There are so many myths surrounding pregnancy and exercise. Some people seem to believe that you shouldn’t do ANYTHING during pregnancy, but that’s not the case! While we bust these myths, remember that everybody is different during pregnancy, as some conditions or circumstances can prevent you from working out. Always check with your doctor before you start an exercise program.
MYTH #1: Exercise is Dangerous for the Baby!
Many people believe that exercising, especially lifting weights, is not safe for you and your baby while pregnant, but this is untrue! Not only is it safe, but it’s highly beneficial for pregnant bodies. Staying active while pregnant keeps your body strong and healthy, making birth much easier on your body and helping you recover from birth quicker.
MYTH #2: Your Heart Rate Shouldn’t Exceed 140 BPM!
The myth that you should keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minute while pregnant has been proven false for decades. Instead of your heart rate, go by the “rate of perceived exertion” or RPE scale Swedish researcher Gunnar Borg developed in the 1960s. The original RPE scale starts at six (no exertion) and goes up to 20 (maximum exertion). A rating between 12 and 14 typically reflects a moderate or somewhat intense exertion. To learn more about the RPE scale, go here: Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale.
MYTH #3: Running and Jumping Aren’t Safe!
For a healthy pregnant body, doing exercises that involve running and jumping is generally safe. There may be a time when it becomes uncomfortable in your abdomen and pelvic floor, which would be an excellent time to cut those exercises out of your routine. Typically, running and jumping are safe during pregnancy’s first and second trimesters, but as we previously said, always talk to your doctor first.
MYTH #4: You Can’t Exercise Like You Did Before Pregnancy!
A common misconception is that you can’t continue exercising the way you did before pregnancy. If you’re a CrossFit lover or participate in power-lifting workouts regularly, you can continue during pregnancy; you’d have to modify your workouts a bit. It’s wise to scale down weight when exercising while pregnant, but again, listen to your body and your doctor before moving forward.
MYTH #5: If You Didn’t Exercise Before Pregnancy, You Can’t During Pregnancy!
On the flip side of #4, people also believe that you can’t exercise during pregnancy if you don’t exercise before pregnancy. You’re fine if you aren’t jumping right to powerlifting heavy weights! You can start an exercise routine if you’re having a healthy pregnancy and cleared by your doctor. Make sure you research and keep your medical provider updated on your current workouts and workouts you want to try.