Prenatal exercise: Safety first

I once read the chronicle of a woman nine months pregnant who ran in an ultra-marathon and then delivered a healthy baby boy the following day. My wife is much more moderate. She always vowed that, if and when she ever became pregnant, she would remain physically active but not entertain any new marathon aspirations. She understood that regular exercise during pregnancy would make her look and feel better as well as ease the labor and delivery process.

Several months ago, much to my amazement, I learned that my wife was pregnant with twins. Her aspirations for a physically active pregnancy evaporated with the realization that two babies growing within her consumed all of her expendable energy. At 24-weeks gestation, her doctor ordered strict bed rest!

That was nearly 14 weeks ago, and now the waiting period is almost over: The birth of our two little ones is imminent. While the journey has been arduous, we recognize it as a means to an ultimate end-the safe delivery of healthy babies.

Safe Exercise and Pregnancy

Before you begin or continue an exercise program during pregnancy, it is essential to consult with your doctor. He or she will define safety limits. These limits depend partially upon your underlying health, whether you have had any complications with prior pregnancies, what types of activities you plan, and your dietary needs.

Most women discover that their ability to exercise during pregnancy depends largely upon their level of fitness before they were pregnant. In other words, the more physically fit you are beforehand, the more activity your body will be able to handle during pregnancy.

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