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Friday Fitness with Farel: Should She or Shouldn't She?

Bethany Hamilton is an athlete who has made headlines most of her life. She started as a young surfer shredding big waves in Hawaii; she then made huge headlines when she was attacked by a shark that took her left arm at the shoulder. We now get to see this inspirational athlete during her pregnancy and into motherhood. The most recent headlines, however, came from an article about her still surfing while pregnant on nydailynews.com. Two things were stated in the article that rocked the fitness and medical communities. Here is the FIT4MOM stance on both points:

1. Should Bethany be exercising during pregnancy? YES! While this point isn’t being debated in the article, the physician quoted stated, “Pregnant women should only work out for 30 minutes a day”. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not put a max time but actually states, “Becoming active and exercising AT LEAST 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week can benefit your health…” The main point to make is that she should not exercise to the point of exhaustion. ACOG says you should be “…able to talk normally while exercising”.

2. Should Bethany be surfing during pregnancy? NO. We truly believe the potential risk outweighs the potential rewards. In surfing, there is an inherent risk for blunt trauma from the waves and the board. No to mention needing to be on your belly when you paddle out to the break. We naturally would suggest FIT4BABY for Bethany during this time of her life.

It is so wonderful to see such a high profile athlete deciding to stay fit during her pregnancy. We would love for more moms to understand the numerous benefits of fitness in a healthy pregnancy, to BOTH mom and baby. We look forward to seeing her navigate this amazing time as she becomes a new mom!

*Before you begin any exercise program during pregnancy, talk to your doctor.