1. Lifting Weights is Dangerous For You & Your Baby
Just the opposite is true, it seems. The outcomes for moms and babies are better with prenatal exercise. The research shows that fitter moms have shorter labors, less chance of preterm labor, fewer complications, and shorter hospital stays.
Also of note is that women who exercise during pregnancy report lower rates of perceived exertion during labor, than women who did not exercise. Ever better news is that fit moms have healthier babies. A recent study showed that exercise during pregnancy might program a baby’s heart to resist cardiovascular problems later in life, because they have stronger blood vessels. Another new study found that the brains of babies born to women who exercised moderately throughout pregnancy appear to mature faster.
2. The Perfect Training Programme: Walking Prenatal Yoga & Water Aerobics
I love yoga and I like walking. I must confess I thought Water Aerobics went out of ‘fitness fashion’ along with leotards and Jane Fonda style workouts. While all (perhaps not the water aerobics) are fabulous activities to have as part of your prenatal exercise routine. You just can’t beat the benefits of a strength training program added to these options.
You need to be strong to support your changing body. To maintain your strength as you carry extra weight. To help your postpartum recovery process. To prepare yourself and your baby for intense moments of labour and delivery.
Just as your body will experience a multitude of changes as you progress through pregnancy, your program will need to go on a journey too. What you did in your first trimester might not be working for you in the third. Have to lower your intensity? Decrease your weights? That is totally necessary and normal. You will absolutely get back to where you were and likely, an even stronger version of your new-mama self.
3. Don’t Let Your Heart Rate Rise Over 130 BPM During Exercise.
We recommend that all of our clients, not just the soon to be mum’s wear MYZONE heart rate monitors while training. The coaches can then monitor, in real time, the clients heart rate as a percentage of their max heart rate and can reduce the intensity of the training should the clients heart rate raise above 80% of their max heart rate. Most of our pregnant clients, are easily hitting 130bpm near the end of their warm-up. Breathing has deepened, they’re able to continue with conversation, just starting to sweat, and most importantly, feeling great.
The cause for concern with too high a heart rate has to do with the muscles pulling all the oxygen and not enough going to the fetus. This is a legitimate concern. However, the 130bpm guidelines come from outdated research, which was understandably cautious.
We now know the heart rate can be pushed higher than this without worry. We recommend using the MYZONE Heart Rate Monitor or very simply the “Talk Test” to guide you. If you’re feeling great, being appropriately challenged, breathing harder but not out of breath, are able to hold a conversation and allowing ample recovery during and between your workouts—your being safe.
Keep in mind, your body and your baby are going to go through stressful periods during labour and delivery. Think of your strength and interval training as test runs for the impending contractions of labour. You work hard for 30-60 seconds, rest, and repeat. This is what prenatal training is all about. Prepare yourself for the main event!
4. Do Not Start A Strength Training Programme While Pregnant.
While it’s true that if you have never done strength training before, pregnancy is probably not the time to start slinging weights around the gym unsupervised. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot start a strength training programme while pregnant while being guided through your strength training by a reputable, qualified personal trainer whose job is to help you keep your changing body as strong, stable, and comfortable as possible—for as long as possible.
First things first, get permission from your doctor or midwife. Then set up a consultation with a Personal Trainer who is used to working with pregnant clients. The Personal Training can create a training programme for you that concentrates on your posterior chain, a group of muscles made up of the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves. These exercises will help to improve posture throughout pregnancy and helps reduce lower back pain. The Personal Trainer will ensure that you practice your strength training at a reasonable, steady pace — using lightweights and doing high repetitions of exercises.
5. Strength Training Will Only Make You More Exhausted.
The fact is, pregnancy fatigue can be a huge struggle for many expectant moms — especially during the first trimester and the last month of pregnancy.
However the truth is daily exercise will actually give you a rejuvenated burst of energy, even when your feeling tired. Besides being good for you and your baby, working out during pregnancy can even give you back some of that get-up-and-go that you’re pretty sure had gotten up and left.
Obviously listen to your body and if your tired, sleep! But when you do decide to train don’t forfeit strength training for fear of exhaustion later in the day! Remember at these times, exercise during pregnancy doesn’t have to be exhausting to be effective. A thirty minute gym visit can be even more relaxing than a stint on the sofa.
30-Day Kick Start Programmes
If you feel have a goal in mind and feel that you could use a the guidance or support of some of the best Personal Trainers in the country, we offer a 30 Day Kick Start programme in our Churchtown based gym. We offer both Personal Training and Group Training programmes. During the 30 days, you’ll learn what you need to know to continue on your own path following the 30 days, or you can always sign up for 1-on-1 Training or Semi Private Training or even Group Training at SMART Training to continue working with a personal trainer.