Do You Really Need to Exercise When Pregnant?

Amy Kuras

yoga momsPregnant women seem to fall into two camps: Either they are Super Moms-to-Be, who keep up with their exercise programs, eat so purely they would make the What to Expect people weep with joy, and walk around just glowing at everyone until the day they give birth, or they take pregnancy as a nine-month excuse to sit on the couch, get attached to bad reality shows, and eat cheeseburgers.

We happy couch-potato types would benefit from a bit more activity; most doctors recommend  two and a half hours of moderate exercise per week (that's 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, not hard to achieve at all). Keeping in shape during pregnancy means you'll have more stamina for the birth and recover faster after it, not to mention you'll look like your old self sooner, too.

That said, the supermamas might benefit from taking it down a notch.

The problem is, no one really knows what the optimal level of exercise for a pregnant woman actually is. Our mothers were told not to exercise at all; these days even hardcore athletes are told to just keep plowing along.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore are testing 60 pregnant women in their third trimester to see what impact exercise has on a developing baby. They do agree that pregnant women should be getting some exercise; they just don't know how much.

Bad news for those of us on Team Lazy-Ass. Look, we've got only a very limited time to be pregnant and get away with doing the Jabba the Hutt thing, sitting around lump-like and yowling at people to bring us food. If you have that luxury, why not enjoy it? The marathon can wait another day.

Are you an active Supermom or a lazy Couch Commander?


Image via lululemonathletica/Flickr

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