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Strength Training Safe During Pregnancy: Study Affirms Advice from Dr. Christine Anderson, LA Pediatric-Chiropractor
Christine Anderson - a Doctor of Chiropractic Christine Anderson - a Doctor of Chiropractic
Hollywood, CA
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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Dr. Christine Anderson, a Pediatric Chiropractor based in Los Angeles, has long gone against the grain of mainstream thinking of all kinds, especially in regards to advice she gives her pregnant patients. It has been a mantra of doctors that pregnant women should avoid weight training, however, a new University of Georgia study concluded "that a supervised, low-to-moderate intensity program is safe and beneficial." Dr. Anderson, who teaches Pre-Natal Yoga and produced a Pre-Natal Yoga instructional DVD, has a number of guidelines she uses in guiding her patients through a pregnancy exercise regimen.

In terms of strength or weight training, Dr. Anderson urges that machines be used rather than free weights, thus making it "easier to maintain proper body alignment during the repetitions. The unwieldy nature of the pregnant woman requires care each and every exercise, avoiding injuries is vital because pregnancy is tough enough without adding in pulled muscles, torn ligaments or other such maladies."

The study was funded by a grant National Institutes of Health and published in the current edition of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. It measured progression in the amount of weight used, changes in resting blood pressure and potential adverse side effects in 32 pregnant women over a 12-week period. After a total of 618 exercise sessions, none of the pregnant women in the study experienced a musculoskeletal injury.

Dr. Anderson further elaborates on her philosophy of exercise for pregnant women:

"Chiropractic is often used by athletes to prevent and treat injuries by making sure all the bones are aligned. Proper alignment of the skeleton insures that muscles are not stressed or strained. Ligaments are designed to hold our bones together, but due to ligaments being lax in pregnant women, they are more susceptible to injury. Regular chiropractic care in pregnancy can help maintain proper alignment and has the added benefit of optimizing communication of the nervous system, which allows for all the body systems to function at a higher level.

"The dizziness that pregnant women experience during exercise is due to the changes in the cardiovascular system during pregnancy. There is a shift of blood to the developing fetus, so that during the initial phase of exercise, there is less blood flow, and therefore oxygen, for the mom's use. Dr. Anderson states, "Dizziness can be avoided by warming up with yogic breathing exercises and then gradually increasing the intensity during the work out.

"If pregnant women become lightheaded during a workout, they may be exercising too strenuously." Studies have concluded that the fetal heart rate is not affected if the mother's heart rate stays below 150 beats per minute (bpm), but fetal distress occurred when the maternal heart rate went above 180 bpm. Dr. Anderson states, "Whether it is headache, back pain, or pelvic pain, any type of pain is your body sending signals that something is out of balance and needs to be addressed, especially if you are pregnant and exercising. Chiropractic is great for pregnant women as it is drugless and can help relieve aches and pain naturally by getting to the underlying cause. The added benefit is that when the spine and pelvis are aligned, the pelvic outlet space is optimized, possibly decreasing labor time!" For more information on the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy go to www.kidchiropractic.com.

"Yoga during pregnancy is a great way to gain strength without lifting weights. Look for a yoga class or DVD which incorporates more demanding poses, such as modified plank and warrior poses, along with deep breathing and stretching. Dr. Christine Anderson's Dynamic Prenatal Yoga DVD offers these benefits in a chaptered 90 minute program which is designed to help pregnant women prepare for birth –mind, body and spirit – by using dynamic yogic poses."

You can go to www.kidchiropractic.com to view some yoga poses or view highlights of Dr. Christine Anderson's Dynamic Pre-Natal Yoga DVD, which is available through Amazon.com. .

About Dr. Christine Anderson:

Christine Anderson, a Doctor of Chiropractic, has been practicing in Hollywood since graduating Summa Cum Laude from Cleveland Chiropractic College (CCC-LA)in Los Angeles in 1989. As an intern, Dr. Anderson was on the faculty at CCC-LA and also assisted the head of the radiology department in the clinic. Dr. Anderson completed a 3 year post graduate program which gives her diplomate status and Board Certification in Chiropractic Pediatrics and Pregnancy (DICCP).

She received her Diploma in Homeopathy (DiHom) from the British Institute of Homeopathy in 1996 and completed Craniosacral Therapy I and II training from Upledger Institute in 2002. Dr. Anderson has lectured and presented papers at the yearly ICA Council on Pediatrics Conferences and at the 2002 Rome Symposium. Dr. Anderson has contributed articles on various health issues for local newspapers and magazines, as well as chiropractic publications.

She was consulted for the book, I Got Pregnant, You Can,Too, by Katie Boland. She developed the pre/post natal exercise program at the Hollywood YMCA, continues to teach classes there, and has produced the 90 minute DVD Dr. Christine Anderson`s Dynamic Prenatal Yoga. She also does community outreach, talking to parents and kids about health issues. "Dr. Chris" is also very involved in bringing up her children Toxil, Anzac, and Seven along with her husband, Tony.

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