(sorry to all you non-pregnant readers-- I promise there won't be too many posts dedicated to pregnancy)
I am getting near the end of my pregnancy.... the last trimester.. yahoo!! I have always tried to be consistent in my exercise program so when I became pregnant I did not want to get out of the habit. So in the beginning months, I did lots of researching on pregnancy and exercise. Before getting pregnant I had heard all kinds of things about what I should and shouldn't do as far as exercise during pregnancy. I've had friends that swear on running and continuing to exercise throughout their whole pregnancy and others that were so scared to do any sort of more intense physical activity.
What is FACT and what is the MYTH?
I found this great article by Colette Bouchez on WebMD that helped me really know what is safe... Click here to read the whole article. I will highlight a few main points from the article.
**Remember that everyone is different and you should consult your Dr. before any exercise program**
Fact #1: If you were a runner before pregnancy, you can continue to run during pregnancy.
As long as you and your pregnancy are healthy, and you feel OK, experts say it's safe to run right up until you go into labor. If it does start to feel "odd," she says, listen to your body and don't do it. It is not the time to break any performance records. Realize that as your pregnancy progresses, you're going to be able to do a little less with each trimester (yep def. started noticing this). So don't compete with your pre-pregnancy running achievements.
Fact #2: Not every exercise is safe to do during pregnancy.
Exercises involving balance, like biking or skiing, or contact sports like soccer and basketball can be risky during pregnancy. After the fourth month, your balance is affected. That's when you don't want to do anything that will put your body in an unstable position.
Myth #1: Never get your heart rate over 130 while exercising during pregnancy.
There is no one "target" heart rate that's right for every pregnant woman.
Myth #2: It's not safe to do abdominal work during pregnancy.
Not only is it OK, experts say ab workouts can provide many benefits. "Strengthening your abdominal and core will help not only during pregnancy, but may also aid in labor and delivery -- and recovery," says Sue Fleming, a certified fitness instructor. You should avoid any exercises that you have to do on your back after the first trimester. Fleming suggests gentle standing pelvic tilts, seated belly breathing, or tightening abs, holding, then releasing, as good ways to keep ab muscles in top condition.
Myth #3: If I exercise too much during pregnancy, I will pull nutrients from my baby so he/she won't grow properly.
The reality is that your baby is going to get what it needs. So if anything, you'll have a dip in your own nutrient stores, but your baby's stores will be fine. The way to avoid any problems for you, is to keep blood sugar levels balanced by eating smaller, more frequent meals.
Myth #4: If I never exercised before pregnancy, now is not the time to start.
If you never excised before, pregnancy is not the time to become an exercise fanatic, but that doesn't mean you have to spend nine months sitting on the couch. Something as simple as taking a daily walk or going for a swim can do wonders for your pregnancy, and make you feel better as well. It may also help you combat the fatigue of pregnancy and help you sleep better at night. Start slow!
So get out and exercise!! It will help you avoid that excess weight gain, helps against fatigue, reduces back aches, and increases your mood.