Our West Hartford Connecticut Personal Trainer knows that this is, sometimes, a controversial subject. After all, every woman is different and every single pregnancy is different also.
The first thing our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer will do, if you ask him about exercise during pregnancy, is suggest you first talk to your doctor. Your doctor knows your body almost as well as you do.
If the physician clears the pregnant woman for exercise (and if there are no specific conditions or complications with the pregnancy), then his second response is, “Yes. If you can remain active during a healthy pregnancy, it will often help you, and even the baby.”
It is good to be physically active before you get pregnant. Being fit beforehand will condition your body to handle the pregnancy. But if you are not physically active prior to pregnancy, you still can be active during, and find ways to exercise. Even if it’s just walking.
Our Personal Trainer in West Hartford Connecticut said that many or most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as you exercise with caution, listen to your body, and do not overdo it.
There are some old wives’ tales out there.
Do Not Get Your Heart Rate over a 140 (or other number): There is no one number that is right for everyone. The main reason this wives’ tale probably came about is because doctors were concerned that if a woman’s heart rate got up too high, that she would overheat and the baby might overheat, also.
It is more important, says our West Hartford Connecticut Personal Trainer, to base a pregnant woman’s workout on RPE or the rate of perceived exertion. This takes into account how hard someone is working, and as mentioned, a pregnant woman should not overdo it and listen to her body.
You Should Not Run If You Are Pregnant: Our Personal Trainer West Hartford Connecticut says that if you ran before pregnancy, you may still be able to run during pregnancy. This one is really dependent on how the woman feels.
“If you feel ‘off’ or ‘odd,’ experience dizziness or shortness of breath where you didn’t before, then you should probably hold off or stop. But if you feel fine jogging or running, then you normally can continue to do this activity safely during pregnancy.”
During the fourth month and after, a woman’s balance may get thrown off a little and the hormone relaxin is often flooding the body. This hormone may have an effect on ligaments and connective tissue, and thereby may possibly make a pregnant woman more prone to injury. So be careful.
“Do not be surprised if you find yourself running less and less. That’s ok.”
He goes on to say, “a pregnant woman should not start running during pregnancy if she has not run before. Furthermore, she should not start training for a marathon or half-marathon during pregnancy. Keep that goal for post-pregnancy. And she should not feel like she has to keep her pre-pregnancy, or even first trimester, running speed.”
The rule of thumb is to not push it, and again, listen to your body.
You Can’t Lift Weights During Pregnancy: Again, our West Hartford Connecticut Personal Trainer says that lifting weights may depend on the pregnant individual. If you are used to lifting weights on a regular basis, at least for the first and second trimester, you should be able to lift weights with no problems. As your balance begins to become affected, through the growth of your tummy, you may find that certain exercises– for instance, alternating lunges, or squats without the use of a Smith machine (which will help to stabilize you)–may be tricky.
You may wish to reduce the amount of weight you are lifting.
“Now is not the time to be Superwoman, by increasing your lifts,” says our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut. “You can start adding weight when your pregnancy is over, but I would not recommend the progressive overload principle at this time. Exercising cautiously is the way to go.”
Our West Hartford Connecticut Personal Trainer also highly recommends remembering to breathe. Breathing correctly, whether pregnant or not, is important to avoid dizziness. If you are training in CT and in the cold, be careful to keep your temperature stable.
Something to remember is that after the first trimester, you should not be doing exercises in the supine or lying down position (think, bench press, or ab crunches). This is because being in the supine position can place pressure on the vena cava, a major blood vessel, and can be associated with decreased cardiac output.
The main theme with exercising while pregnant is that if you are careful, you will find that exercise will help to elevate your mood and energy levels, and with a few concessions here or there, depending on how your body is feeling, you should be able to exercise throughout most or all of your nine months. Remember to always be eating enough carbohydrates or your body will react poorly.
“Some of our clients,” says our West Hartford Connecticut Personal Trainer, “exercise up until the day before they give birth, and often, they tell us what a difference their exercise and fitness have made during the baby’s delivery.” This helps in so many ways, especially how training affects your mood!