Just because you are pregnant does not mean that you have to give up on your nutrition and fitness. In fact, keeping your legs, core, and lower back muscles in shape can help prevent back pain later on in your pregnancy. Also, staying in shape can help you shed that post-baby weight a couple months down the road.
Exercise also helps you stay flexible, which will benefit you during labor and delivery. Try to aim for at least three days a week of weight training and cardio. Muscle building is certainly possible while pregnant, as compound lifts like deadlifts and squats are still totally possible.
First things First: Be Safe
Be very careful and perform each move slowly and correctly. Your body produces a hormone during pregnancy, called Relaxin. This hormone helps soften ligaments and body tissue. While good for labor, it is not ideal for performing fast, jerky movements. While lifting weights is completely acceptable while pregnant, it is vitally important to remember to be extra careful, both for you and your baby’s health.
Focus on moving at a slow and controlled rate. Moderate repetition incorporating low weight training during pregnancy will ensure an injury-free and healthy pregnancy. Remember, this is not necessarily the time to train for most people, but it is as good a time as ever to maintain. Most doctors agree that exercising as you did prior to pregnancy is fine, as long as you avoid movements in which you can fall or contact sports.
You Don’t Have to Quit
As far as the 140bpm heart rate myth goes, doctors have agreed that it is a myth. If you were training hard and well before pregnancy, then you will be fine training while you are pregnant. In fact, keeping your body in good health while pregnant is great. Again, this is not only beneficial for you but also for the health of your baby.
Before you do anything, be sure to talk with your doctor to make sure it is safe to continue your exercise routine. Seek medical guidance on such matters, and ask their opinion on what they think of certain workouts/exercises.
It is certainly possible to build and maintain muscle while pregnant. As long as you are careful and seek guidance from your doctor, there is no reason you cannot maintain the body you want, all the while having a baby on board!
Guest Post by Jess Walter