Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Quick Review: Fit and Pregnant by Joan Marie Butler

Fit and Pregnant by Joan Marie Butler

Finally, a book that is about how to exercise while you're pregnant that doesn't include a meal plan and a prescribed workout.  This one focuses on some popular sports and how to modify them for pregnancy.  My only issue is that the "popular" sports don't include the one I like best (martial arts), but I'll cut some the author some slack because there's quite a lot about cycling.

One thing I've found a little silly about a lot of pregnancy workout books is this idea that they need to include everything about being pregnant -- as if this is the ONLY book I'm going to read about what happens to my body while I'm with child.  Fit and Pregnant doesn't follow this method, thankfully, and only includes the physical changes that relate to specific exercises.  For example, looser ligaments can lead to running injuries if you don't pay attention.  I also appreciate that in the section on what exercises to avoid, most of the advice is about avoiding injury to the mom-to-be instead of the baby; the baby is relatively safe inside the uterus, but if the pregnant mom gets hurt, some drugs and interventions (I'm guessing surgery, for example) aren't recommended or allowed.  So, in other words, the main reason you don't want to continue downhill skiing or whatever is because YOU might get hurt and then be stuck on the couch in a cast until the baby comes.  This makes a lot more sense to me than some of the other advice I've seen.

Another great section is about weight training.  I don't do much of that, but one thing Fit and Pregnant points out is that working on the weight machines at the gym is a nice, safe way to keep the right muscles working even if you can't continue to participate in your favorite sports.  So, if you find you can't keep cycling like you want to, you can work out the same muscle groups on a machine instead. Ah, some practical advice.

This book includes sections on the following sports: pilates, yoga (always with the yoga, these books), aerobics, weight training, running, walking, hiking, swimming, rowing, cycling, and a bunch of winter activities that I skipped over (no winter down here in Texas).  Plus, in the back is a section called "Resources" that lists a bunch more books and websites -- including websites for maternity workout clothes and equipment.

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