Here's your Friday-morning fitness inspiration: Alysia Montano, a former University of Southern California track star and five-time national champion, just ran the 800 meters in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Track and Field Championships in two minutes, 32 seconds.
I know what you're thinking: She's a track star, what's the big deal? Just that she's 34 weeks pregnant! (Pretty badass, no?)
Although the 28-year-old finished 35 seconds slower than her best time, she told the Associated Press she's been running throughout her pregnancy and has "felt really, really good during the whole process." Montano says she made a point of taking a "nice, relaxing" pace, after talking about the plan with her doctor. She received a standing ovation when she finished.
Not only did her doctors give her the go-ahead to exercise, but they actually encouraged it. “That took away any fear of what the outside world might think about a woman running during her pregnancy,” Montano said. “What I found out mostly was that exercising during pregnancy is actually much better for the mom and the baby...I did all the things I normally do...I just happened to be pregnant. This is my normal this year.”
Most doctors agree that exercise during pregnancy is perfectly safe as long as you were fit before getting pregnant or are not deemed high-risk while pregnant. However, if you feel any pain, vaginal discharge, or less fetal movement while working out, see your doctor ASAP, Carline Vilfort, M.D., D.O., recommends. In addition, try to avoid anything heated (such as hot yoga) in your first trimester, and stick to your usual routine; now is not the time to start experimenting.
Who inspires you to work out? What do you think of Montano's accomplishment? Sound off in the comments or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!