Q: Can you recommend an exercise for a newly pregnant couch potato?
A: Even if you have no favorite exercise from your past to offer inspiration, there's no time like the present to get off the couch and integrate motion into your life. Start by taking a 15- to 30-minute walk each day. If this sounds daunting, do what you need to make it a more attractive proposition--enlist a friend to join you or listen to a book on tape. If it still doesn't appeal to you, try swimming--it's one of the most beneficial activities for pregnant women. Also consider taking a prenatal exercise or yoga class. Not only are they great exercises, but these types of classes also will help you establish social connections with other pregnant women.Whatever exercise you do, remember that you should never exert yourself past the point that you can carry on a conversation. For more information, read Maternal Fitness: Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy, an Easier Labor, and a Quick Recovery by Julie Tupler, R.N., and Andrea Thompson (Fireside, 1996).