Sucheta Pal, Zumba Expert, Bust Some Major Myths Related To Pregnancy Workouts. Read This
When it comes to working out during pregnancy everyone seems to have their own set of opinions. Some say you can only do yoga while some say you shouldn’t participate in any kind of physical exercise. So who should you listen to and why? Numerous questions arise when it comes to indulging in vigorous exercise at a time when climbing a flight of stairs can be seemingly tough. So, to bust some myths and impart knowledge, we spoke to Sucheta Pal who is the brand ambassador for Zumba in India. Her story is nothing short of inspiring, from almost losing her life after swallowing a bottle of pills to recognising her passion and quitting her cushy IT job to pursue it, her life story makes us all feel like we should be doing more for ourselves. Today, in her second trimester of pregnancy Sucheta is talking to us about pregnancy workouts, why it is important and everything we should and shouldn’t be doing. We are so inspired by her. Read on and I’m sure you will be too.
Busting pregnancy myths all over, Sucheta talks about her pregnancy go-to workout. She says that obviously Zumba is a major part of her workout. Also, to help women from all over rise above the baseless myths surrounding pregnancy and exercise, she began an initiative called the #PregnantandPerfect India tour. Through this initiative, Sucheta teaches Zumba classes across 7 cities. She says, “It’s been an amazing journey with all hundreds of Zumba fans, my students and supporters and fitness enthusiasts attending and moving together with me and I couldn’t have broken these myths in a better way. I had to show a live example and I am hoping I could do my bit in breaking these myths. In fact, last week in Pune I had an attendee who was in her 9th month who was rocking it in my master class.” Now, do you see why we are in awe of her?
She continues to talk about the most widely believed pregnancy myth she has heard which is, “One shouldn’t exercise at all during pregnancy.” She says that the fact is the polar opposite of this as long as you have the green light from your ob-gyn. She goes on to say, “Ask your doctor for permission before you continue or start exercising. If it’s a green light from them then continue the same fitness regime that you were used to before pregnancy but maybe reduce intensity by 30%. It’s not the time for fat loss or six-pack abs but simply to continue remaining active.” She adds, “If you have never exercised before then my advice would be to start with walks or prenatal yoga and simply listen to your body.”
When we asked Sucheta, what were the exercises that she was avoiding during pregnancy she told us that she would now avoid mountaineering, hiking or jumping rope. The reason she gave for this is that it isn’t part of her daily routine, but she knows of marathoners who have completed races in their third trimesters. The exercises that she is sticking to are the exercises her body is used to- Zumba (obviously), strength training, light weights, and yoga. She says that she takes a lot of care and has a toned intensity way down. She doesn’t let herself get breathless or overly exhausted and always keeps herself hydrated during her workouts.
Moving on, we asked her what kind of foods a pregnant woman should eat and whether there are any changes to what she has been eating. To which she replied saying that she would recommend all pregnant women to go to a nutritionist who can customise a diet for them. According to her, it a myth when everyone says that you are eating for two. She says, “A woman only requires increasing 200-300 calories from her regular diet and overall in her pregnancy, a weight gain of 10-12kgs is considered normal. So, before you pop that ghee laden ladoo or let yourself go and binge of pizza assuming weight gain is normal think again.”
Her advice to moms-to-be is simple, she said that educating yourself is of utmost importance. Never listen to anyone’s unsolicited advice without consulting your doctor first. Also, according to her the most essential thing to do listening to your body. She says, “A fit, healthy and happy you is exactly the life that you are about to pop out.”
Sucheta Pal is breaking all kinds of stereotypes and barriers by being not only a fitness expert but now also a spokesperson for pregnancy-related fitness regimes. We really hope all moms-to-be everywhere read this so that it can shine some light on what they should and should not be doing.