Professional ballet instructor Mary Helen Bowers is nine months pregnant, but she hasn’t let that slow her down — she says she’ll continue dancing until she gives birth in one week.
Bowers, 33, is a former dancer with the New York City Ballet and the creator of Ballet Beautiful, a low-impact exercise routine that strengths and tones the same muscles used in ballet. She’s renowned for whipping supermodels Miranda Kerr and Doutzen Kroes into shape, as well as training Natalie Portman in ballet for her Oscar-winning role in the 2010 film “Black Swan.” Now, in her third trimester, Bowers is staying active with daily ballet workouts and hopes to inspire others with her pre- and postnatal workout series.
“They key to working out during pregnancy is listening to your body,” Bowers tells Yahoo Shine. “This time is about more than just you. My doctor closely monitors my exercise routine and I collaborated with medical experts for my prenatal video series.” Bowers also adds that her exercises target her core. “You can’t do much about the middle of the stomach where the baby is, but there are ways to tone your sides, which I’ve found helps with my back pain,” she says.
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weightlifting at eight months pregnant hit the Internet. Ellison is a devotee of Crossfit, an hourlong, high-intensity workout that incorporates core strengthening using Olympic weights, tire flipping, kettlebells, and medicine balls. The workout is intense –– many have cited overexertion and exhaustion as a result of participating. But how safe is ballet, generally a low-impact route, for expectant moms?Bowers has received plenty of support when it comes to staying fit throughout her pregnancy. However, the issue of how much to exercise during pregnancy can be controversial. In September, Lea-Ann Elison, a 35-year-old stay-at-home mother from Los Angeles, sparked a global frenzy when photos of her
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“As long as a pregnant woman is accustomed to being on her feet, she wouldn’t necessarily be restricted from ballet dancing as long as she pays attention to her body and rests if she experiences dizziness, weakness, or blurred vision,” says Joshua Cohen, board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and perinatologist. “In general, pregnant women in their third trimester should avoid exercises such as climbing machines or the elliptical because beyond 25 to 28 weeks, the center of gravity changes, which can cause a person to lose their balance and fall.”
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