How to Do Cardio While Pregnant
Before I begin this post, let me just say that I looooooove some cardio during pregnancy. I did cardio 5 days a week during my last pregnancy and guess what? I am doing the same exact thing with baby #2! Why?
Cardio during pregnancy:
- slows and steadies pregnancy weight gain
- improves your mood
- burns excess calories from what cravings you may have given into
- limits back and hip pains
- increased blood flow response
- increased oxygen delivery to tissues
Some great forms of cardio during pregnancy are:
- cardio machines (treadmills, ellipticals)
- low to moderate impact aerobics
Regardless of your experience level, all pregnant women should avoid cardio that puts them at risk for a major collision or fall, such as horseback riding, skiing, biking and contact sports.
About that 140bpm myth:
Years ago, some experts recommended a heart rate of no more than 140 beats a minute for exercise during pregnancy. Today, however, heart rate limits aren’t typically imposed during pregnancy. For healthy women, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week — without any specific heart rate limits.
If you exercised regularly before pregnancy, there’s no need to focus on your heart rate for exercise during pregnancy.
No matter which form of cardio you choose:
- be sure every workout includes a warmup, cooldown and a few minutes of stretching before and after exercising.
- take plenty of breaks, hydrate yourself before, during and after your workout and listen to your body
- if you feel dizzy, short of breath or experience vaginal bleeding or pain of any kind, stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if the symptoms don’t go away.
I have out together a 20 minute low-to-moderate aerobic workout just for you to enjoy at home on days when you cannot make it to the gym or if its too hot/cold outside!
This 20-minute workout is designed to keep your heart rate at a moderate level and does not require any equipment! You will perform each exercise for 45 seconds at a low intensity followed by 30 seconds of moderate intensity. Then, move to the next exercise. After one time through, you’ll rest for one minute, take in some much needed water, and then repeat the entire set once more.
Begin by marching in place for one minute to get the body warm and ready for movement.
High Knees: 45 seconds low intensity, 30 seconds moderate intensity
Jumping Jacks: 45 seconds low intensity, 30 seconds moderate intensity
Windmills: 45 seconds low intensity, 30 seconds moderate intensity
Narrow Squat With Back Kick: 45 seconds low intensity, 30 seconds moderate intensity