Encouraging Pregnant Women to Exercise

Encouraging Pregnant Women to Exercise

When I was teaching childbirth education classes, a common question was “what type of exercise is the best?” I did my best to encourage women that ANY exercise was better than none – but the focus always seemed to come back to finding that one exercise that they SHOULD be doing. If they didn’t like the exercise or believed it took longer than the time they could devote to exercise, they didn’t do any exercise. I’m sure my experiences are not unique.

Here is a resource you can share with women that just might help them break out of the “this is the exercise pregnant women need to do” mindset. It is a podcast from Freckonomics – What’s the Best Exercise.  In fifteen minutes, the host and guests help listeners understand what they call the Three I’s for identifying the best exercise:

Intensity, Individualization, and “I Like to Do It.”



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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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