ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
CAREGIVING
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Holiday Eating Without the Guilt -- or the Pounds
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
FITNESS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Maximize Your Run
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Maximize Your Run
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Countdown to Hair Loss
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
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Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise

SUNDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- It's natural that a woman might be skeptical about exercising while she's pregnant. So many changes are occurring in her body, it makes sense to have second thoughts about whether exercise might harm her or her unborn child.

But it turns out that a thoughtful exercise program is good for both mother and child, according to medical experts.

"We know that women who exercise during pregnancy have less chance of developing certain conditions like gestational diabetes," said Dr. Raul Artal, chairman of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health for the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. "Not only that, exercise maintains musculoskeletal fitness. Women can cope with the anatomical and physiological changes of pregnancy better when they're in good shape. They also tolerate labor better and recover more quickly from delivery."

The baby also benefits. One study found that when an expectant mother works out, her fetus reaps cardiac benefits in the form of lower fetal heart rates.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day most days of the week. First, though, all women should consult a doctor to make sure it's OK.

When choosing what sort of exercise to pursue, a woman should take into account the shape she was in before becoming pregnant, said Dr. Thomas Wang, a family practitioner for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego.

"A lot of things depend on the level of fitness they had before," Wang said. A mom-to-be should pursue activities that will provide a good level of exertion without testing the limits of her body's current conditioning. If she's just starting a fitness program to improve her health during pregnancy, she should start out slowly and be careful not to overexert herself.

But there are certain activities that should at least be undertaken with caution, if not avoided altogether. Pregnant women, for instance, should not go scuba diving, as that activity exposes the fetus to a risk of developing decompression sickness, also known as the bends.

Women also should think twice before engaging in activities where the risk of falling is higher, such as gymnastics, horseback riding, downhill skiing and high-intensity racquet sports. And they should avoid contact sports such as ice hockey, soccer and basketball.

"Anything that involves impact or the chance of abdominal trauma, they should try to avoid," Wang explained.

Exercise that's perfectly safe for expectant mothers includes Kegel exercises, swimming, walking, light dancing and yoga. Riding a stationary bicycle or working out on aerobic gym equipment -- elliptical or stair-climbing machines, for instance -- is also fairly safe, as long as care is taken to prevent a fall.

Most pregnant women also can take part in jogging, running and aerobics, especially if those were exercises they regularly performed before pregnancy.

Pregnant women who are doing weight training should emphasize improving their muscle tone, particularly in the upper body and abdominal area, according to the American Pregnancy Association. They should avoid lifting weights above their heads and performing exercises that strain the lower back muscles.

"There have been some studies that show heavy lifting causes a temporary drop in the baby's heart rate," Wang said. "It usually corrects pretty quickly, but they might want to be careful."

Other things to keep in mind if exercising while pregnant:

* Avoid exercising to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness, as that could affect the oxygen supply to the fetus.
* Avoid overheating, which can affect the baby's development. Don't exercise in hot weather.
* During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves lying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to the womb.

Though that might seem like a lot of cautions for something that's supposed to be safe, doctors insist that women can and should engage in a well-thought-out fitness program during their pregnancy.

"By and large, if there are no medical complications of pregnancy, women can continue engaging in the same type of activities," Artal said. "Women should be encouraged to continue living an active lifestyle."