What would it take for you to run a marathon? What if you were in the best shape of your life? How about if you were days before giving birth?
I’m not there is much you could get me to do in a third trimester, let alone days before my due date. However, an expectant mom defied that notion that women later in pregnancy cannot do much.
On the evening news, a woman was spotlighted. She had completed more than 30 marathons in her life. Staying very active throughout her pregnancy, she completed two marathons, one of them days before her due date. And apparently, the exercise was good for the baby because she gave birth a few short hours after finishing the marathon.
Some people might shout, “She’s Crazy!” And for some, anyone who is willing to run 26.2 miles in one blow is crazy regardless, let along being with child. But this mom insists she was being healthy and keeping her baby safe. So what is safe during pregnancy? Should people really be running marathons with a bun in the oven?
Here is what is safe. Exercising is good in anytime of your life, but it is especially good while you are pregnant for a few reasons. Exercising is a healthy behavior that often results in good lifestyle and eating choices, which are both very beneficial to your baby and for your body. It keeps your weight gain in check. (Note: weight gain is normal and expected! But excessive weight gain is bad for your baby and for you.) And the overall health of your body can actually make your delivery experience less painful and easier for the baby. Women who are in good shape before and during pregnancy will have an easier and quicker time getting their pre-pregnancy body back.
So how do you know how to exercise? Many gyms and baby books will recommend exercise programs that are appropriate for expectant mothers. A watered down version of yoga and pilates can help mothers retain their flexibility while providing the cardiovascular and strength exercises. Women who are pregnant are recommended to exercise moderately 30 minutes per day. A good rule of thumb: you can be as active during your pregnancy as before.
What is not safe during pregnancy
However, pregnancy is not a time to amp up your work out or to push it hard. You want to exercise to keep your body in good shape overall to help with pregnancy and your delivery. If you are not a runner, pregnancy would not be a good time to start training for a marathon.
It is important to know what your body is telling you. While the marathon woman mentioned above is a rare example, many women find it hard to keep up their physical aptitude during pregnancy. Exercise regularly, but listen to your body if the exertion is too much. If you have any questions about what is healthy for your baby, grab your California health insurance and visit your doctor for advice.