The Facts Of Prenatal Exercise

Feb 17, 2012 24 Comments by

When  you’re pregnant, are you afraid to start or keep exercising? This myth-busting information will help you get the activity you need.

In this age of prenatal Pilates videos and toning classes, most women know that exercise during pregnancy is safe. Yet when it comes to the particulars-Is it OK to work my abs? Do I have to quit jogging? Should I keep my heart rate low?-myths and misconceptions that hold women back persist. There’s still a lot of fear out there that stops pregnant women from exercising,  prenatal fitness trainer an. To put your mind at ease, here’s a reality check five prenatal fitness myths that just won’t die.



Myth: If you were not exercising before you got pregnant, now is not the time to start.

Reality: Pregnancy is the ideal time to get moving. “Nowhere in the medical literature does it say that moderate exercise such as walking is unsafe, even for previously sedentary women,” says Raul Artal, M.D., chairman of the OB-GYN department at Saint Louis University in Missouri and lead author of the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists’ guidelines on prenatal exercise.

The real hazard is inactivity, which contributes to excess weight gain, high blood pressure, aches and pains, and a higher risk of Cesarean section and gestational diabetes. Some 70 percent to 80 percent of women with gestational diabetes develop type II diabetes later in life, research show, and their babies are themselves more likely to become overweight and develop diabetes.

If you have no prenatal medical complications, Artal recommends walking 30 minutes to 60 minutes a day; you can break up the time into shorter sessions if you like. There’s no need to go gangbusters. “You can achieve all the benefits with a moderate pace,” Artal says.

Myth: Resistance (strength) training during pregnancy can cause joint injury.

Reality: It’s true that pregnancy floods your system with relaxing, a hormone that loosens ligaments to prepare your body for delivery. But a 2011 University of Georgia study found that a low-to-moderate-intensity strength program is safe, even for novices. “The relaxin risk is largely theoretical,” says study co-author Patrick O’Connor, PH.D.

The 12-week study tracked 32 women starting at weeks 21 to 25 of their pregnancies. they worked out twice a week, increasing the amount of weight lifted by an average of 36 percent during the study. Not one of the women got injured. A dozen incidents of dizziness, headache and pelvic pain were reported, especially in the early weeks, as the women learned proper breathing technique. The women’s blood pressure did not rise, either during the workouts or over the course of the study. However, intense weight training can increase blood pressure, so it’s important to keep lifting intensity moderate and stop at the first sign of dizziness.

Though O’Connor’s study mostly involved machines, free weights and body-weight exercises such as push-ups and squats are safe, too. (No, squatting won’t trigger labor.)
O’Connor notes that the women were supervised and recommends that anyone who is new to weight training should be as well or consult videos to learn proper technique.

Prenatal Exercise

Prenatal Exercise

Myth: If you are very athletic, you need to greatly dial down your exercise intensity.

Reality: Though nobody recommends gut-busting sprints for pregnant women, you can maintain your program as long as your body and your doctor give you the OK. “If there are no complications, women can continue to exercise at a higher level, but we recommend closer medical supervision,” Artal says.

Early in pregnancy, elevating your core body temperature may be damaging to the fetus, so stay hydrated, don’t exercise outdoors in the heat of the day and avoid huffing and puffing so hard that you can’t talk.
Decades ago, the American College of obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended a ceiling of 140 heartbeats per minute for pregnant women, but the guidelines was later withdrawn because heart rate differs so much from one woman to the next. “I tell everyone to forget about heart rate,” says Artal. Just make sure you can talk comfortably.

Be flexible. Back off on the days when you’re just not feeling energetic, Haley advises, “and take advantage of those days when you feel like a rock star.”

Myth: Running is unsafe during pregnancy.

Reality: You can’t “shake your baby lose”; she’s plenty safe swimming around in amniotic fluid while you jog at the park. “As long as there are no changes in your joints and ligaments; you can continue running,” Artal says.

Some runners are able to keep going many months into their pregnancies, but eventually even Olympic champions are forced by discomfort to switch to lower-impact activities such as walking, water workouts or the elliptical trainer. “It’s just a matter of nature,” Artal says.

Myth: You shouldn’t work your abs.

Reality: True, doing crunches (or other exercises) on your back is a no-no after the first trimester: Your growing uterus can compress the vena cava, the major vessel that returns blood to your heart, potentially reducing blood flow and making you feel dizzy or nauseated. Artal says only about 10 percent of women are susceptible to this dizziness, but why find out if you’re one of them when there plenty of ways to work your entire core while standing or kneeling?

O’Connor’s study included an ab exercise performed while standing: The women exhaled and then drew in their navel toward their spine “as if they were trying to button up pants that were too tight in the waist,” he says.

Haley performed the plank move, a very effective core exercise, until the day she gave birth to her son. “During those last two hours of pushing,” she says, “I was really grateful I had trained my core.”

Exercise During Pregnancy, From Conception To Delivery

24 Responses to “The Facts Of Prenatal Exercise”

  1. Adriana says:

    Great Post! Very informative and helpful. I shall take note of these points for my next pregnancy! I don’t want to gain too much weight to struggle to remove it afterwards!

  2. Rich Levinsky says:

    I do not leave many comments, but after browsing a few of the responses here The Truth About Prenatal Exercise. I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright. Is it simply me or do a few of the responses appear as if they are written by brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional sites, I’d like to follow everything new you have to post. Would you make a list of the complete urls of all your social networking pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  3. Oleta Bitzenhofer says:

    Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! Its always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! Im sure you had fun writing this article.

  4. Deonna Hosseini says:

    Dear friend. I truly just like your posting and your current web page all in all! That write-up is really plainly composed and without difficulty understandable. Your WordPress style is awesome as well! Would be awesome to discover exactly where My partner and i are able obtain this. Please hold up the very good work. We all need much more this kind of website owners just like you on the web and much less spammers. Wonderful man!

  5. Georgeanna Argenal says:

    Hey very nice blog!!

  6. Test123 says:

    You completed certain nice points there. I did a search on the issue and found the majority of people will agree with your blog.

  7. Vernice Gueth says:

    Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my site. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

  8. lisa tantro says:

    I like this weblog so much, saved to fav.

  9. Juliette Barze says:

    Appreciate the recommendation! Let me try it out

  10. Divina Mongomery says:

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It?s the old what goes around comes around routine. Did you acquired lots of links and I see lots of trackbacks??

  11. extra long feather earrings says:

    Thanks for a tremendous submit, may study your others reviews. thanks for your thinking within this, I really felt somewhat thump by this article. Thanks again! You make a great aspect. Portrays natures best by the wonderful data here. I do think that in case a greater number thought of it like this, they’d have got a better time obtain the suspend ofing the issue.

  12. Kyle August says:

    Good morning! I was surfing arround on Google and found this website. I like the articles! I also have a blog . Maybe you will visit my website too.

  13. Danuta Uher says:

    Thanks for an amazing post, may examine your others posts. i appreciate your thinking on this, I soon became somewhat made an impact to by this short article. Merit again! You make a good moment. Has great facts here. I believe that when more individuals thought of it like that, they’d possess a better moment in time have the grasp ofing the situation.

  14. Arnold Radke says:

    Many thanks for an incredible post, can see your others topics. i appreciate your notions on this, I experienced a bit thump by this post. Merit again! You make a great moment. Has excellent data here. I feel if more people consideration for it like that, they’d have got a better time have the suspend ofing the matter.

  15. Rodrick Prach says:

    You have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

  16. Edyth Bozic says:

    I’d personally also like to convey that most of those who find themselves without health insurance are usually students, self-employed and those that are not working. More than half in the uninsured are really under the age of Thirty five. They do not sense they are wanting health insurance since they’re young and healthy. Its income is normally spent on property, food, and also entertainment. Most people that do go to work either entire or in their free time are not offered insurance through their work so they proceed without due to rising tariff of health insurance in the us. Thanks for the thoughts you reveal through this site.

  17. Bauchfett loswerden says:

    I don’t usually say this, although this post is outstanding. I have been browsing Yahoo and google all day for a respectable post on the toxic dump of duplicated and thieved information that the Web has become and then I finally come to this, this website is the breath of refreshing air that I needed this morning.

  18. garth herald says:

    Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and net and this is really annoying. A good website with exciting content, that is what I need. Thank you for keeping this site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  19. Bauchfett loswerden says:

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  20. Jonnie Brudner says:

    There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well.

  21. Demarcus Gadapee says:

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  22. garth herald says:

    I am glad to be a visitant of this double dyed weblog, regards for this rare info!

  23. who is the woman in the direct line advert says:

    Fantastic web site. Lots of useful information here. I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks for your effort!

  24. Dave Pullus says:

    very good post, i definitely love this website, keep on it

Leave a Reply