(I'm an ACE-certified fitness instructor & personal trainer.) IMX, there's as much misinformation out there on exercising in pregnancy as there is on birth in general. (Riiight, eating & drinking in labor is so dangerous. Uh, huh!
) Know what I mean?
So I wouldn't put too much stock in what you find on mainstream websites.
Glad to see someone already suggested the book "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" by Dr. Clapp!
He is the expert. If you have any real doubts, definitely read the book & you'll be reassured that not only is exercise in pregnancy NOT dangerous at all, but it's beneficial to both baby & mama! There is no need to limit intensity.
Actually the women in Dr. Clapp's studies exercised at "moderate to high intensity." I continued anaerobic exercise my whole pregnancy (high-intensity, when you can only maintain for about a minute.) I did strength training (maxing out how much you can lift in 8-12 reps) as well as boxing (hitting & kicking heavy bags is seriously intense, anaerobic work!) Was super healthy, healthy baby, fast great birth, super healthy 2 YO DS now.
I honestly even doubt the whole "don't do new stuff" rule. I can see how people say it to "err on the side of caution" but if you know your body, if you are fit, and if you personally feel comfortable, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Again, there's nothing evidence-based to support the recommendation to not try new modes (i.e. "types") of exercise in pregnancy.
Again, obviously listen to your body, stop if you feel bad, be cautious with stretching in the 3rd trimester (since the hormone relaxin loosens your joints & you need to be careful not to over-stretch.) Make sure you eat enough & you may be more likely to need a glucose-replenishment drink throughout your workout.
& be careful about getting overheated. I've always worked out primarily indoors- boxing, teaching aerobics, weight lifting, so I never had to worry about that. Overheating CAN be a big problem in the 1st tri, although I think it's less of an issue 2nd tri- but I'm not sure about that.
Originally Posted by shellnurse
Last I read the goal was to keep the heart rate under 180.
No, I'm pretty sure even ACOG abolished their heart rate restriction in 1994 (& I think we all know how they're not too-on-the-ball with evidence-based recommendations. VBAC & eating in labor anyone?
As a matter of fact, as Dr. Clapp's book outlines, in the 1st trimester, you actually don't want to really pay attention to HR because the cardiovascular underfill problem actually elevates your HR beyond what your rating-of-perceived exertion would have you believe. (I can expand if anyone's interested in what that means.)
Again, in anaerobic exercise, it's expected to get HR very high & it is not a problem.