By Darren Buford
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, December/January 2001.
Exercise is an extremely important element in overall health, and, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), can benefit both mother and baby in a normal, healthy pregnancy. Physicians have given the OK to a moderate, already established exercise routine for pregnant women, but advise that any new regimen should be discussed with a primary care provider.
Recommendations from the ACSM for women hoping to continue their exercise routine during pregnancy include: awareness of changes in balance and coordination, avoidance of exercise in the supine or prone positions after the first trimester, adequate fluid intake (before, during and after exercise), avoidance of high heat and dramatic temperature increases, and establishing a limit on stressful exercise (including high-altitude exercise, scuba diving and bicycle riding, especially during the second and third trimesters).