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Lifestyles -

May 11, 2013

Fitness key during pregnancy

Women have been having babies since well before time has been recorded.

It is not always easy becoming pregnant and giving birth. Advances in medicine and understanding the prenatal body have contributed to safer deliveries, but there are things prospective mothers can do to make the experience an easier one.

When Sarah and Dain Hood of Downsville decided to become pregnant, there were considerations to make in their lifestyle.

“Pregnancy is an ideal time for lifestyle modifications, including increasing physical activity and eating a more healthy diet,” said Dr. Bryan Evanczyk, obstetrician and gynecologist at A.O. Fox Hospital. “Exercise during pregnancy can maintain or improve fitness. In addition, exercise may improve some pregnancy outcomes, including reduction in risk of developing gestational diabetes or preeclampsia (high blood pressure), and reduction in macrosomia (large birth-weight babies).”

For Sarah, owner of Head to Toe Fitness Studio, maintaining a fit body is part of her job. Becoming pregnant meant she had to make some modifications to her exercise routine, think about her diet and listen to her body.

“I always tell my students to ‘honor your body and don’t do anything that feels wrong,’” Sarah said. “I really enjoy exercising, and I will continue to do it until I cannot physically do it any more, or until the doctor tells me I can’t.”

Sarah has just begun her second trimester and, as her belly has grown, she has noticed a difference in her ability to move.

“There are some things I can’t do right now,” Sarah said. “When we do those exercises, I will move around and spot the class, or make suggestions to individuals.”

Many health care providers say that a moderate amount of exercise is good for mother and if the pregnancy is without complications.

According to Evanczyk, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology guidelines say that a healthy pregnant women may exercise at a moderate level for 30 minutes or more per day on most, if not all, days of the week.

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