Is there a point when weight training should stop during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a time of great physical change. Certain muscle groups natural weaken as the women’s body changes to accommodate her growing belly. The hamstrings, gluteals, core, upper back extensors and external rotators of the shoulder girdle are all muscles that are vulnerable to weakening during this time. Weight training that is specific to these muscle groups and done with a neutral spine can be done right up until labor. Of course there are contraindications as well. If possible it is best to have a person coach at this time. If that is not a possibility for you, educate yourself with books and find a group class or DVD that follows the safety guidelines.
Is it true that women should keep their heart rate below 150 beats/minute when exercising while pregnant?
The current thinking on pregnancy and heart rate is that women should be careful not to push themselves when working aerobically but don’t necessarily have to count beats. The exerciser should be able to talk without gasping air and should stop if they feel even the slightest bit dizzy or light headed. Pushing too hard can have very negative effects such as vaginal bleeding or uterine contractions. Pilates is a wonderful way to safely stay in shape during pregnancy and also to get back in shape after the baby is born. Because of the attention the Pilates method gives to the inner unit (pelvic floor, transverse abdominus and the multifidi), a women’s pelvic muscles stay toned and ready for the difficult task of child birth.