Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Moderate Exercise for Mommies-To-Be

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Pregnant woman exercisingAre you expecting and worried about not being able to exercise regularly for fear of causing harm to your baby? Well a recent study from John’s Hopkins University found that exercise during pregnancy is actually quite good for your baby!

Researchers evaluated the effects of moderate to intense exercise on pregnant women and their babies. 45 women were chosen (some were regular exercisers and some were not), to jog or walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes at moderate intensity at least 3 days a week. Moderate intensity was defined as 40-59% of their maximum heart rate.

Before and after each test, the researchers measured the fetus’ heart rate and blood flow using an exam called a Dobbler Ultrasound.

After the moderate and high intensity exercise, the heart rate, blood flow, and biophysical profile stayed in normal ranges. This data gives a reassurance to women that your baby is perfectly fine during moderate intensity exercise and is able to get enough oxygen. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before you do anything and also during exercise pay attention to your body. If you feel short of breath, cramping, or any pain, you should stop immediately!  Make sure that you are also staying cool and stay inside if you’re exercising in the heat.

Guess what?  All of the participants of this study is that they gave birth to healthy babies! Get out and move! For those of you who are regular exercises, you should continue to exercise throughout pregnancy. For those who are not regular exercisers, you should check with your doctor about beginning a moderate intensity program.  

Walking is the best way to start and the weightless feeling of swimming feels great when you’re pregnant.  You can also do the elliptical machine or find a prenatal yoga class nearby.  Activities that could cause falls or that involve contact, such as skiing or basketball, should be avoided.

For more nutrition and cooking recipes to fuel your body correctly for exercise and during pregnancy, check out my book Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition for Dummies.

Healthy Food + Exercise = Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby, Healthy Life! 

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Tags: Sports Nutrition

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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