Expert workout tips for before AND after your pregnancy from Lisa Corsello, one of San Francisco’s premiere personal trainers and nutrition counselors. 

Before the baby:

-Most importantly, check in with your doctor. Everyone’s pregnancy is the different, so it’s important to follow your doc’s advice and listen to your body.

-During the first trimester, it’s generally ok to continue to do what you’ve regularly done prior to the pregnancy.

– Regular exercise is really important and good for you, so try to keep a routine that works for you and your body.

-Lots of women continue to work with weights throughout pregnancy, although they may modify with lighter weights and higher reps.

-Some women find that as their pregnancy progresses, they’re able to maintain cardiovascular fitness by using a stationary or spin bike, which can be more comfortable than other cardio equipment.

-Be mindful of the fact that your balance might be a bit compromised as you grow, which is completely normal! Try basic balancing exercises by standing on one leg and holding your position for 30 seconds, switch legs, and repeat.

-While many women continue to perform exercises on their backs without issue, be sure to periodically sit or stand up and move around between sets. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, slowly roll to your left side and stand up to increase circulation right away.

– You can modify squats by placing a ball behind your back against the wall and squatting; this will ensure proper form and will help protect the lower back.

After the baby:

-Make sure to check with your doctor to get clearance before you start back on an exercise program.

-Remember to ease back into your program gradually, but keep it consistent.  The more consistent the workouts, the faster you’ll build endurance and strength.

-A great way to maximize calorie burn and minimize boredom is to do 10 minute circuits that include cardio, squats, lunges, abs, and weights for the upper body.  Work every muscle group with lots of ab work and 2-3 minute cardio bursts in between sets.

-Remember that it takes time to lose the baby weight, and try to be patient with yourself as you adjust to the demands of motherhood.

-Focus on short-term goals rather than the sometimes overwhelming goal of trying to be exactly where and how you were before you got pregnant.

-Taking the baby for walks counts as exercise, and adding 10-15 minutes to your daily route will add up.

-If you don’t have time for a full workout, try to squeeze in little bits of exercise when you can at home. Crunches, leg raises, squats, lunges and push-ups are great exercises you can do anywhere!

Lisa Corsello has worked as one of San Francisco’s premiere personal trainers and nutrition counselors. She has been the featured fitness expert on WebMD, and Family Doctor Magazine. For more information on her new workout studio in San Francisco, visit

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