Tuesday, January 03, 2006

PregnancyWeekly Guest Writer - Karen!

Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a fun and hopefully restful new years. Because one of the most popular resolutions is to exercise more or to lose weight, I thought this article by Karen would be appropriate. TKaren of her active life that continues along with being 32 weeks along! It's important to note some of Karen's wise words - when it comes to exercise and being active, don't push yourself beyond what you can do. Pay attention to your body! How are you staying active in your pregnancy?

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The first thing that a woman learns during her pregnancy is that everyone has an opinion. From what to eat, to skin care, to sun exposure, to home remedies – everyone is an expert. Of course, the wisest advice of all is to listen to your body. This includes your exercise routine, which I am glad I have done from the start of my pregnancy.

I work as a youth dance/fitness instructor, and I'm also a passionate dance/fitness hobbyist in my free time. When I became pregnant, I was at first afraid that I would have to give up being so active. All of my co-workers and friends told me that I could do no bouncing, fast changes in position, high intensity cardio, or heavy weight lifting – especially during the first trimester. Considering all of those activities make up about 80% of my daily routine, I was ready to enter a 9-month prison sentence. Thankfully, my doctor informed me otherwise. "If you can lift weights, teach classes, challenge my body without feeling too tired, then get up and do it!" she said. When my body has reached its limit, I'll know it and that's the time to stop.

Now I am 32 weeks along, still teaching ballet, taking hip hop, building my cardio and muscle strength everyday. I have become a hero for many of the women who frequent the gym where I work – although I still hear an occasional "tsk tsk" from the old-fashioned crowd. As I get bigger, I can start to feel exhaustion coming on more frequently, but I know not to push myself beyond that point. I hope my perseverance will help me during delivery, and also during a quick recovery post-partum. I am living proof that pregnant women should rest as much as possible is nothing more than old wives tale.