Local fitness guru weighs in on being pregnant and weight lifting

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by Kristine Harrington

azfamily.com

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 6:20 PM

PHOENIX -- It's the image that set off a firestorm of criticism and also wave of praise, a pregnant woman weight lifting just two weeks before her due date.

Now a familiar face here in the Valley has joined the great debate by posting a picture of herself working out while pregnant.

“If someone is doing that kind of exercise at seven, eight or nine months pregnant that clearly means she worked out before she was pregnant and probably cross fitted before she was pregnant and her body is used to it,” said local fitness guru Heidi Powell.

Powell is quick to defend body building champion Leann Ellison who's eight months pregnant and posted the picture of herself earlier this month.  Her post resulted in thousands of likes, shares and comments, many of them critical.

“So many people make comments based on speculation not doctors or books,” said Powell, who herself is 32 weeks pregnant and still going strong, doing pull ups and lifting weights without worry.

“It really does depend on who you are, where you were before and what your pregnancy complications are,” said Powell.

Dr. Michael Foley, Chairman of the OBGYN program at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital, says exercise is important but pregnant women need to be careful.

“You don't want to put yourself in a position where you might fall because pregnant women are more prone to injury," said Dr. Foley.

Still he supports these strong women. He just wants people to realize this sort of workout regimen isn't for everyone.

“The message is don't go start something new,” said Foley. “It's important to get off the couch, make sure you hydrate, stay cool and don't exercise more than 30 minutes a day.”

The truth is every person and every pregnancy is different and the best advice is to consult with your doctor.

 

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