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Pregnancy & Exercise Quiz: Move, Baby!

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You've never exercised before, but now's a good time to start -- right?

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You've never exercised before, but now's a good time to start -- right?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

No time like the present -- as long as your OB says it's OK. Start slow -- don't try to run a 5K your first time out! Swimming may be ideal, especially as your pregnancy progresses. The water supports you and makes you feel lighter. Walking is also terrific.

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What exercise can you do now at a stoplight that will help you later in the delivery room?

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What exercise can you do now at a stoplight that will help you later in the delivery room?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Kegels can shorten the intense "pushing" stage of labor -- if you make these easy pelvic floor exercises a habit during pregnancy. Pretend you're stopping yourself from peeing. Squeeze those muscles for a few seconds, then relax. And don't hold your breath.

 

You can do Kegels anywhere -- sitting in traffic, waiting in line, even at your desk.

How many pregnant women get enough exercise?

How many pregnant women get enough exercise?

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  • Correct Answer:

There's room for improvement! Only 1 out of 6 pregnant women say they get moderate exercise -- like brisk walking -- at least half an hour per day.

 

What keeps the active women going? Exercise in pregnancy helps you feel better, sleep better, and stay within your doctor's weight guidelines. Gaining too much can be unhealthy for you and your baby.

If you're a runner, you can keep going while you're pregnant.

If you're a runner, you can keep going while you're pregnant.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If you're a committed runner and you're healthy, you can continue to run while you're expecting. Just be sure to ask your doctor how you should adjust your distance or other routines. Marathon world-record holder Paula Radcliffe ran 14 miles a day while pregnant. Now, however, is not the time to sign up for your first marathon!

What's the one essential purchase when you're pregnant and exercising?

What's the one essential purchase when you're pregnant and exercising?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

A good, supportive bra is going to become your favorite piece of clothing, trust us. Your breasts will be sensitive and change in shape and size throughout your pregnancy. The right bra ensures a comfortable workout. Although orthopedic shoes are not necessary, good supportive shoes are also helpful. Slings or belts for a pregnant belly help some women with back pain in the final stretch -- but a good bra will be your friend for all 40 weeks.

No more ab crunches on the floor after:

No more ab crunches on the floor after:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Doctors say that after the first trimester, moves done while lying on your back -- like crunches -- are not a great idea. That doesn't mean ignoring your abs. Look for pregnancy-safe core moves, including those done on hands and knees, which can help ease an aching back, too.

 

Lying on your back after the third month of pregnancy can limit blood flow to the baby.

How long should it take you to recover from your workout?

How long should it take you to recover from your workout?

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  • Correct Answer:

You know you're exercising at the right intensity if you recover fully in the time it takes for a coffee break: 15-20 minutes. The benefits of your workout stick with you much longer:  increased energy, a better mood, less stress, and less swelling.

 

After-baby bonus: It's easier to get back in shape if you've been active during pregnancy.

 

Which water sport should you avoid during pregnancy?

Which water sport should you avoid during pregnancy?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Stay near the surface of the water! Diving puts your baby at risk for the "bends," harmful gas bubbles in the baby's blood vessels.

Swimming and water aerobics, on the other hand, are top exercises for pregnant women. They're safe, buoyant ways to get your heart pumping -- and the water supports your growing belly. Snorkeling is fine, too.

Basketball and soccer are OK to continue while you're pregnant, if you're careful.

Basketball and soccer are OK to continue while you're pregnant, if you're careful.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Contact sports are off-limits when you're expecting. If you collide with someone or fall, it could harm your baby. Other exercises to postpone until after the baby arrives include skiing, gymnastics, water skiing, and horseback riding. Indoor cycling classes and low-impact aerobics are two ways to keep fit without risking a tumble.

Exercise might make the baby come early.  

Exercise might make the baby come early.  

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

No need to worry. For healthy women exercise does not increase the chances of an early delivery or a too-small baby.

Salsa and belly dancing are both safe during pregnancy.

Salsa and belly dancing are both safe during pregnancy.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Salsa and belly dancing are not only safe -- they're fun ways to work out when pregnant. You'll find videos and classes to guide your pregnant shape through both types of dance. Dancing is fine in most forms -- just keep in mind your changing center of gravity! 

What type of yoga should you AVOID when pregnant?

What type of yoga should you AVOID when pregnant?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Stay away from Bikram, a "hot" yoga. The studio can be over 90 degrees F, and that may be too hot for your baby. Other kinds of yoga can be great when you're pregnant. The breathing techniques can help you get ready for labor. And the poses can help relieve back pain and even morning sickness.

 

Look for yoga classes designed especially for pregnant women.

How soon can I start exercising after my baby is born?

How soon can I start exercising after my baby is born?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It's generally OK to start exercising a few days after a normal delivery. Be sure you feel up to it. Pushing a stroller is an easy start, which may help both you and your new baby relax. Don't stress out about getting back to the gym -- those first weeks are exhausting!

 

More challenging workouts may need to wait until after your 6-week checkup with your obstetrician.

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Great job! You and your baby bump are ready to hit the trail.

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