Exercising While Pregnant: Common Myths



BY MADISON SKAKLE

I am pregnant with my first child, due in May, and have learned so much about working out while pregnant. There are tons of opinions, facts and myths about exercising while pregnant, and I’m sharing my personal experience from what I’ve learned!

Myth #1: “You can do all the same things you did before you were pregnant.”

When I found out I was pregnant, I had the mindset that literally nothing would change for my workouts while pregnant. You know why I thought this? I saw other pregnant people working out super intensely and thought I’d be in that boat. However, my first trimester involved nausea throughout the day, and this didn’t allow me to work out with the same intensity as I did before pregnancy. Instead, I chose a lower-impact option, such as Yoga and Pilates, and paired that with walking my dogs as much as I could. Everyone is different and every pregnancy is different. Do what works for your body and not your neighbor’s body.

 

Myth #2: “You shouldn’t jump while working out.”

I had numerous people tell me not to jump a lot when you’re pregnant, because the embryo will detach. However, when I asked my doctor about this, he said to do whatever feels right for you. He also told me that nothing is off limits except for hot yoga, because it raises your body temperature too much (for me personally). I was paranoid to jump any, even in my second trimester, but found that when my second trimester came, I wanted to up my workouts a little, because I was feeling better after my first trimester. Don’t be scared! Ask your doctor if you have any doubts before doing a certain workout.

 

Myth #3: “You cannot work your core while pregnant.”

It’s okay to do some core work while pregnant, as long as you’re not spending 60 minutes a day, every day, working your abs. You do want to let your belly grow, and that involves relaxing those muscles. I did some core work in the first trimester and then stopped spending much time on it when I started to feel nauseous working my core. Again, if it feels odd: don’t do it. It can be that simple!

 

Myth #4: “Do the same thing as everyone else in the fitness class.”

I’m a fitness instructor and have been in the fitness industry for 10 years, so I am fortunate enough to know modifications for pregnancy. However, if you’re in a class, be aware that your instructor cannot tell you a modification for every move, because there isn’t enough time for them to do individual modifications. I recommend going up to the instructor before class and asking him/her [for] the modifications, so you can be prepared once the class starts. For example, my sciatica (lower back area) hurts when I lie on my back since I’ve been pregnant. When we are doing chest presses, I put the bench higher on my chest to prevent my back from hurting. That’s an easy modification, and I still get a great workout!

 

Myth #5: “You need to stop working out while pregnant.”

Keep working out while you’re pregnant! My doctor told me that since I am hoping to keep my workouts up while pregnant, there are studies that show you will have an easier birth. Keep your strength up and keep getting yourself into the gym. Yes, this may mean changing up some of the things you do, but there are seasons in life. Listen to your body and do what’s best for you and your baby!


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