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Pregnant and on the move: The importance of exercise for moms-to-be

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I admit it: I was a lazy pregnant woman. So lazy, in fact, that the prenatal yoga and mommy-to-be work-out DVDs that were so optimistically purchased during the early days of my first pregnancy went unopened (and are still, in fact, sitting in a drawer, wrapped in plastic). I couldn't help feel a bit guilty, then, when I came across a San Francisco Chronicle article this weekend on exercise and pregnancy.

In the piece, writer Erin Allday features a Bay Area woman who did long-distance running throughout her pregnancy and ran a marathon nine months postpartum (!), and she discusses obstetricians' take on working out. "Doctors now agree women should get exercise, and plenty of it, as long as they're facing a low-risk pregnancy," she writes.

The article highlights the various benefits of exercise (it can decrease the risk of gestational diabetes, prevent excessive weight gain and build physical and mental stamina), and it also provides tips for those women who want to maintain their regular workout routine or get started on one:

"It's a lot easier to start the habit when you're pregnant than when you're post-partum with a new infant," said Dr. Ricki Pollycove, a gynecologist and women's health expert with California Pacific Medical Center. "I put a lot of effort into inspiring [patients] to start exercising early on."

Oh, Dr. Pollycove, where were you when I was pregnant?

Previously: Pregnant curler competing in Olympics
Photo by Ed Yourdon

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