In the past, women were told that being active during their pregnancy was not safe. Women were instructed to not lift their arms above their heads and to not lift anything over 20 lbs. We’ve come a long way with regards to understanding what’s safe during your pregnancy but in my opinion not far enough. Before becoming pregnant, I worked out 5-6 times a week combining high intensity interval training, cardio and weightlifting. When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to stay as active as possible without compromising the health of either Forde or myself. The trouble is, when I researched online and at book stores, I could only find information directed towards women who either were not active at all before pregnancy or who were only mildly involved in an active lifestyles. Very little was written on what is considered safe for women like myself who were fit before pregnancy. If this is you, you’ll enjoy the video below from the HairTwoHeels YouTube channel where I discuss what I did to stay fit during my pregnancy. All of the information I gathered was from doctors, prenatal fitness experts and health journals I read, plus my own experiences. Listed below the video for your reference is how to calculate your maximum heart rate while pregnant which I talk about in the video. I hope you enjoy! What did you do/are doing/plan to do during your pregnancy?
Calculating your Maximum Heart Rate:
Most of the google results will tell you to subtract your age from 220 to find your maximum heart rate, For example, when I was pregnant I was 30 years old, so 220-30=190 beats per minute (BPM). However, research by Whyte et al. (2008) came up with with the following formula for predicting maximum heart rates in trained athletes: Heart Rate Max= 216- (1.09 x age) so using my 30-year-old example: Heart Rate Max=216- (1.09 x 30) =216-32.7 =183.3 beats per minute So let’s say my maximum heart rate is somewhere between 183-190 when I’m not pregnant. So how do you know what is your maximum while pregnant? A lot of what I read online argued 140 beats per minute for the average woman but the trouble with this is that it is calculated for women who are not active before pregnancy. I read many medical journals whose research shows that working at around 85% of your pre-pregnancy max heart rate is safe for active women during pregnancy. So to calculate this, you use the following formula:
Calculating your Prenatal Max Heart Rate:
pre-pregnancy max heart rate x 85% (or pre-pregnancy max heart rate x 0.85) So using my previous example: 190 x 0.85= 161.5 beats per minute So you could round that up or down depending on your comfortability, but I found that when combining this method with the “talk test” or “puff test” described in the video, I found my safe heart rate was anywhere between 160-165 beats per minute.