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3 Things To Consider When Exercising During Pregnancy
By Meagan - May 13, 2014

3 Things To Consider When Exercising During Pregnancy

3 Things To Consider When Exercising During Pregnancy | Bulk Herb Store Blog | Learn 3 important things to keep in mind when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. Our expert shares her knowledge in today's post! Guest Post by Bethany Learn of Fit2Be.com Purposeful movement is crucial to a healthy pregnancy, labor and birth... even if exercising during pregnancy is the last thing you feel like doing when you're nauseous during the early months or feeling like a beached whale in those final weeks. Above all it's important to realize you don't have to workout like an athlete or learn yoga to obtain the benefits of fitness during your maternity phases of life.

Begin With Simple Activities

If you ARE the athletic type or you already have a favorite workout style, you can continue at pretty much the same activity level {with some modifications since certain exercises will increase your recovery time post-birth} if you've been consistent with those activities for at least 6 months prior to become pregnant. The day after you get a positive pregnancy test, however, is NOT the time to set new weight loss, endurance or stamina goals. If you've been inactive, it's definitely time to start walking and getting those leg and core muscles prepared for the marathon of birth!

Common Pregnancy Exercise Myths

3 Things To Consider When Exercising During Pregnancy | Bulk Herb Store Blog | Learn 3 important things to keep in mind when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. Our expert shares her knowledge in today's post! "Listen to YOUR body," is my catch phrase for my clientele and members of Fit2B Studio. Your body will tell you when it needs more and when it's had enough. For a long time, women were told they shouldn't allow their heartrates to go over 140 beats per minute when exercising. But I had mine quite a bit higher quite often during my pregnancies while continuing to teach step, spin cycling, weightlifting {and good grief, just chasing my toddler while pregnant would do it!} and that old rule has now been tossed out, as you can read HERE. Another myth is that you will steal calories - and thus growth - from your baby by exercising, but studies have shown that women who exercise generally have babies with healthier weights and fewer health issues than those who don't. I was always more active than all my friends {it's my job, not bragging} having babies at the same time, and mine were bigger then theirs and had no jaundice or weight loss issues after birth. Wait, did I just make you NOT want to move by saying your baby will be bigger? Don't worry, you're designed to stretch downt there. No really, you are made to birth, and barring any major complications you and your baby will both intuitively know what to do when your special day comes. Eating foods that are nutritiously well-rounded and close to the earth {unprocessed} and moving every day in ways you love will do the most to ensure you have a healthy birth and postpartum recover BUT I have a few things for you to watch out for:
  • Avoid doing loads of Kegels - If you do Kegels, please be totally sure, you're doing them correctly, including a relaxation phase like I do in my Mula Bandha routines, and not just squeezing, squeezing, squeezing your lady bits because... um, well, do you want to push a baby through a tight, overflexed muscle? How do you relax that muscle after you've flexed it 500 times? Women do these sorts of things because they've been told it's good for maintaining tone, and they'll get their muscles back faster BUT if you tear worse because that area was too tight, and baby had to {eek!} rip through that tightness, you just added stitches and a LONGER RECOVERY time to your babymoon. Not fun! Believe me, if you have 5 minutes to do some basic work, choose squats and transverse abdominus work over Kegels.
  • Avoid spending a lot of time reclining - I know you're too tired to think half the time, but spending several hours a day leaning back instead of sideways or upright with good posture encourages malpositioned babies that don't fit through your pelvis. I absolutely love The Tummy Team's prenatal core program for how you learn active sitting and core integration, because you want baby to come out head down, face back toward your bum... but the heaviest part of baby is the back of it's head, so if you're leaning back a lot... can you say back labor and longer delivery?
  • Avoid crunches and sit ups - These popular, go-to motions are simply unfit for the pregnant belly... or any belly. Yes, this statement makes me standout among all exercise professionals, but I'm not alone. With research showing that about 70% of women who have ever been pregnant maintain residual abdominal separation {check yourself for diastasis recti HERE at Fit2B} and with crunching and jack-knife motions increasing the pressure inside your core and bulging that sensitive seam of connective tissue, there are just so many motions that are better for you body than those. Planks should also be avoided if you already have diastasis recti due to the downward pull of gravity on that damaged area. Fit2B is full of workouts you CAN do safely while pregnant.

The Easiest Exercise

What never ceases to amaze me are the women whose bellies I feel with ZERO separation, and I ask these ladies what they do for exercise, and they say, "Oh nothing. Just walking." Walking is exercise, so I laugh at them and affirm that their "nothing, walking" is what kept their core so healthy. It never fails: the mom who just walks always has less separation, while the moms who don't exercise at all or - on the flipside - overexercise their bellies are still dealing with major separation years down the road. And separated tummy muscles can really impede your ability to flatten that tummy and get your body back! And might I say that I've designed almost 100 TummySafe routines to help you do just that over HERE.
What has your prenatal exercise routine been like? Have you even had one? Share your stories in the comments below.
Bethany Learn of Fit2Be.comBethany Learn is the CEO and founder of Fit2B Studio, an online fitness portal at fit2b.com that provides unlimited access to almost 100 wholesome workouts for the whole family to members worldwide. Her family-friendly focus keeps things modest, safe and fun for all ages. She is passionate about standing in the gap for those who have been led to believe that they will always look pregnant or will always leak when exercising. Bethany is happiest when she is proving to people that they don't have to injure themselves to get into the best shape of their lives, or when she's just talking about birth and fitness. Bethany lives in the Pacific Northwest on 7 acres with her husband, two children, 4 goats, 15 chickens, a chihuahua, and 2 horses.
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