There are many old wives’ tales out there that caution pregnant women against exercising but luckily, medical practitioners have debunked these myths for good! Expectant mums everywhere can rejoice in the knowledge that exercising during your pregnancy is totally okay and that it's never too late to start improving the health of both you and baby dearest!
Misconception 1: Exercising can harm the child
Gynaecologists have swiftly countered this myth and confirmed that not only is the right kind of exercise harmless to the child, it also does wonders for the mother’s body. Exercise keeps your body strong and fit, preparing you for the arduous task of labour. It also provides much-needed stress relief which is definitely needed in the long, tiring months of carrying a developing child inside your body.
Misconception 2: Exercise less in the later trimesters
It’s not true that you should exercise more vigorously in the first trimester of your pregnancy and then tone it down as the foetus grows larger. In fact, your energy levels increase as you progress into the later trimesters which means you CAN do more in your workouts. However, as you get close to the due date, you should taper the intensity of your workouts to something gentler – swimming or prenatal yoga are good ideas of low-intensity exercises. Save the heavy squats till after labour and only when you're fully recovered!
Misconception 3: The types of exercises you can do are heavily restricted
You don’t have to shy away from the exercises that you love when you are pregnant, just work on them with extra caution! Love ab exercises? You can definitely continue working on them – just avoid those that require you to be flat on the back when you are 20 weeks and further into the pregnancy as this position restricts blood flow to the placenta. Love lifting weights? There’s no reason for you to stop – you just have to engage a personal trainer to be your spotter for safety reasons (better still if he/she has experience with pre-natal clients). Whatever activities you love, be it yoga or spinning or line dancing, know that you don’t have to put them on hiatus during pregnancy. All you need is a little tweak here and there to ensure that the activity accommodates your new physical state. Speak to your gynaecologist and trainer to work out the best plan that’s safe for you and your young one – you’re sure to find one that satisfies you!
You don’t have to put your normal life on hold on the account of pregnancy; there are lots of exercises and other hobbies that you can still engage in to keep yourself physically and mentally active. There's no sense in leading a sedentary life when the belief about how pregnant women should do as little as possible is simply unfounded. Not only will staying active keep you sane during those nine demanding months, but it'll also put you in a much better position for recovery thereafter!