YOGA + PILATES PROFESSIONAL. CELEBRITY INSTRUCTOR. TRUSTED WELLNESS EXPERT. (AND MOM)!
Kristin McGee is one of New York City’s leading yoga and Pilates influencers, and a pioneer of the yoga movement. Kristin began her career in the early nineties and has taught high-profile celebrities including Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Emilia Clarke, Christine Taylor Stiller, and LeAnn Rimes Cibrian.
Kristin is a contributing editor at Health magazine and a spokesperson for Power Pilates Gym on HSN, and has been featured in over 100 yoga and Pilates videos. Her expertise has been featured in publications including The Huffington Post, Health, Mind Body Green, Fitness, Glamour, OK! Magazine, Prevention, VOGUE, InStyle, SHAPE, Women’s Health, People, and Oxygen. She has appeared on broadcast including CNN, Good Morning America, TODAY Show, CBS, FOX, The Early Show, Access Hollywood, and ABC. In 2016, she was named one of the top 100 most influential yoga teachers in the U.S. by SONIMA.
She's also a mom to her son Timothy, 3, and 6 months pregnant with TWINS! We talked to Kristin about how she balances all of that and got her advice for all you pregnant mums-to-be.
How have you adjusted your fitness routine during your pregnancy?
First time around I feel like I did almost everything the same as I normally do. I was in great shape with Timothy and I even did Pilates the day of his due date. I also lifted weights, walked everywhere, practiced yoga, and skied! This time around I feel a bit different. I think carrying twins has had an impact on me. I’ve listened to my body and really calmed it down more. I think every pregnancy is different and I can’t push myself the way I did three years ago only carrying one child. I still do yoga and just modify poses that don’t feel right in my body (most women should avoid deep twists and lying on the belly after first trimester). I also lift weights and strength train since I know this will be crucial to stay strong carrying two. I’ve been concentrating on pelvic floor training and also walking as much as I can. I just don’t do as much high impact cardio.
What has been the biggest setback to exercise for you during pregnancy, and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest setback this time around was the severe nausea in the beginning. My hormones were double! I actually threw up quite a bit and nothing felt quite right. I craved carbs and I was very tired. I’m thankful my job requires me to get up and move. When I was teaching or moving I actually felt better. Maybe I was just paying less attention to my nausea or the light movement calmed my tummy a bit, I’m not sure. I did sleep more and I didn’t do as much of my own workouts; except some yoga two to three times a week.
How do you handle the balance between being the working mom of a toddler, being pregnant with twins, and maintaining a fitness routine?
Good question! I feel like I don’t!!! Actually I think having a job that keeps me active is a huge blessing. I also just LOVE to be active so it’s not that I don’t want to workout, it’s usually that I don’t fit a formal workout in to my day. On those days, I sneak in what I can, a few downdogs with Timothy, some push-ups, some stretches at night, running around at the playground etc. I’ve also, now that I’m feeling better, started scheduling in time for myself. I set on my calendar three things each week. This week I practiced yoga on Monday, I strength trained on Tuesday and I’m meeting my friend for Pilates class on Thursday. I also still demonstrate quite a bit while teaching so that helps. And, I try as much as I can to get the family involved in being active on the weekends or when I’m with Timothy alone- he’s soooo active I can’t not help but run around after him.
Best tip you have for mothers who want to stay in shape during their pregnancy?
Remind yourself how good it feels when you move. Staying in shape during pregnancy is so good for yourself and your babies. There have been numerous studies done showing how working out during pregnancy does wonders for the babies; they are healthier and smarter even! It helps with constipation, helps with delivery, helps to get back in shape faster post delivery, and the endorphins keep you happy during your pregnancy.
How do you think exercising during your last pregnancy benefitted you during and after pregnancy?
Oh it was my lifesaver! I felt in the best shape of my life during pregnancy with Timothy. I think something about being pregnant, especially in the second trimester, gives you super human energy. I had a natural childbirth in 7 hours, I bounced back pretty quickly, and I just felt great the entire time. I know all women are different; but it’s good to just keep moving as much as you can and do what you can during your pregnancy.
What is your advice for women who are nervous about starting a prenatal fitness regimen?
Remember you are just pregnant you aren’t injured! I often feel like people treat pregnant women as if they are ill. If you listen to your body and follow the normal precautions that your doctor gives you, you can do so much while pregnant. I wouldn’t recommend starting something entirely new like horseback riding if you’ve never been on a horse. But you can start prenatal yoga classes or find a trainer specialized in prenatal fitness to give you some workouts to do or get some great prenatal DVDs or online workouts to follow. You can walk, cycle, get on a treadmill at an incline or do the elliptical. I know it can be hard not to be nervous as a first time mom; but as long as you go slow and continue to listen to your body and breath while you’re working out, you’ll be fine!
Do you have a go-to exercise or yoga pose you like to do that feels especially good during pregnancy?
I love warrior two pose and all of the side postures you can do from there (reverse warrior, triangle, extended side angle). I think it feels so good to stretch the sides when pregnant and take pressure off the back. The legs have to be really active and engaged in these poses too so it’s great training for the hips, thighs and buttocks as well as abdominals and pelvic floor.
And finally, what’s your favorite healthy living essential you use to keep yourself on track (clothing, food products, equipment, etc.)?
I really love therabands will pregnant. They are safe, low impact and you can take them anywhere with you. You can work your arms, legs etc. and stay fit throughout your pregnancy.