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What's up Doc?; DO you have a health question? Write to: M Health, The Mirror, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP or email healthzone@ mgn.co.uk (Sorry, but our experts cannot answer letters personally).



QI HAVE exercised regularly for years and have just found out I am pregnant. Should I stop exercising? I would like to carry on but don't want to hurt my baby.

AKathryn Freeland, managing director of personal training company Absolute Fitness, says: Exercise during pregnancy helps control weight gain and helps for post-pregnancy weight loss. Strengthening your postural muscles during pregnancy also helps avoid back problems and improves your pelvic floor muscles to avoid bladder weakness. First get a clean bill of health from your doctor, follow the guidelines below and always listen to your body.

If you exercised before pregnancy you should be able to continue your programme to some degree, but don't increase the pace. There is no evidence that exercise increases the risk of miscarriage.

Use a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) as monitoring heart rate isn't an accurate guide. RPE is based on a scale of 1-10; 1 being lying in bed and 10 the fastest sprint. Listen to your body and lessen the intensity, working at around 6.

Don't become breathless, as your baby will be not be getting enough oxygen. Take frequent breaks so that you don't get too hot, and avoid exercise in hot weather. Drink plenty of water and eat healthily (you only need an extra 300kcal per day). In pregnancy a hormone called relaxin relaxes the joints to prepare for childbirth, so avoid over-stretching. For the safety of the baby avoid contact sports. During the second and third trimesters avoid lying flat on your back. You will probably feel uncomfortable in this position anyway, as this decreases blood to the womb. Also avoid exercises with the arms above your head.

For more information on Pre & Post natal personal training visit www.absolutefitness.co. uk or call 020 7834 0000.

Q RECENTLY I have been going to the toilet more than usual. It stings when I pass water. Do I have an infection?

AMandeep Mudhar, pharmacist for Vantage Pharmacy: The symptoms you describe sound like cystitis, a very irritating condition caused by inflammation of the bladder. Symptoms can include smelly or cloudy urine and a stinging sensation when you go to the toilet. It can be triggered by many things including bacteria from the bowel, or bruising due to vigorous sexual activity.

The best advice is to drink plenty, avoiding caffeine and acidic drinks such as orange and grapefruit juice (many sufferers swear by cranberry juice). There are a number of effective over-the-counter remedies including Cymalon and Cystopurin. Your pharmacist will be able to help you choose an appropriate treatment.

Wiping from front to back after going to the toilet can help prevent infection. If symptoms persist, visit your doctor, who may then put you on a course of antibiotics.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:M Health
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2003
Words:458
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