Exercising when Pregnant
Type ‘pregnancy exercise’ into Google and you will soon be overwhelmed. There is a lot of contradictory information about exercising when pregnant on the internet. This will only leave you with more questions than answers.
So what should I believe and who? Start by accepting that many websites that provide tips about prenatal exercise have no background in working with pregnant women.
Watch Out for Content Marketing Websites!
In fact, they post articles about ‘exercising when pregnant’ with the sole purpose of content marketing. These articles are often written by ‘content writers’ who have no experience with pregnancy exercise.
In other words, they just want to get a lot of visitors to their site. These sites merely generate content for the sole purpose of driving traffic to their website so they can on-sell products.
You must identify those qualified and experienced prenatal instructors and eliminate individuals or websites that you should avoid taking advice form.
Myth: You should rest when pregnant and avoid exercise.
There is overwhelming research that appropriate prenatal exercise is beneficial to both you and baby. The governing medical bodies have updated their recommendations for exercise during pregnancy.
You should remain active when pregnant while empowering yourself with the knowledge of which exercises you must avoid during pregnancy. So the reality of it is that exercise when pregnant is good for you.
Myth: You should avoid abdominal exercises
I cringe when I see women doing certain abdominal exercises during pregnancy as I know that they are causing more harm than doing good.
However; it is important you continue to strengthen your abdominals with appropriate core training exercises.
You just need to avoid the old traditional crunches and planking that places unnecessary strain on your lower back.
You also should avoid doing exercises on your back after the first trimester as your growing uterus can compress the vena cava (major vessel that returns blood to your heart) which in turn can reduce blood flow. This can make you feel dizzy and nauseated.
Myth: You should avoid exercising when pregnant, if you did not exercise before you got pregnant.
Your body will experience significant changes when pregnant which is why you should be active.
Staying active when pregnant will help you to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight, reduce the risk of high blood pressure and other ailments that can arise form inactivity.
If you have no prenatal medical complications, and have been given the all clear to exercise by your doctor, then you should aim to exercise for at least 20 – 30 minutes each day.
Myth: You should avoid Strength training during pregnancy
When pregnant, you may experience issues with balance and the pregnancy hormone relaxin will loosens ligaments as your body prepares for delivery.
So, you can still participate in strength training workouts but you must know which exercises you must now avoid which is a where a qualified prenatal exercises specialist can guide you.
Most personal trainers in gyms lack the experience and knowledge when it comes to pregnancy exercises so be aware of who you are taking advice from.
Myth: You should not run during pregnancy!
As long as there are no changes in your joints and ligaments, you can continue running when pregnant.
While I recommend that my clients avoid running due to it being a high impact exercise you can still run if your doctor gives you approval to do so. Just be sure to not over-exert yourself or raise your body temperature too high.