Health & Fitness

Earning sweat equity during pregnancy


King Features Syndicate

Licensed contractor and personal trainer (what a combo!) Amy Matthews hosts “Sweat Equity” on the DIY channel. In it, she offers great tips on increasing the value of your home by doing a little sweatin’ as you make improvements.

Turns out if you’re pregnant (and at a healthy weight), you can earn valuable sweat equity another way, too! A study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who exercise during pregnancy do NOT increase their risk of preterm birth -- and are more likely to avoid a C-section than women who don’t exercise.

The facts: In the study, 22 percent of pregnant women who weren’t active had a C-section, while less than 18 percent of active women did. Only 2.4 percent of active women had gestational diabetes, while almost 6 percent of inactive women did. And less than 2 percent of active women had high blood pressure issues, while more than 5 percent of inactive women did.

The routine: The study says moderate aerobic exercise for 35-90 minutes three to four times a week is beneficial if you’re normal weight, have a singleton pregnancy and an uncomplicated gestation. Talk to your doc about your exercise plans for all three trimesters, and start slowly (get started with Sharecare’s walking fitness program: if you weren’t working out regularly before you became pregnant. If you develop and/or continue healthy exercise habits, you’ll be a great role model for your young’uns. Kids with active, healthy parents get a head start on their path to a healthy, happy life.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit