"Eating for two" and not being physically active while pregnant is a thing of the past. New research has shown that exercising is healthy and benefitical to both the mother and the child, especially when it come to cardiovascular health.
During pregnancy, exercise can:
-Ease or prevent back pain and other discomforts
-Boost your energy level
-Prevent excess weight gain
-Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related high blood pressure and postpartum
-Increase stamina and muscle strength, which helps prepare for labor
-Increase cardiovascular health in both baby and mother by having a lower heart rate
What exercises should and can be done:
-30 minutes of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week
-Jogging (if already a runner)
-Weight training as along as heavy lifting is avoided
MYTHS ABOUT EXERCISING WHILE PREGNANT
Myth: Never Get your heart rate above 130 beats per minute.
Fact: There is no target heart rate for women while pregnant. Best way to determine if you are working too hard or not hard enough is that you should be able to talk while exercising. If you can't make a full sentence without catching your breath, its okay as long as you are not over exerting yourself.
Myth: It is not safe to do abdominal work while pregnant.
Fact: Working your abdominals may actually help strengthen the pelvic floor but also help with the pregnancy, labor, delivery, and recovery. However, exercises on your back should be avoided after the first trimester.
Myth: Pregnancy can make you more prone to injury.
Fact: During pregnancy the body produces a hormone called relaxin which is made to lubricate joints. Therefore, it is best to avoid deep muscle or joint movements such as: heavy lunges and squats.
Myth: If you exercises too much during pregnancy, it will pull nutrients from the baby.
Fact: The reality is that the baby is going to get what it needs. When exercising hard you will dip into your own nutrients stores without hurting the babies growth. Rather, babies of mothers who exercise during pregnancy are born learner with a better cardiovascular system.
Myth: If you have never exercises before, now is not the time to start.
Fact: It is better to start now than to never start at all. Start exercising by doing something small, 10 minutes a day, such as going on a walk. Once you build up your stamina you can start walking for longer durations at a higher intensity and frequency. By exercising it will not only help combat fatigue of pregnancy but it will also help you sleep better at time.
In the end, get moving and stay moving.....your body, baby and husband will thank you!
Dedicated to my clients who are expecting their first child! Congratulations L.O. and K.M.!
The New York Times