Myth Busters: Prenatal Fitness

Eat healthy. Satisfy your cravings. Work out. Do not work out. Don’t lift that.
Are you sure you can run? Do any of these opinions sound familiar? While pregnant,
the conflicting advice runs rampant. So I am here today to bust three popular fitness
prenatal myths.

  • If you weren’t working out before your pregnancy, stick to walking
    only. Exercise is one of the best things you can give your baby and your body
    during pregnancy. Increased energy, quicker postpartum healing, and less
    weight gain are all benefits. Public health guidelines recommend 150
    minutes a week of moderate exercise that includes yoga, Pilates, brisk
    walking, and water aerobics.
  • The only value of exercise is to shed those postpartum pounds more quickly. The benefits of exercise far exceed this
    one statement. While it is true that exercise will allow you to shed your
    pregnancy weight gain more easily, it also increases your metabolic function
    and dramatically decreases your risk of heart disease. Even if you do not see
    your desired weight loss after pregnancy, you should still continue to
    exercise because your body is benefiting internally.
  • You can’t exercise your abs during pregnancy. Up to week 14 in
    pregnancy, you can do traditional abs exercises and it is actually
    recommended because a strong set of abs helps guard against back pain
    (particularly common during the third trimester). After week 14, you want to
    shy away from exercises like crunches that will separate your abs (diastasis
    recti) and begin to do moves such as planks for short periods of time (5-10
    seconds). This exercise in particular will strength both your back and your
    abs will promote a strong core for labor and delivery.

Most importantly, listening to your body is crucial. If you feel you need a nap or
become dizzy/ lightheaded after your workout, it was probably too strenuous. A
moderate prenatal work out should renew and revive energy levels and promote
mental health. Be well, mamas!

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