Myths Surrounding Exercise During Pregnancy

Posted December 12, 2012 by in Pregnancy

Finally personal trainers and pregnant woman are becoming increasingly aware of the healthy benefits of prenatal exercise for both mom and baby.

Due to outdated exercise information and courses moms-to-be have been kept in the dark about how important it actually is to exercise. It has been proven that babies of moms who carried out moderate to relatively high intensity exercise at least three times a week for 40 mins had babies with higher IQ’s and better language skills. Mothers have less back pain, quicker recovery and more energy during pregnancy and after birth.

MYTH #1: Pregnant women should not work out if they were not previously engaged in an exercise program.

TRUTH: Exercise can start at any time, so long as it proceeds and builds gradually. Consistency is most important. If you have been told to rest up in the early days of pregnancy do so but as soon as the doctor gives you the go ahead keep on top of your exercise at a moderate intensity like walking. Don’t do nothing.

MYTH #2: Pregnant women should not exercise more than three times per week.

TRUTH: Following a doctor’s approval, it’s recommended that pregnant women engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily, five or more times a week.

MYTH #3: Pregnant women must keep their heart rate under 140 beats per minute during exercise.

TRUTH: Instead of counting beats per minute, use the Borg Scale (measures perceived exertion) or a simple talk test to assess intensity. Never get out of breath or workout harder than what you’ve been used to prior to falling pregnant.

MYTH #4: A pregnant woman following a regular exercise schedule needs to eat for two.

TRUTH: You’re not eating for two. Eat to appetite and then stop.

MYTH #5: Abdominal exercises are not appropriate during pregnancy.

TRUTH: Pregnancy is a very important time to work the abdominals – you just need to change how you’re doing so. Because they’re stretched out, the abs aren’t as efficient in pregnancy, so traditional crunches aren’t appropriate. Additionally, you shouldn’t be on your back for more than a couple of minutes following the first trimester. However, there are many core exercises you can do sitting, standing or on all fours. It is important to rather work the deep transverse abdominus muscles. This will ease any back pain or prevent it. Exercises like the ‘Bridge or Plank’ are great for this.

MYTH #6: Kegels are not necessary if you’re going to have a Caesarean.

TRUTH: The most damage to the pelvic floor is caused during pregnancy – not delivery. Urinary incontinence is still an issue for C-section patients.

Once you have had your baby and maintained a decent level of fitness you will be able to slot into it in no time at all and without the need for a baby sitter by attending Fit4Health’s 2×2 Stroller Training in the beautiful Mitchell Park in the mornings. Classes emphasize cardiovascular activities and muscle strengthening exercises using resistance bands, body weight and strollers, allowing moms to interact with their babies throughout their workout.

About the Author

Woman Online
Woman Online

Woman Online Magazine is a lifestyle publication for women of South Africa to share their views - a one-stop online source for women who want the latest news, reviews and information.

One Comment

    Boenie Bees

    Bron is excellent. Have done a few of her sessions fantastic. Just to look at her body after 2 children you can see what program is like. Good

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