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Health & Pregnancy

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Pregnant With Twins? Exercise No-Nos

You may have heard a lot of confusing information about whether you can exercise safely while carrying twins. In fact, every pregnancy is different. Some twin pregnancies come with complication and risk -- others do not.

The question of how much you can exercise hinges on your specific risks. If you are at high risk for complications, your doctor may recommend that you put your exercise plans on hold until after your babies are born. Or, he or she may suggest that you cut back on exercising at around 20 to 24 weeks.

Before considering any exercise program, talk with your doctor about your specific risks and concerns. Then, make sure to learn what types of exercises are best to avoid, even if your doctor gives you the OK to exercise.

Exercises to Avoid

There are some types of exercise that are just too risky for any pregnant woman. Here are some to stay away from:

Exercise to lose weight. Depending on your pre-pregnancy weight, you can expect to gain about 37-54 pounds. This can be hard to take, both emotionally and physically, but save the calorie burning for after you give birth. As long as you eat a healthy diet, weight gain during pregnancy is a sign of your twins' healthy development.

Contact sports. Rough and tumble sports like soccer, basketball, and ice hockey come with a high risk of getting knocked in the stomach. Avoid these sports after the first trimester when your belly starts to get big and exposed.

Fall-prone activities. The risks outweigh the benefits when it comes to activities that require a lot of balance, such as skiing and horseback riding. Even riding a bike outdoors can be risky when you're not used to balancing a pregnant belly. After week 12 or 14, do your pedaling on a stationary bike.

High-altitude exercise. Even if you love the mountains, stay below 6,000 feet when you exercise. If you feel any symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache, nausea, vomiting, or fatigue, call it quits for the day and call your doctor.

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