainer put them on a restricted diet so they could lose weight fast, but what happened was that their body felt deprived so they quickly went back to their old eating habits.

Once you have gotten clear on your goals, the next thing to do is pick up the phone. Again, don’t just assume that all trainers know what they are doing.  There are some great trainers out there, however there are a lot who don’t know what they are doing.  Even the most prestigious and reputable gyms hire brand new trainers sometimes even though they mean well and may have a great training program, they may still haven’t gathered their sea legs yet. 

You are making a huge investment on yourself, and why not? Do you really want someone who is charging you top dollar to use you as his or her practice?

Until next time… let’s lighten up and have fun while we REPAIR, BUILD, & SHRED.

Kimberly Lou


As an Advanced Fitness & Wellness Specialist Kimberly Lou helps groups and individuals achieve their lifestyle and fitness goals the fastest, healthiest way possible, creating a sustainable lifestyle and a body built to last.  

Through her personal training and signature program Repair. Build. Shred, which is customized just for you, Kimberly Lou will teach you how to break through barriers that have held you back from your true potential, and then help you develop an action plan to get you moving towards obtaining your daily, short-term, long-term, ensuring results that last. Just go to for details.

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Getting Clear

personal trainer laguna niguel

It’s time for honesty. Sit quietly, so your mind is clear and ask yourself what you want to achieve in the next 90 days through your 90 Day Challenge. Then ask yourself what having a perfect body will give you. Do you want to be healthy? Sexy? Do you want to be a better athlete? Or is it because you just want to feel sexy again? Whatever it is that you want, write it down.

Now ask your body what size it wants to be. Not what you think you should look like because of what you have seen on TV. What size is your body actually willing and ready to be? If you listen, you will get clear on what is healthiest and best for you. If you are a size 14, a size 6 may seem impossible to you right now. Maybe a size10 will be your perfect size, until you are comfortable setting another goal.

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Kimberly Lou Appears on Man vs. Princess

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Man vs. Princess

View Kimberly Lou discuss waist trainers, an extreme banana diet, and more with the hosts Luke Tipple and Aria Johnson.

Though we encourage you to view the entire video, you can see Kimberly’s appearance at the 6:45 mark.

Special “thanks” to Luke Tipple, Aria Johnson, and everyone at Man vs. Princess for inviting Kimberly Lou onto their fantastic show.

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Posted in Fitness Tip of the Week, Pregnancy, Surrounded and Protected

Dear Kimberly Lou

I’m hoping you can give me some advice: I’ve been experiencing a lot of anxiety lately, and when I’m around people I seem unable to avoid absorbing their negative energies. Can you send me a meditation to help?

Anchoring Meditation

Sit quietly and take three cleansing deep breaths.

While your eyes are closed role them up and focus on your third eye, which is directly in-between your eyebrows.

Sit quietly and take three cleansing deep breaths.

  • Imagine a cord coming through the base of your spine and anchoring itself to the core of the earth.
  • Imagine white light moving in a clockwise motion surrounding and protecting you.
  • Take three cleansing deep breaths, in through your nose and out your mouth.
  • Imagine purple light moving in a clockwise motion surrounding and protecting you.
  • Take three cleansing deep breaths, in through your nose and out your mouth.
  • Imagine silver light moving in a clockwise motion surrounding and protecting you.
  • Take three cleansing deep breaths; in through your nose and out your mouth.
  • Imagine gold light moving in a clockwise motion surrounding and protecting you.
  • Take three cleansing deep breaths; in through your nose and out your mouth.
  • Go about your day and know that you are divinely loved and protected.

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