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Exercise and Pregnancy


“What are your opinions about running and pregnancy. Does it affect it does it hurt the baby in the beginning trimester? Does it affect trying to get pregnant? There are so many myths out there. I have been training for a half marathon for the past year and have a good base of ten miles and have run 3 half marathons, everyone tells me to stop if I want to get pregnant, but I feel like I already have a good base so its not like I am overworking myself to the point of exhaustion. Any tips you have I’d love them.”


As a rule, pregnant women are encouraged to engage in regular, moderate intensity physical activity. You are correct, however, in that there are many myths surrounding exercise and pregnancy. This is partly due to the scarcity of data on the subject and the ever changing positions from the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology over the years. Some of the original concerns were theoretical. These included a fear that rising a woman’s body temperature, as occurs with exercise, can cause birth defects in the developing baby particularly in the first 3 months (first trimester). This concern was based on studies done in mice in which increases in body temperature resulted in deformed or miscarried babies. This has never been proven in humans although, as you can imagine, such a study would be difficult to find volunteers. Body temperatures between 102 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit can be reached in normal modest to intense exercise under normal conditions without harm to a developing baby. Another myth associated with exercise was the fear that active muscles demand increased blood flow, blood flow that could be taken away from or stolen from the baby and placenta. This also has never been proven under typical exercise conditions. Lastly, is the fear that the excess jostling that occurs with exercise could be harmful to the baby. This may be true for situations in which the mother is exposed to major trauma e.g. motor vehicle accidents or falls, but is not true for typical non-contact exercise in an otherwise normal and uncomplicated pregnancy.

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by on Aug.17, 2011, under Training

Do I have a mild form of asthma?

Expert Panel Question???

“When I run my chest burns like crazy. After a while I start to get light headed and dizzy. Do I have a mild form of asthma?”

(ask your questions to the UtahRunning.com Experts here)


In addressing chest symptoms whether related to activity or not it is helpful to think of the 4 body areas in the chest that these symptoms may be coming from: the heart, the lungs, the esophagus or the chest wall. Of these four, a problem with the heart raises the most concern and should be addressed first (for obvious reasons). This is followed by the lungs, the esophagus and then the chest wall.

Any chest symptom associated with activity and especially those that include light headedness and dizziness as the run continues necessitates at least a basic cardiac evaluation i.e. a thorough history including family history, a listen to the heart with a stethoscope and an office EKG (electrocardiogram). If there is any concern based on these tests, additional tests may be needed. Once you are reassured that your heart is ok we move on to evaluating the lungs.

Exercise induced asthma (formally known as exercise induced bronchospam or EIB) is not uncommon in runners – up to 30% in some studies – and could explain your symptoms. EIB is defined as a reduction of 15% in your normal lung function at rest compared to after you exercise. People with exercise induced asthma may or may not have underlying asthma but people with asthma almost always have exercise induced symptoms.

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Steve Scharmann, MD – Utah Running Expert

Steve Scharmann       MD, Sports Medicine, Family Practice

Competitive Runner/Triathlete

Dr. Scharmann practices Sports Medicine and Family Practice in Ogden, Utah.  He has a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry/Math from Weber State University.  He attended graduate school at Rice University and medical school at the University of California in San Francisco.  He completed his residency/fellowship in San Francisco and Santa Rosa California.  In addition to being an MD, Dr. Scharmann is also Board Certified through the American Board of Family Medicine and has received a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine.  Dr Scharmann, through his service, has earned a reputation as a highly qualified physician who sincerely cares about those he works with.

Career Highlights:

Assistant Residency Director, McKay-Dee Family Medicine Residency Program

Primary Care Sports Medicine, Calton-Harrison Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic

Team Physician – Weber State University, Ogden Raptors, Australian National Ski Jumping Team,  Ben Lomond High School

Medical Director, Department of Athletic Training, Weber State University

Medical Director, Ogden Marathon

Venue Medical Officer, 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics – Curling

Medical Director Utah-Moscow Youth Games, Moscow, Russia – 2003

Dr. Scharmann uses his extensive medical background and his personal experiences in sports to advise people of all ages.  He had a successful running career while attending Weber State University and continues to compete competitively in both running races and triathlons.

Athletic Accomplishments:

Member 1973 & 1977 WSU Big Sky Conference Cross-Country Championship Teams

Big Sky Conference Scholar Athlete Award – 1977

WSU Track & Field/Cross-Country (1973, 1976, 1977): 3 mile – 14:06; 10,000m – 31:00

Utah Short Course Triathlon Series Champion – 1989

Ironman World Triathlon Championships, Kona, Hawaii – 2000 (finisher)

National Age-group Triathlon Championships, 4th place – 2002

USA Triathlon Age-group All-American – 2008

Dr. Scharmann and his wife Dana, who is also a former WSU Track & Field/Cross-Country athlete, currently reside in Ogden, Utah with their four children.

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by on Jan.01, 2010, under Utah Running Experts

Jeffrey J. Rocco, MD – Utah Running Expert

Jeffrey J. Rocco, MD

Dr. Rocco is an orthopedic surgeon specializing Foot and Ankle Reconstruction, and Lower Extremity Trauma.

Dr. Rocco has been practicing in Ogden, Utah since 2006.  He is originally from Akron, Ohio.  Dr. Rocco received his Bachelor of Arts degree with University Honors from Miami University, in Oxford, OH.  In 1994, he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.  Dr. Rocco completed one and a half years of General Surgery residency at the Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine before starting a Residency in Orthopedic Surgery.  In 2002 he completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, and at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City.  Dr. Rocco then completed his final year of training with Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgery.  This year was spent in Fellowship with Arthur Manoli, II, MD at the Michigan International Foot and Ankle Center, located in Pontiac, Michigan.

Dr. Rocco then returned to Ohio to start his practice in 2003 with the Ohio Orthopedic Center of Excellence, Columbus, Ohio.  Dr. Rocco moved to Ogden, Utah in January, 2006 to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle in the Wasatch Mountains.  Downhill skiing, trail running, road and mountain biking, and Triathlons are just some the activities he pursues in the mountains around Ogden.  Taking a special interest in Endurance Sports Nutrition, he is on the research review board for First Endurance, a sports nutrition company in Salt Lake City, Utah.  His (along with many others’) nutrition articles and contributions can be viewed at http://blog.firstendurance.com/.

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by on Jan.01, 2010, under Utah Running Experts

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