Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Running Through Pregnancy: Experience Required

**Following is a guest post from Katie Moore, author of Moore from Katie**

The benefits of exercise for expecting moms have long been known to medical researchers. Every pregnancy features weight gain and some amount of fatigue, and both of these conditions can be successfully managed by increasing mom's proportion of lean muscle. Delivery itself is comparable to any intense athletic event, and exercise throughout pregnancy will go a long ways toward ensuring top performance. After delivery, the extra lean muscle will help mom return to her normal weight.

Before starting any exercise or diet program, an expecting mother should always consult her doctor. Working closely with her doctor throughout the entire term is important for mom to be sure that her diet and exercise habits are fostering the best environment for baby to grow in. An expecting mom should also consult her doctor about labor planning and considerations such as pain management, Umbilical cord blood banking and circumcision.

Is Running Appropriate?
Experts agree women should avoid high-impact and competitive sports during pregnancy, but there are many misconceptions about other types of exercise best suited for pregnancy. Fitness professionals have devised a few
guidelines to help mom in deciding on the best forms of exercise. The first rule is applicable to every pregnancy. Begin with an exercise program below your tolerance level.

Women with a history of aerobic exercise will likely have little trouble initiating a running or jogging program. Those with no history or a long lapse in exercise should
begin with less intense exercises, such as swimming or walking. Over-exertion does not help mom and can put baby at risk by reducing available nutrients and robbing oxygen from the blood. Also, over-exertion increases the risk of exercise injuries. Any injury to muscles or connective tissues will take away from exercise efforts.

The next guideline is to stay hydrated. Especially during warm weather, any physical exertion will remove water from the body due to sweating and flushing out lactic acid produced during muscle contractions. Keep a bottle of water handy at all times. During pregnancy, it is important to always drink enough water to satisfy thirst.

Running Throughout Pregnancy
Physiological changes during pregnancy will require consideration for even the most physically fit moms. Increasing levels of natural fatigue and changes in body weight and proportion will require cutting back on exercise amounts gradually as the due date approaches. There is no need to run a marathon prior to delivery, and many other concerns will likely take precedence in the final weeks.

Pregnancy provides a number of opportunities to learn more about your body. Expecting moms can, and should, take advantage of exercise classes designed specifically for pregnancy. Even seasoned runners can benefit from engaging a in a pre-natal yoga program for total-body stretching. Since more intense workouts, like running, require greater consciousness of safety issues it’s best if you’re not experienced to stick with lower impact workouts.

“Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.”

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