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ObGyn/Pregnancy issues/Starting an exercise routine

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Question
My husband and I decided to start trying to get pregnant again here shortly (like stopping birth control this weekend).  I have also just recently begun to start exercising again, nothing major yet, mostly just walking.  I was planning on starting a home circuit of push ups, sit ups, etc and/or some lap swimming or light cardio and lifting at the gym we belong to.  I know with my first two kids my Ob said not to start heavy training during a pregnancy but anything I had been doing before I could continue to do.  Is 1-3 months before early enough to not cause problems if we happen to get pregnant quickly?  I am healthy overall, the exercise is more for maintaining weight so it isn't a must do but I would like to stay healthy this pregnancy.  Thanks!!

Answer
Now is the perfect time for you to increase your activity level. Because aerobic exercise provides - by far - the most health benefits to you and your developing baby after conception, make this the foundation of your regular activities. Then supplement with basic strength training and stretching.
For cardio, aim for an intensity between 70%-85% of your predicted maximal HR (200-age).
Fitness (brisk) walking, elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike (recumbent when the belly gets big) are all good options.
Meet at least the ACOG minimum guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate level aerobic activity most days of the week.
Swimming is a top choice during pregnancy, as it provides both aerobic conditioning and eliminates the force of gravity on your spine. Great for once the belly starts to get heavy. Also the hydrostatic pressure of the water increases lymphatic drainage, helping to prevent/reduce fluid retention. Best yet, swimming can be done right up to delivery.
Of all the pregnant and postpartum women I've worked with, swimmers have the fewest complications/complaints and bounce back the quickest. So start swimming now, to build up endurance, which you can then maintain through all three tris after conception.
Start taking a prenatal now, to ensure that you have enough folic acid (folate) in your diet, as this nutrient is crucial for the first days after conception.
For weight management, aim eat caloric balance daily. Neither too much nor too little for your metabolism. this way you'll gain "all baby" and not store much additional fat, and not need to diet after baby is born.
You can find more info about prenatal fitness and exercise on our web site.
BeFit-Mom
www.befitmom.com

ObGyn/Pregnancy issues

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Helene Byrne

Expertise

I can answer all questions regarding prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer any questions that are not related to prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer questions regarding getting pregnant, or signs or symtoms, only fitness and exercise during and after pregnancy. No due dates, medical problems during pregnancy, signs or symtpoms of pregnancy, pregnancy tests, vaginal problems/smells/discharge, periods or ovulation.

Experience

Pre-and-Postnatal Exercise Specialist ACE certified Personal Trainer Author: "Exercise After Pregnancy: How to Look and Feel Your Best" Book Author: "Bounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning" DVD Founder: BeFit-Mom Teacher: Post Pregnancy Exercise Workshops

Organizations
IDEA Health and Fitness Association

Publications
numerous regional parenting magazine

Education/Credentials
Dancing Thru Pregnancy, Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist Certification 2000 Resist-a-Ball Core Program, 1999 American Council on Exercise, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1999 Peak Performance, San Francisco, CA, Pilates Instructor Training Program, 1992 Health and Fitness Institute, Cal State Hayward, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1990 American College of Sports Medicine, Group Exercise Leader, 1989 Boston Conservatory, BFA/Dance, 1982

Awards and Honors
´┐ŻBounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning´┐Ż, 2005. Winner of the Platinum Award from the Family Review Center, 2007.

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