Saturday, 12 June 2010

Pregnancy and exercise: To run or not to run?!

It's Saturday morning and Mrs B has taken herself off for a swim, a relaxing, minimal effort form of exercise that is meant to be the best form of activity for mums-to-be.

However, the past few months have been tough in our household as exercise always came very high on Mrs B's list of priorities, with a brisk, sweat-inducing, heart pounding run being her preferred way of burning off office-induced frustrations. Either that, or a mind-bogglingly intense 'spin' class  - mind you, I think the annoyingly attractive instructor also had something to do with that one - were always part of the weekly routine.

Falling pregnant and having to stop all forms of intensive exercise on the instructions of the Doc - "don't raise your heartbeat over 140bpm" - has proved really tough.

Over the past few months Mrs B has tried her hand at pregnancy yoga and a selection of pregnancy fitness DVDs, but none of them have really raised a smile, let alone a sweat. So the fitness scratch has never been adequately scratched and, as I occasionally read about the likes of Paula Radcliffe running throughout her pregnancy, I've begun to wonder whether we're all being a bit overly cautious.

There's no doubt that swimming is the best form of exercise, as the NHS tells us, but the same website seems to suggest that running is ok if you're an experienced runner, which Mrs B is. So why did the doctor tells us differently?

It all seems a bit contradictory to me.

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