Pregnant and Fit; "That from the Seedness the Bare Fallow Brings to Teeming Foison, Even So Her Plenteous Womb" -- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English Playwright. Measure for Measure, Act 1, Sc. 4, L. 43-4

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Byline: DR. BRIX PUJALTE

WATCHING the outrageous "Knocked Up" brought back good memories of "shared" first pregnancies. Pregnancy is pregnant with myths. The movie takes on many misperceptions: Social, moral, emotional even physical. In one scene Katherine Heigl's pregnant character Alison outdoes her partner Ben (played by Seth Rogan) on the stationary bike. Ben was huffing and puffing; Alison was not.

Exercise in pregnancy. First the benefits - It is now known that regular, moderate exercise while pregnant is good for both mother and baby. It helps prepare for labor in increasing stamina and muscle strength. You must get a go-ahead from your obstetrician before embarking on a physical fitness program. Proceed with caution if you have:

Diabetes; high blood pressure; heart disease; and placenta previa - a condition that can cause dangerous bleeding before or during delivery.

Starting right. It doesn't make sense to suddenly force yourself to exercise while pregnant when you couldn't be dragged into a gym before. Just the same, a change of mind is a good start. The recommendation is 30 minutes of moderate exercise three to four times a week. However, you may want to start at 5 minutes of physical activity, then ten, then 15 minutes until you've built up to 30 minutes a day.

Stay hydrated and have a water bottle beside you while exercising.

When to stop. Watch out for the following. These are signs and symptoms that you need to rest from exercise:

Dizziness, nausea, fatigue, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, blurred vision, abdominal pain, chest pain, headaches, groin pain, and cramps

Some exercise myths. Keep this in mind - there should be no reps (repetitions) done lying down on your back after the first trimester when it comes to abdominal exercises. …