How many times have you been told that exercise isn’t safe during pregnancy? You’ve probably heard that strength training is off limits, and that future moms should refrain from physical activity. These are just some of the most common myths about prenatal fitness. Health experts agree that regular exercise can be beneficial for both mom and baby. It’s no doubt about it.
So, here are five myths of pregnancy exercise you should stop believing:
Exercise Causes Miscarriage
Contrary to popular belief, working out while pregnant doesn’t cause miscarriage or preterm labor. Most activities, including yoga, pilates, and swimming, can lower the risk of pregnancy complications. Certain exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and increase blood flow to your reproductive organs, leading to a healthier pregnancy. Researchers have also found that a sedentary lifestyle actually increases the risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Ab Work Is Unsafe During Pregnancy
Many women mistakenly believe that ab work is not safe during pregnancy. This is just another myth. Most abdominal exercises are beneficial and safe for moms-to-be. The only exceptions include full sit-ups, double leg raises, weighted crunches, and any moves that require lying on your back after the first trimester. Ab exercises help build a strong core and may even prevent or relieve back pain, so include them in your routine.
Weight Lifting Puts Stress on Your Joints
You may have been told that lifting weights puts too much stress on your joints. Nothing could be further from the truth. This activity actually strengthens your joints and muscles, which helps in pregnancy. It’s also the best way to stay fit, reduce weight gain, and keep your metabolism up. To stay safe, listen to your body and don’t try to break any records at this point.
Cardio Training Can Hurt Your Baby
Any workout that gets your heart pumping is safe during pregnancy. As long as you don’t overdo it, there is nothing to worry about. The best cardio exercises for future moms are swimming, jogging, treadmill walking, indoor cycling, and stair climbing.
Prenatal Exercise Slow Down Recovery
Many moms are afraid to exercise because they believe it can affect their ability to recover postpartum. Studies indicate that women who stay active while pregnant gain fewer pounds and recover from the strain of labor faster. They also find it easier to get back in shape and lose excess weight after pregnancy.