6 Myths explained about exercise during pregnancy!

5 Feb



There is so much controversy surrounding whether you should exercise while you are pregnant, and if so what kind of exercises, with what kind of weights and for how long? Many people believe that it is dangerous to push yourself your body while pregnant whereas others hardly change a thing about their exercise regimes.

I am going to go through a couple of common myths and tell you a bit more about them and why they are myths and not truths.

MYTH #1. Exercising while you are pregnant takes nutrients from the baby!

Your baby will take what it needs from you regardless of whether you are exercising or not. The important thing is to remember to have enough calories to fuel you and the baby. Before you were pregnant, trying to lose weight and burning off more than you eat is all very well but that won’t cut it while you are making a baby. You need to feed your body with wholesome, healthy goodness for you and your baby. If you eat enough of the right things then exercising will not harm you or the baby one tiny bit.


MYTH #2. Running while pregnant is unsafe for the baby!

You can run throughout your pregnancy as long as you feel comfortable to do so. If you ran before you became pregnant then by all means keep it up. If you didn’t run much before hand, then of course you can run now but don’t over do it and push yourself too hard. Moderate pace, moderate exertion, listen to your body!


MYTH #3. If you didn’t exercise before you were pregnant, it is not safe to start now!

The only truth in this statement is that if you didn’t do it before you were pregnant, don’t jump straight into it at the highest intensity. You need to steadily work your way through certain exercises to make sure they are right for you and build up your stamina as any person would do, pregnant or not! Ask a fitness professional in your gym or consult a personal trainer for help and ideas on which exercises to start with.


MYTH #4. You must keep you heart rate at or below 140 beats per minute!

It is true that you don’t want your heart rate rising too high too quickly but this statement is in fact an old recommendation and in recent years it has changed from 140 bpm to “moderate”. What this means is that you should measure the level of intensity by listening to your own body. If you can talk that is great, if you can sing a song then you probably could push it a bit harder. If ever you are feeling uncomfortable then bring the intensity down or stop all together until you are feeling better.


MYTH #5. Lifting weights whilst you are pregnant is too stressful on the joints!

It is totally safe to lift weights whilst you are pregnant, there are just a few things you need to remember. Do not hold your breath when performing an exercise as this will play havoc with your blood pressure. Don’t push yourself until you are fatigued. Lift weights you feel comfortable lifting, this is not the time to be reaching your PB in weight lifting!! Another important thing to remember is that throughout your pregnancy your joints will become more flexible due to the hormone relaxin so be sure to stand in the correct positions before lifting any weights and watch that you don’t over extend at any joints.


MYTH #6. Doing sit ups while pregnant will squish the baby!

Your baby is pretty safe in your tummy so don’t worry about squishing them. in the first trimester especially, sit ups are absolutely fine and can be performed as normal but in the second and third trimesters it is advised to avoid lying flat on your back so sit ups become more difficult. There is also the added problem of a growing bump getting in the way. At this stage the core needs to be activated and strengthened in other ways such as planks, russian twist and other stabilising movements either on the floor, swiss ball or standing.