It’s funny how people believe they know you and your body better than you do the moment you get pregnant. People love to dish out advice, which leads to conflicting information, doubts, and outright myths.
Being pregnant comes with all sorts of opinions- especially when it comes to your fitness, health and/or workout routines. “You should not be running”, “Don’t exercise on your first trimester”, “Lifting weights is not safe during pregnancy”.
It’s always important to consult your healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise program, as there are some situations where exercise may not be advised. The following information should be used as a guide only and should not replace the advice of your medical practitioner. You should consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. This is even more important if you are experiencing complications (or have a history of complications) during pregnancy.
To keep you moving safely and with confidence during your pregnancy, I have decided to share three common myths you hear or are given as advice when you are pregnant. This way, you can feel comfortable in knowing you are doing what you can to be keep yourself healthy and moving your body in ways you know are safe for you and your baby.
Myth #1: You should not exercise at all
Pregnancy is not an illness; it is a stage in which you need to care not only for yourself but also for your baby and exercising is one great way to do so. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women exercise for 30 minutes five to six times a week. With the right guidance and approvals from your doctor, it is safe to exercise during pregnancy. Not only is it safe, but it also has many benefits for both you and your baby
Myth #2: You can’t lift weights
For some reason, when people see women (that are not pregnant) lifting weights, they are already all over you with comments “You’re going to look like a man”, “you are going to get bulky”, “Weights are for men”, “Ladies don’t lift”. Now adding pregnancy into the equation… well those comments just get even worse. Weight training within your limits is actually a good thing. If you are a first timer and want to start lifting weights it may not be such a good idea to start when you are pregnant. However, if you’ve been at them for a while, lifting and listening to your body is the best way to go. In fact, strength training is a recommended part of your training during the week. If you love to lift, there’s no need to drop the weights during pregnancy!
Myth #3: Don’t start exercising now
Just like I mentioned before, if you are planning to start weight training while pregnant, you might want to wait. But this does not mean you can’t exercise AT ALL. There are many kinds of different and fun exercises you can do while you are pregnant- yes! Even if you’ve never worked out. Introducing regular to moderate exercise on a daily basis will not hurt you- especially if your pregnancy is making you feel constipated and affecting your circulation. Moving your body regularly will help you feel much better overall even if there are days where you feel tired and BIG.
If you are currently inactive here are some tips for you to get started:
– Be gentle with yourself. Start by walking 15 to 20 minutes on a flat treadmill before increasing the incline or walking hills and then start building slowly up to 30 minutes per session.
– Warm up and cool down on every session to prepare your body.
– Talk to your doctor and consider working with a trainer who will customize your workouts. Someone who will keep you motivated and accountable for optimum results.
– Educate yourself on prenatal fitness so you can tell when your body needs to stop and continue with a workout.
– Change your workouts to include cardio sessions, flexibility, and strength training. The variety will keep you motivated and build whole-body fitness.
– Switch from sodas to water to keep yourself hydrated throughout your workout and also your day (coconut water and water with your favorite fruit are good alternatives). My advice: Carry a water bottle WHEREVER you go and always make sure there is water in it.
Some safe exercises and activities include:
- Prenatal Yoga
- Lifting light weights
Staying active during pregnancy will help your body stay in shape and be ready for labor and delivery. Your body has a wonderful and beautiful way of adapting to new changes that come its way, don’t be afraid to step into a better and healthier life for you and your baby or babies.