Monique and Anthony Morando are just weeks away from welcoming their first child into the world. Throughout the entire pregnancy, Monique has been working out at Altru’s Sports Advantage, with husband, trainer and soon-to-be dad, Anthony, developing safe, tailored workout plans to prepare her for labor and life. We recently sat down with Anthony to get a better idea of how he has safely guided Monique through her workouts. We snuck in a few questions about fatherhood too, and it’s easy to see how thrilled these two are to be new parents!
When is baby Morando due to arrive? Do you know gender? Name picked out?
Our baby boy is due December 11, 2018. His full name will be Mickey Salvatore Morando.
Has Monique worked out throughout her pregnancy?
Monique has trained at Altru’s Sports Advantage throughout her pregnancy. I have been training my wife for the past four years, along with my sister-in-law, Jocelyne. She trains here because of the detailed job that we do for not only pregnant women and Olympic athletes, but for human beings. She has trained here since 2015 and will continue to do so post-partum because of the knowledge and expertise our facility offers in the Grand Forks community.
Has she modified her workouts throughout the pregnancy? How so?
When it comes to prenatal fitness, there are generally two ends of the spectrum: someone who is really fit and becomes pregnant, and someone who is more sedentary, not as fit, and becomes pregnant. For the pregnant and fit athlete, the trick is bringing their fitness routine from the intense end of the scale back to the middle. On the other hand, for a less fit pregnant woman, the key is to help bring them to the middle as well. The key is finding a safe balance of fitness either way. The only difference is having two different starting points.
You have to create balance. It’s not going to hurt a pregnant woman who isn’t fit to become more fit. And the weekend warrior—she needs to take it down a notch so she doesn’t compromise herself and the baby.
The biggest challenge, either way, is the psychological stressors. I’m not a woman; I’m a 34-year-old man. I love my wife very much, but I can only put myself in her shoes so much. As a trainer, as a coach and as a husband, I must understand that this can’t be easy. And even though I don’t completely understand, I try as hard as I can so I can know how to provide support, not only physically but emotionally as well.
Does Altru’s Sports Advantage do this for all their clients – customizing workouts to fit personal needs? Why is this important?
Yes, we do this for all clients. We do not just train athletes. I would love to see more pregnant women in our facility training with an adequate program with integrity and safety to ensure their pregnancy has the full support it needs from a health and wellness standpoint.
Every woman’s gameday is labor when they are pregnant.
Does Monique plan to continue working out right up until the end? Any additional modifications you’ll make?
She does. We will train until her body tells her that it needs a break. She is gauged on a consistent basis, and if the objective measures we use to tell me that her or Jocelyne do not feel well, or if there is some irregularity, we will know and prepare for whatever adaptation comes our way!
What will be the plan after baby?
I think the plan for the short term is to get Mickey acclimated to the world, get Monique back on her feet and assess from there. I would like to see her competing in an Olympics again. I know how much that means to her.
Mickey will be at the gym for sure. I already started considering a Styrofoam weight set for babies. 😊 All we can do is prepare for the rollercoaster life is going to bring us.
What would you say to someone who’s hesitant to start a workout routine?
The best time is now. People need to understand that we have control over sleeping well, eating right, moving more and educating our mind. Those simple choices to me are fitness.
Our facility offers great programs, personal training, group training, etc. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where your fitness level is, just show up. Do not overthink, and just show up. Stop worrying about what might happen and just show up. Do not stress about your fitness level, about the people next to you, just show up. It will be worth it. If you help yourself, you help others around you.
I think people should refuse a sedentary lifestyle, embrace movement with a good coach, and embrace the natural remedies that whole foods provide. Refuse to waste a day of your life not committing to some type of fitness routine. Fitness is a series of simple choices we get to make daily. We can all have a better life if we just create a better fitness routine.
How excited are you to be a dad?!
Words cannot describe how excited I am. I am fortunate to have the life I have. I am excited to start a family. Our hard work and dedication to the lifestyle my wife and I live has paid off, and now it is time for a new chapter to begin.
In addition to our interview with Anthony, we also talked to Monique’s OB/GYN, Dr. Tana Setness Hoefs, to get her expertise. Here’s what she shared.
Why is it important to stay active during pregnancy?
Staying active during pregnancy is so important. All the medical and psychological benefits derived from a non-pregnant patient who exercises apply in pregnancy as well. Those specific to pregnancy include avoidance of excessive weight gain, reduction of pregnancy-related musculoskeletal discomforts, possible reduction in developing gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, reduced risk of delivering a large for gestational age infant, and possible reduced risk of C-section.
Are there any precautions you’d like to mention to the general public?
Just like anyone who is starting a new exercise regimen, it is important to discuss this with your physician. Certain conditions may arise in pregnancy that may make certain types of exercise or activities dangerous. It is also important to have ongoing conversations with your doctor at regular visits to discuss modifications that may be needed to your workout or activity routine.
Is it okay to start a new workout routine when pregnant, or should you focus on maintaining current fitness level?
It is absolutely okay to start a new exercise routine or to try and improve fitness during pregnancy. This, of course, needs to be done within reason. While you may be able to go from couch potato to regular exerciser during pregnancy, you probably shouldn’t try to go from couch potato to elite athlete over the course of a pregnancy. Pregnancy is usually a very good time to introduce people, who are not regularly active, to the idea of it. Most moms want to do what is best for their baby or are willing to try things to improve their health if they feel it is beneficial to their pregnancy or baby. It is also at a time when they are having regular visits with a doctor and can discuss progress.
What do you think about the customized workout Anthony is providing at Altru’s Sports Advantage?
Anyone who has ever been lucky enough to train with Anthony knows he is a master of the kinetics of the musculoskeletal system. He regularly makes modifications and adjustments to people’s workout routines based on injuries or personal limitations. What he is doing with Monique is just another example of him knowing how her “condition” affects her ability to do certain exercises. He makes modifications needed to allow her to maintain fitness during pregnancy in a way that will not cause undue strain or put her at risk of injury.