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Fitness | REVIEW

Steps toward a healthier pregnancy

September 06, 2004|Jeannine Stein

Walking has long been touted as a fantastic exercise for the general population -- including pregnant women. But pregnancy poses specific concerns, even among women who exercise regularly. "Walking Through Pregnancy and Beyond" (Lyons Press, 2004) takes a comprehensive look at the benefits of walking during and after pregnancy, even for those who are out of shape.

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"Walking Through Pregnancy and Beyond": This thorough guide includes advice on how to begin a walking program for women in various stages of fitness. Included are illustrated stretching and warmup guides, and tips on how to choose correct footwear and clothing. The authors also explain how to adjust the program throughout all stages of pregnancy, how to fit walking into a busy life, and how and when to take the baby and other children along. Nutrition guidelines are included, along with anecdotes from moms and moms-to-be on their own experiences with walking.

Mark Fenton, host of the PBS series "America's Walking," wrote the book with his wife, Lisa, an industrial designer and consultant to the athletic footwear industry. The couple have two children, and Lisa says walking through both pregnancies helped with labor and postpartum recovery.

"Having some muscle mass and good cardiovascular training makes a huge difference," she said. Added Mark, "If you're inactive, you should get moving. We didn't go overboard with the exercises. You don't have to be shredding yourself to make a difference. You just have to listen to your body."

Price: "Walking Through Pregnancy and Beyond," by Mark and Lisa Fenton with Tracy Teare, is $19.95; available at bookstores.

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-- Jeannine Stein

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