Yes! In fact, studies report that beginners can safely reap the benefits from exercise as long as they take it easy, appropriately warm up and cool down, keep their heart rates within a safe range, and have appropriate supervision for at least the first few sessions. Naturally, fitness novices must get the okay from their docs before jumping in.
Most obstetricians today are keen on the idea of pregnant women exercising their way to the delivery room—within the limits of common sense, of course. However, because certain medical instances rule out exercise, and nobody knows you better medically than your obstetrician, never begin exercising without first discussing it with your personal physician.
For healthy pregnant women who have no additional risk factors, ACOG recommends the following:
Although some women might be able to continue with their regular weight-bearing exercises at the same intensity as they did pre-pregnancy, non–weight-bearing exercises such as swimming and biking might be easier to do and present less risk of injury.
Pick up Fit Pregnancy magazine and get the latest scoop on keeping fit while you're expecting. From the folks over at Shape magazine, it hits the newsstands three to four times each year.
You should not exercise during pregnancy if you have any of the following conditions:
In addition, women with certain other medical or obstetric conditions, including chronic hypertension or active thyroid, cardiac, vascular, or pulmonary disease, should be evaluated carefully in order to determine whether an exercise program is appropriate.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition © 2005 by Joy Bauer. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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