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 sofa.
Lots of clients have asked me how some women get their flat stomach back within months of having babies and the answer is - they exercise, eat healthy and the remain active. Pregnancy is not a punishment, it is a blessing so go and enhance it! Instead of reading all the rumors on 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 that I have seen and heard a lot, which are not necessarily correct.
Myth 1: It is dangerous to lift weights during pregnancy
Pregnancy isn't 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 your bump is getting bigger. If you didn't exercise before pregnancy it is still beneficial to start exercising then saying "it's too late" 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 the pelvis. Yes it is safe to squat with a barbell and it is 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 that 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 things to go out of control. While you roughly need 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
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 done in moderation and if you feel a little bit more tired than usual there is no harm in taking a day off the gym.