Exercise Excercising During Pregnancy

Should you or shouldn’t you?  I remember when I was pregnant while my husband and I were living in Bangalore.  I came across a series of articles about the alarming rate of miscarriages suffered by women who traveled along Bannerghatta Road – a major thoroughfare with enough potholes to make even the moon jealous.  Imagine driving along this road in a dinky 3-wheel auto-rikshaw!

The articles connected the miscarriages with the severe jarring and bumping that the women were subjected to.  But I would travel down Bannerghatta Road – in both a car and in an auto-rikshaw – and, yes, I found myself bracing my womb (and the seat in front of me) during the worst bumps.  I concluded though, that the sensation really wasn’t much different than what my baby would feel during a hard 4-mile run.

Which was another issue altogether.  I continued to run my daily 4-6 miles throughout the first half of my pregnancy, albeit at a slower pace. Now, you don’t see very many pregnant runners in the U.S., so just imagine how my Bangalore neighbors reacted to my exercise habits!  I’m surprised they didn’t turn me in for fetus-abuse!

If I hadn’t read Dr. James Clapp’s Exercising Through Your Pregnancy (and consulted my doctor, of course), I probably would have succumbed to social pressures and demoted myself to the proverbial “brisk walk.”  Based on Dr. Clapp’s extensive research and first-hand experience, the book dispells many of the myths and “old wives tales” surrounding exercise and pregnancy – concluding that women with healthy preganacies who engage in moderate – and even strenuous – exercise have more energy, experience less complicated labour, recover more quickly, and deliver healthier babies. 

And, really, if pregnant women weren’t able to run – or drive down a bumpy road – the human species would have been extinct a long time ago…


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One Response to “Exercising During Pregnancy”

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