Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fitness for Expectant Mothers: Part 3

Buff Mom Guidelines

Before you get started, carefully read the following exercise guidelines. I advise my clients to use common sense when exercising: don't try something that's unrealistic, and err on the side of caution.

DIf you have never exercised before, get the OK from your doctor and start slowly. Keep a close eye on overexerting yourself and overheating.

-If you know the difference between a treadmill and a windmill, you should be able to maintain your exercise program throughout your pregnancy.

-So you're an exercise pro. That does not give you the OK to exercise to the point of exhaustion. When working out, make sure you can have a conversation and breathe easily. Remember, you have a baby growing inside, and he or she needs oxygen too.

-Now's the time to treat yourself with some new exercise clothes. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Stay away from the spandex. Invest in a good pair of sneakers that offer stability and support. And, please, don't forget the support bra.

-Water, water, water! Before and after a workout.

-Remember what I said about common sense? When choosing a sport or aerobic activity, don't do anything that can put you in a potentially dangerous situation. You may want to think twice about waterskiing and ice hockey.

-Since your body is now releasing a good amount of relaxin, your joints may be a bit looser. Be careful of all activities that require quick changes of direction, stepping, jumping, and leaping. Any aerobic activities that involve rough, uneven surfaces should also be avoided.

-Don't forget stretching. I devote a whole chapter to stretches that are beneficial before and after your labor.

-The word "diet" should be removed from your vocabulary. Your menu should be chock-full of veggies, fruits, and complex carbohydrates.

-Since you want to keep a careful eye on your heart rate, it may not be a bad idea to invest in a heart rate monitor. I have included the ACOG guidelines for the target heart rate for pregnant women in Chapter 5, as well as target-heart-rate guidelines for women postpartum.

Excerpted from

Buff Moms-to-Be: The Complete Guide to Fitness for Expectant Mothers
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