Docs Iffy On Exercise Advice

11.03.10 Staying active during your pregnancy can reduce complications and speed your post-baby recovery.

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Physical activity is safe and beneficial for most pregnant women, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists distributes guidelines to encourage it.

However, more than half of health care providers surveyed in Michigan weren't familiar with those recommendations, though certified nurse-midwives were more aware than physicians.

While virtually all respondents agreed that activity is good for moms-to-be, many lacked the knowledge to discuss exercise do's and don'ts with patients. Two-thirds still believed that a pregnant woman's heart rate shouldn't go higher than 140 beats per minute, a recommendation the College abandoned in 1994.

Just a half-hour of exercise each day will benefit you as a mom-to-be—and your new baby. Check out our simple and effective 30-minute workout, plus advice on overcoming those pesky pregnancy symptoms.

If you are more of a gym rat, bookmark our Pregnant Woman's Guide to the Gym page, which can help you navigate the extra-tricky environment now that you're expecting. Also, browse through our exercise tips on how to stay active when you're comfortable and feeling as a house. —Shari Roan