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Exercising while pregnant

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While many women struggle with the idea of working out during pregnancy, an Austin doctor just released a study showing the benefits of exercise for moms-to-be.

Theresa Cantu was part of an exercise study while pregnant with her daughter Amarie Rose. When she joined the program at St. David's in 2007, she had hypertension, but things were soon under control.

“I found out my blood pressure was normal through the whole nine-month term,” Cantu said.

She credits the program headed by Dr. Bradley Price. He wanted to see what affects different types of exercise had on pregnant women.

“(We did) step aerobics, we did circuit training which involved cardio and weights and we did a long hilly walk on the U.T. campus,” Dr. Price said.

Results of the five year study were just released.

“I looked at things like weight, placenta size, how lively the baby is at birth, then how they delivered—vaginal or c-section,” the doctor said.

According to Dr. Price, the biggest difference between active and sedentary moms was baby's delivery. There were fewer c-sections for mom's who stay active.

There were other long-term benefits as well. Dr. Price said women of exercising mothers were less likely to be overweight or get diabetes. He calls it the gift that keeps giving.

Theresa has turned what she learned into a family affair.

“Even as a family, we do gather ourselves and go out for a walk, play some basketball, shoot some hoops,” Cantu said.

Doctor Price says women who have a history of pre-mature labor or those pregnant with twins should not exercise.

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