Pregnancy All-in-One For Dummies
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In a nutshell, a fit pregnancy means that during the nine months between the time you conceive and the time you go into labor, you're doing the following:
  • You're setting yourself up for an easier labor and delivery. This is what you've been waiting to hear, isn't it? Women who exercise during pregnancy deliver their babies about five days earlier, spend less time in labor, experience fewer complications during labor and delivery, have fewer inductions and cesarean deliveries, and need fewer drugs to relieve pain than women who don't exercise.
  • You're establishing cardiovascular fitness. Getting fit while you're pregnant means that your heart and lungs (your cardiovascular system) get stronger, healthier, and more efficient. This means that not only will you be a mother, but you'll also likely live to be a great-great-grandmother!
  • You're developing strength. You tone your arms, chest, abdomen, butt, hips, and legs. You may never look like a bodybuilder (and probably don't want to), but you can make yourself strong. This strength comes in handy with all the bending and lifting you'll be doing in a few months.
  • You're improving your flexibility. By stretching after your workout and on your days off, you'll become far more flexible, which means you'll experience fewer injuries and be far less limited in what your body can do throughout the rest of your life.
  • You're balancing exercise with proper nutrition. Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand; the food you eat fuels your body (doing so either efficiently or inefficiently), and the exercise you do changes the amount of food you need to eat to maintain your weight. This is why you see articles about food in workout magazines and articles about workouts in health-food magazines. The two are inseparably linked. Book 3 tells you what you need to know about nutrition during pregnancy.
Being fit during pregnancy doesn't mean training for a triathlon or getting certified as a fitness instructor (although if those ideas become future goals of yours, that's terrific). And you don't have to start eating macrobiotic food or anything like that. Instead, a fit pregnancy is about normal people taking seriously the advice of physicians and researchers to get in shape and stay that way.

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