Baby Your Baby: Exercising During Pregnancy

"Baby Your Baby" week is back! It's a week long focus on news families can use. Monday we got things started with a topic that all pregnant women can relate to, exercising during pregnancy. Many women hear about the importance of working out, but it doesn't mean you have to go out and run a marathon. Just a light exercise program could help you feel better, and help your body prepare for birth.

Jill Smirl says, "Anything to make you feel better while you're pregnant is a benefit." That's the attitude Jill has carried out with all her pregnancies. A long time runner, she's no stranger to working out. Jill only has five weeks to go before she delivers her third child, but she admits the closer she gets, the harder it is for her to exercise. "I 'm working out about once or twice a week instead of four or five times a week because I'm so tired," Jill says. "But I'm still busy chasing kids and running them all over town."

Jill's playing it smart. She's listening to her body, and only doing what she thinks she can. Lana Lange is a physical therapist at HealthSouth. She says, "T ypically a doctor will say as long as you don't get your heart rate over 140 beats a minute, that would include some mile aerobic conditioning and pregnancy aerobic classes."W hether you decide to work out in a gym, or somewhere else, you need to pick out a routine that's best for you, and not start something you didn't do before you were pregnant. "T hey frown upon starting an exercise program once you become pregnant, but you can keep doing any type of exercise you were routinely doing," Lange says. That's what Jill plans to do because just a few minutes of exercise makes her feel better. "I t clears your mind and when you're pregnant, you need every bit of energy you can get and working out seems to give you that spunk and spice to keep going on. Even though you may not be looking as good as you would like to look, you can feel good," Jill says.

Of course, talk to your doctor before you start any exercise routine. The level of exercise your doctor recommends will depend on how much you worked out before you were pregnant, and what kind of pregnancy you are having. A s part of our "Baby Your Baby" campaign, we're working with health departments in Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Northwest Tennessee.

Tuesday, we'll take a look at the newborn hearing tests your baby gets at the hospital after they're born, a s "Baby Your Baby" week continues every night this week on Heartland News at five.