Welcoming Baby: Exercise during pregnancy

Priscilla's Favorite mid to late Pregnancy Workout:

Low Impact: Stair Climber 20 minutes
Change the angle of your climb using forward motion.
Switch off between right and left leg leading at a lateral climb.

Upper Body Strength with free weights or a cable & core:
1. Inclined Chest press - 2 sets of 15 reps w/ free weights
2. Incline Push-ups - off a raised platform 4-6 inches/modify on knees if needed.
     3 sets of 12 reps
3. Modified Planks - full extension planks using one knee down modification if needed.
     Hold for 30 seconds 2-3 times.
4. Single Arm Row - 3 sets of 12 per arm w/ a cable or resistance band
5. Double Arm Row - 2 sets of 15 reps w/ free weights
6. Repeat Modified Planks
7. Bicep Curls - 3 sets of 12 reps per side w/ a cable
8. Single Arm Tricep Kick Back - 2 sets of 15 reps w/ a free weight
9. Repeat Modified Planks

use rhythmic Yoga poses and stretches

20-30 minutes

Posted Thursday, May 15, 2014 --- 6:15 p.m.

"I exercised throughout all of my pregnancies," says the super fit Priscilla Peterson.

You could call Priscilla an expert in parenting. When asked the ages of her children, she quickly rattles off , "16, 14, 12, identical twins that are 10, 8, 6, 4 and 11 months."

Add 'em up! That's right. She has 9 kids! Priscilla is also a certified fitness trainer and the group fitness director at Princeton Club West.

"Giving birth is like running a marathon," explains Peterson, "I stayed very focused. My labors were actually very short [relatively speaking], and I do attribute a lot of that to staying active during pregnancy."

Priscilla says there are 7 major benefits of exercise during pregnancy: it boosts your energy, helps you sleep better, reduces pregnancy discomfort, reduces stress, improves your self image, prepares your body for childbirth and helps you get your body back faster after childbirth.

And doctors agree.

"Staying active keeps your body chemistry and your baby's size and development in a more normal range, "says Dr. Julie Schurr of Physicians for Women, "I think overall it leads to a healthier progression of labor on your own and an easier delivery."

Dr. Schurr says the best way to keep your exercise at a safe level is to use the talk test.

"The talk test means you're able to carry on a conversation or hum a tune or sing a song while you're exercising. And that will change. Your degree of exertion will change as your pregnancy advances."

Dr. Schurr warns there are some risks. If you get into an anaerobic zone, meaning you can no longer talk during exercise, you could deprive your baby of oxygen. You're also at a higher risk of injury or muscle strain.

"The most common one that happens during pregnancy is back injury," says Dr. Schurr, "And you can see because your center of gravity has changed. Your back is taking all the brunt of that core stability."

But Dr. Schurr says the benefits outweigh the risks. And research is now showing exercise also provides benefits for the baby.

"Studies are showing that a mother who exercises on a regular basis gives birth to a baby that has a more active brain," explains Priscilla, who hopes she's leading by example and inspiring women to make prenatal exercise a priority, "Make time for you. Get in the exercise and adjust the levels. It will pay off, and you'll be happy you did later on."

Dr. Schurr recommends 45 minutes to an hour of aerobic exercise three times a week.

If you're pregnant and don't know the best way to go about working fitness into your daily routine, check out the sidebar on this page. Priscilla shared her favorite mid to late pregnancy workout with us. Give it a try!

If you have questions for Priscilla, you can reach out to her on email: priscilla@princetonclub.net

And don't forget to check out www.momseveryday.com/madison. Click on the banner at the top titled "Welcoming Baby with Leigh Mills".

We've created a special page that features pregnancy related stories, resources and other great information for parents.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
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