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July 12 2009 12:00 AM

The constant lifting and carrying expectant moms will have to endure once baby arrives is enough to give any woman a workout. Add in pounds of baby gear, and even serious athletes will cry uncle. Studies continue to show that exercise is good for mom and baby during pregnancy, and helps her gain the strength she’ll need to grapple with the physical challenges of motherhood once that little one arrives.
But before then, almost every prenatal ache, pain and discomfort also can be alleviated or lessened with exercise according to a report from the American College of Sports Medicine; from reducing risk of gestational diabetes to managing mood swings.
To have a gold-medal pregnancy, the exercise experts at Life Fitness outlined these essential workout dos and don’ts for expectant mothers:

  • Consult the doc before starting: Some prenatal fitness classes even require a doctor’s note before participation.
  • Add aerobic activity: Just about any kind is suitable as long as it’s comfortable. Low impact aerobics, walking and riding an exercise bike are excellent prenatal workouts.
  • Strength train: Toning the major muscle groups not only supports the changing body, but also preps it for delivery and life after baby. Just imagine those lunges are to pick baby up from the playpen and those bicep curls are to haul the stroller out of the trunk.
  • Be daring: It’s time to take football and water skiing off the calendar. Any exercise that poses a risk of falling or abdominal trauma should be avoided.
  • Stay supine: After the first trimester, the weight of the growing uterus can block essential oxygen and blood flow when mom rests on her back.
  • Over-exert: Exercising at 60 to 70 percent of max heart rate for 30 to 60 minutes is ideal for pregnancy. Any more can pose hydration, nutritional and overheating risks.

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, a leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on FitTips and other fitness advice and expertise visit or follow via Twitter at