1. Don’t get HR above 140 beats per minute while exercising.
This was an ACOG recommendation but after extensive research it was over written in 1982 and 31yrs later I still get pregnant clients who’ll say, “but I thought I shouldn’t raise my heart rate over 140bpm?” So this outdated info is still getting thrown around and even some OBGYN’s are misinformed. This statement is completely invalid and the new recommendation is to keep exercise at a moderate intensity which means you can still talk or have a conversation while you move.
For women like me who really like to push it in their workouts this can be a tough rule to follow in theory but the way it played out for me in real life was pretty simple. I noticed I was out of breath & tired much sooner than usual so I listened to my body and made adjustments to the tempo & intensity of my workouts from there. I still pushed it! But never so much that I felt dizzy our nauseous.
2. If I didn’t workout before pregnancy than I shouldn’t start now.
False! Heres whats not healthy, being pregnant and going from being completely sedentary to doing extreme 30-60min workouts 5x’s per week. If you are new to exercise, your pregnancy is a great motivator to begin. The benefits are
- lower risk of gestational diabetes
- pressure relief off back
- you’ll have more energy and will be in a better mood too
- its easier to bounce back after baby
- labor and delivery will likely be easier too
Just start slow. Do 10min workouts and slowly increase to 15min, 20min, over time. Good for you for taking a step in the right direction so that you and your baby will benefit from your new, healthy lifestyle!
3. Lifting weights & stretching is too hard on my joints.
You can lift weights with confidence while pregnant because its totally safe! Just make sure you maintain proper berthing (don’t hold your breath) and be careful to not bear down too heavily on the pelvic floor. You may feel this sensation in 3rd Trimester while raising up from any type of squat for example. In 2nd & 3rd Trimester stay off your back because it restricts blood flow to your brain and uterus. Incline benches are a great replacement.
Relaxin is a hormone released during pregnancy that loosens up the joints and it may make you feel more flexible while stretching. Just be careful not to push it too hard or you may damage the tissue around your joints which is no bueno long term. So stay in good form while stretching and don’t push too much. If you do this, you’ll be fine!
4. Don’t do crunches while you’re pregnant.
Your baby is quite secure in there so don’t worry about bending at the waist. Strengthening your abs by doing crunches in the first trimester is ok and I recommend it! But somewhere in your second trimester when you see your belly begin to bulge you should make the switch to planks & side planks or hanging ab crunches just because at this point you want to stay off your back.
Another key note is to exhale and pull your abdomen toward your spine like you’re hugging baby with your muscles on the positive movement or when you contract or abs. If you get to a point in pregnancy where you are no longer able to pull your abs in, then stop doing crunches and especially don’t do plank pose because this could result in creating or worsening separated abs. Instead, use moves to strengthen your obliques like side plank, or side ab crunches.
5. You’re pregnant and eating for 2!
Nope! Not even close! You need an estimated 300 extra calories per day toward the end of second trimester and throughout your third trimester too.