Debunking 4 Myths About Exercising During Pregnancy
Safely exercising during pregnancy can be tough when there are so many conflicting pieces of information available. Personal trainer, Maria Sam, from Bumps and Burpees and Lomax has debunked some of the most common myths so you can start exercising without worrying.
There are so many myths about exercising during pregnancy. They are so easy to believe, especially if it’s your first pregnancy and you are scared to make an extra move or you end up just trying to find excuses to eat anything while remaining horizontal on your couch. However, every client I have trained so far, asks me how celebrities/ friends/ neighbours get their flat stomachs within months of having their babies. Well, the answer is - they exercise, they eat healthily and they do remain active. Pregnancy is not a punishment, it’s a blessing so go and enhance it! Instead of reading all the rumours from the internet, seek advice from an expert trainer and with the blessing from your doctor, incorporate fitness into your pregnant life.
Here are some common facts I get to hear a lot, which are not necessarily correct.
Myth 1: It is dangerous to lift weight during pregnancy
Ok, I am not saying pregnancy is the time to smash your squat PB’s, but applying resistance to your muscles is extremely beneficial. You want to maintain all the muscle in your body, and be able to move and function well.There are certain movements that will become more difficult to perform, simply because of your bump getting bigger but nothing drastic. If you didn't exercise prior to pregnancy it would still be more beneficial to start exercising than focus on another excuse “it’s too late now”. The truth is, it is never too late! You can use your body weight to perform most compound movements, which will benefit your body, your state of mind and your appearance. Also, it will ease your delivery as your muscles will be conditioned and strong, especially core muscles around those around the pelvis. Yes, it’s safe to squat with the barbell and it’s safe to twist your core as well.
Myth 2: Exercising leads to dehydration and overheating
Partly it’s true, overheating can be harmful for your baby's development, however, no one is saying you should be drenched in sweat and run until you are short of breath. The key is to stay hydrated and drinking enough water before, during and after training. A little sweat is ok, just make sure to stay hydrated.
Myth 3: You can eat for two
No you can’t! This is when you allow to things go out of control. While you do need roughly 20% more food while pregnant it doesn’t mean a ‘green light’ for all the donuts and croissants. Have well-balanced meals rich in protein, carbohydrates and fats. If you stick to a healthy diet during pregnancy you are also setting up good habits for post pregnancy and your baby. Remember, the 2nd person you are eating for is very little and doesn't need an extra slice of cake!
Myth 4: Exercising will make you even more tired
Well, as bizarre as it sounds - it won’t! It may feel a bit difficult to begin with however, training will boost your energy level in the long term. Often after the first couple of weeks of training, most of my clients start booking in for an extra session each week, because it makes them feel good. They find they sleep better, and feel more energised throughout the day. Again, everything should be in moderation and if you feel a little bit more tired than usual there is no harm in taking a day off the gym.
Maria Sam is a personal trainer with Bumps and Burpees at Lomax, which is London based fitness studio that focuses on prenatal and postnatal training to help pregnant and post-birth women stay fit and healthy. For more information you can head to their website.