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What’s My Workout: Carolina Bermudez

As half of the Cubby and Carolina in the Morning show on New York’s 103.5 KTU, radio personality Carolina Bermudez has chatted up Ed Sheeran, talked baby raising with Kelly Clarkson and cracked jokes with Marlon Wayans. But when she revealed the gender of her second baby (due September 4) on air earlier this year—popping three balloons filled with blue confetti—she got emotional explaining how her first son, nearly two-year-old Noah, was preparing to be a big brother. “This is our baby,” she said, after thanking her listeners and colleagues for their support. “We’re going to have this little guy together.”

The high-energy Bermudez, who wakes up at 3:45 A.M. on weekdays to get to work, knows a thing or two about getting things done. She writes a blog called Pumps & a Bump for KTU and, when it comes to pregnancy fitness, has mastered the art of sneaking in exercise opportunities. She took a few minutes recently to chat with us about staying active as her due date approaches, eating healthy when time is tight and respecting every new mom’s story.

Q: How has your approach to working out changed from your first child to now?

A: After I had my son, five months after I gave birth, I had to have back surgery, so that changed things dramatically. I had a herniated disc. I couldn’t even carry my baby. It was a long road to recovery for me, but it just motivated me even more. I want to be healthy and I want to be strong enough to run around with my son. Before, I’d work out and if I wasn’t in pain I didn’t feel like I’d worked out. Now my mode is just to get the fitness in. Whether it’s walking an extra couple of flights of stairs, walking a couple of blocks for an appointment or a meeting—finding that 20 minutes or whatever I can do to incorporate some type of fitness into my day. My job also makes it difficult because I get up at 3:45 A.M., so it’s not like I can wake up first thing in the morning and work out like most people do.

Q: Every little bit helps.

A: Exactly. I have a tracker, too. I look at my FitBit and I’m like, “Oh, I’m only at 3,000 steps today!” So I try to get it in somehow. I’ll go to Whole Foods and walk around the aisles. This pregnancy, it’s about taking care of myself and making sure I’m strong so that I can be strong for both of my little guys later on. I did approach it differently. Previously I was trying to take classes all the time and now I’ve just really given myself more of a break. I do the DVDs by Tracy Anderson, which I love. It’s really low-impact, but it still keeps me nice and toned. You can still do squats. Things that you don’t have to have gym equipment for or use any weights. You’ve got to really listen to your body and take care of it. You can bounce back later. Things that make you feel healthy and strong are much better than beating up your body.

Q: Thoughts on childbirth?

A: It was more difficult that anybody had ever told me it would be. I was kind of surprised because I had always heard these fairy tales about childbirth and how beautiful and magical it was. I kind of skipped the chapter on C-sections because I was hell bent: I was going to have a natural birth. I told my husband, I will not use any drugs. I had a plan. And, of course, my son had a different one. My expectations for what his birth was going to be and what actually happened threw me off a little bit, so it was a really big challenge to get back in the right frame of mind. I never anticipated getting a C-section and I needed a lot of help. That’s one thing I tell my friends or anybody who asks me for advice: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I think that’s the most important thing. Pride, at that point in time, you just throw it out the window. Take the lasagna that your neighbor makes you. I wish it was more of what I thought it was going to be, but I wouldn’t change my experience for anything. It taught me a lot about myself and my strength as a woman.

Q: What did you learn specifically?

A: I think that pregnancy is one of the most beautiful things a woman can go through. I’ve never felt more like a woman than when I was pregnant. After, I was shocked at my resilience. I really worked very hard; breastfeeding was extremely difficult for me. Before I used to put limits on myself and now I’m like, “Wow, I went through all of that.” And there are so many women who have crazier stories than I have! I just look back on that time and think, there are a lot of people who would have just thrown in the towel. I mean, it was really tough.

Q: Healthy eating is an important part of your routine. Any tricks there?

A: I front-load my vegetables first thing in the morning. If you think about it, you go throughout your day and put off having a salad, or put off adding spinach and greens. The first thing when I wake up in the morning, I have a shake. I blend spinach and kale with coconut water and then I freeze it in ice-cube trays. Whenever I want to make a shake that’s the first thing I start off with. Then I’ll add a little bit of mango and some coconut water and yogurt for protein and chia seeds. It’s about finding different ways to incorporate all the good things at the start of your day so that you’re not making up for it in the end.

Q: So smart and proactive!

A: I think nutrition plays such a huge part. My son was born so healthy. I juiced, ate salads. I tried to eat as many organic vegetables as I could. With this pregnancy it was very different because in the beginning, I didn’t want anything but starches. I ate bad food that I had never eaten before. I’m like, what is going on with me, you know? After my body and my hormones regulated, I made sure to follow that same pattern. I like to focus on eating really good, healthy things for my body that will make me feel great about myself and give me good energy.

Q: After your son is born, what types of workouts will you go back to?

A: I like group fitness. I like being around other people and working out for me is more of a mental thing. I feel so much better about myself once I get a good workout in. Unfortunately, because of my back injury, I can’t do the long-distance runs like I used to, but I can find other ways to get that release. Doing classes like SLT, or even doing Barry’s Bootcamp, but letting the instructor know before I go in, hey, I had an injury, I’m going to do this at my own pace, don’t think that I’m not following your class. A good yoga class on a Saturday morning, when I can let my husband watch the kids—that’s totally what I’m looking forward to.

Q: Do you miss running?

A: When you’re pounding the pavement you accomplish however many miles you have got in your mind: today’s going to be seven, today’s going to be eight. Not having the ability to do that, it really creates this mental block: I’m never going to be able to work out like that again. No, you may not, but you can modify it. You don’t have to run the whole time. You can run/walk, you can do different types of exercises in between. It’s more of just changing my mindset more than anything.

Q: What is your biggest pregnancy takeaway?

A: Everyone has their own story. What works for you may not work for me, what works for me may not work for somebody else. I think it’s finding inspiration and reading what other people do and making it your own. That’s what is most important.

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