Champion longboarder, climber and Taekwondo blackbelt Nicole dela Cruz talks about why staying fit and healthy shouldn’t stop even when you’re a mom
Hop on Nicole dela Cruz’s Instagram account and scroll down, past the baby bump pics, and prepare for your jaw to drop. This mama of two is strong AF, able to do strength exercises most men wouldn’t be able to do. And now, even if she’s expecting her third, it seems as if there are no signs of her slowing down. There’s no doubt Nicole is the ultimate #fitspo — pre, post and during pregnancy. We recently had a chat with Nicole and got her advice on working out with a bump and staying fit. Here’s her story…
She’s always been athletic
As a young girl, Nicole was already kicking her way through Taekwondo and other sports. Her sporty, competitive nature has made her a natural goal-getter, and she isn’t letting motherhood stand in the way of achieving her fitness goals. “I was about to have my 4th Dan blackbelt promotion in Taekwondo last 2020 but Covid-19 happened,” Nicole shares.
“I hope to make it happen after recovering from birth and of course, when everything is safe. Staying fit and healthy has always been part of my identity and I’ll never give it up.” Of course, it helps that she’s married to Coach Rio dela Cruz, the man behind many of the country’s races and marathons. “We push each other to be better and we enjoy it. We both have our own fortes in fitness. Together, we are stronger and we complement each other.”
On working out while pregnant
Nicole shares that working out had to take a side step when she was pregnant with her first two children. She had to be on bedrest because she was bleeding, but this time around, she’s grateful that she’s been given the go signal to workout. “Of course there are some moves that I’m not allowed to do,” Nicole explains. “You need to get your OB’s clearance before you start working out while you’re pregnant. At the end of the day, your baby’s safety is more important than anything else.”
And yes, working out is totally OK — even if you weren’t active before pregnancy. “You just need to take it slow,” Nicole explains. “Do beginners yoga then slowly increase your intensity. But of course, you’ll need to get the go signal from your OB first.
In her first trimester, she was still doing a lot of intense workouts: pull ups, push ups, training with weights, running and dancing but after her first ultrasound, the doctor spotted a subchorionic hemorrhage. Nicole was ordered to stop for two weeks. “After that, I decided to take it easy and do low impact workouts and Barre3. Now that I’m in my third trimester, everything I do is a workout! Walking, doing my daily routine, putting on clothes and peeing is already a marathon. Plus, I’m feeling really heavy and ready to pop. I have to stay put so I can reach my due date!” says Nicole.
Why being an athlete helps
Being a mom is one tough job, and luckily for Nicole, being an athlete has prepped her for it. It’s given her the strength, resiliency and determination — all the important things we need to make #momlife work. “Giving up on our kids are never an option. We need to get creative and find solutions rather than dwell on failure and that feeling of losing,” she explains. Another benefit? Being able to keep up with her kids’ energy!
And she’s lucky because her two kids, Eisner and Qaimish seem to have inherited their parents’ sporty genes. Eisner, her 7 year old, loves Taekwondo, climbing, running and soccer while little Qaimish loves Taekwondo and climbing everything in sight. “Motherhood is definitely life changing, double the fun and trouble!”Nicole says.
Nicole dela Cruz is more than ready for her biggest challenge yet — handling three kids and being outnumbered. With her can-do attitude and support of her whole family, there’s nothing stopping her from overcoming this 9 month hurdle. “Ready or not, we will rock this!” Nicole says. Their game plan has always been ready, it’s almost time to see it in action.