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How To Stay Fit Throughout Pregnancy

Getting pregnant doesn’t mean giving up your favorite workouts—in fact, exercise is key to delivering a healthy baby.

Nicole Moneer’s first pregnancy got her prepared for those middle-of-the-night baby feedings that come with bringing home a newborn. The IFBB bikini pro found that eating fruit and small meals in the wee hours helped prevent nausea the next day. But nothing about being pregnant could slow Moneer down. “Being active has been a huge part of my life for the past two decades, so I saw no reason to stop when I was pregnant!"

Not too long ago, doctors told women that the best thing they could do to stay safe during pregnancy was to rest up. Workouts were limited to walking or other low-impact activities. Today we know much more about what it takes to support a healthy pregnancy, and staying fit is a key part of that. Exercise has been shown to help reduce pregnancy-related aches and pains, improve blood pressure, lower the risk of gestational diabetes, make for easier labor and delivery, and more. In fact, more than 92% of obstetricians advise their patients to exercise.

"Women used to be told to rest as much as possible and eat as much as they want," says Raul Artal, M.D., a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and women’s health at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. "Now we know that women should continue to live normal lives—which includes regular exercise—while listening to their bodies." If you sense changes or feel discomfort or pain you need to get checked out, he explains. But otherwise, healthy women should be doing 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise most days a week.

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