Pregnancy can be a very confusing time for new mothers and many are concerned with working out during pregnancy, wishing to stay healthy without causing harm to herself or the baby. This article will discuss the top 5 common myths about prenatal fitness as well as important tips and which warning signs to watch for.
Myth #1-Avoid starting a workout program if you weren’t regularly engaged in exercise before pregnancy.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) states that a healthy woman may continue with her regular exercise regimen or begin a new program during pregnancy. If you have not exercised prior, start slow and build up gradually. Consistency is most important, meaning, it is best to exercise regularly rather than be concerned with the level of intensity of the workout.
Myth #2-Limit exercise in the 3rd trimester.
Due to the growing body you might cut down the intensity, but you should still remain consistent. It's essential to continue at a similar rated perceived exertion (RPE) throughout the pregnancy.
Myth #3-Do not exercise more than 3 times per week.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily with doctor approval, while the ACSM recommends 5 or more days per week. Just a little exercise everyday helps to build the endurance that is needed for the big event.
Myth #4-Avoid abdominal exercises during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very critical time to work the abdominals, you just need to change how you’re doing them. Because of the stretching muscles, the abs aren’t as efficient in pregnancy, therefore traditional crunches aren’t really effective. In addition, you should not be on your back for an extended period of time following the first trimester. There are, however, many core exercises you can do while sitting, standing, or on all fours.
Myth #5- Kegals are not necessary if you are planning on having a C-section
The most damage to the pelvic floor is caused during pregnancy, not the delivery itself. Urinary incontinence is still an issue for C-section patients. Regular practice of these vaginal exercises help to tone the strained pelvic floor muscles and helps maintain bladder control.
Important tips to remember when exercising:
• You can continue past sports if you listen to your body.
• Avoid contact sports.
• Avoid exercises with risk of falling.
• Non-weight bearing is likely to be more comfortable.
You should always check with your physician before beginning or changing your exercise routine while pregnant. If you have any of the following warning signs while exercising, stop immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
• Vaginal bleeding
• Back or pelvic pain
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath
• Dizziness or feeling faint
• Calf pain or swelling
• Leaking of vaginal fluid
• Decreased fetal movement
• Contractions/preterm labor
• Rapid heartbeat or palpitations even when resting