Everything about cardio workout during pregnancy. Read our article to find out which types of cardio workouts are best for you.
What exactly is a cardio workout? And why should you consider including cardio in a complete workout? These are questions you may be asking, especially when you are pregnant and want to continue exercising but also want to be safe.
Always make sure you check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.
Work your Heart
A cardio workout during pregnancy increases the heart rate and breathing by moving the legs and arms at the same time. This type of workout not only conditions the heart and lungs for a healthier body but also helps you maintain a healthy weight by burning calories. Cardio workouts also help with endurance and stamina.
Are these health issues that are important to women who are pregnant? Of course. A healthy body, proper weight gain and stamina are all important for a more comfortable pregnancy and birth and an easier recovery time after the baby arrives.
Read this article to learn about recovery after pregnancy : Postpartum Recovery
What cardio activities are recommended for pregnant women? Those who are already doing a specific exercise program and find it to be comfortable may choose to continue that program during all or part of their pregnancy. There are some who find a high-energy dance program or fitness class works well for them throughout their entire nine months. Others may choose to discontinue the harder workout when they reach the second or third trimester.
Remember, as the baby develops, the body must contend with added weight. Sometimes joints such as ankles and knees swell from the added weight and make some exercises that felt comfortable prior to pregnancy not quite as easy. There is also the added urge to urinate more frequently as the weight presses down on the bladder. That may hamper the length of time you exercise and, therefore, the program you feel comfortable doing. You may need to take breaks more frequently and may require a change in your fitness plan. In addition, any exercise that makes you feel unbalanced or unstable – possibly prone to tripping or falling – should be of concern during pregnancy.
Low Impact Cardio is Perfect for You
Low-impact cardio is always considered the safest during pregnancy. Low impact means eliminating the pounding on your joints – mainly ankles and knees – that running may cause. That may mean you give up playing basketball, soccer or football games. It may mean you choose not to run that marathon during your pregnancy.
Walking is a great activity and is considered to be one of the best low-impact cardio workout during pregnancy. It can easily be done any time of the day with many options as far as time and location. A walk in the park or around the block is convenient and easy for most. Others find walking around an indoor mall to be more climate-controlled. Or simply joining a gym with a walking track is an option.
When you make a decision to add walking to your day, make sure you invest in a pair of comfortable walking shoes to avoid problems with your feet such as blisters or rubbing. Remember, when your feet swell during pregnancy, you may require a larger size shoe. Warming up with some stretching before you begin your walk will also prevent discomfort in your feet, heels and shins.
Learn more about foot swelling : Foot Swelling Problem and Solution in Pregnancy
In addition to walking, some find that other activities incorporating walking are enjoyable. These might include stair climbing or golfing – without the cart of course. Another option is joining a dance class – ballroom and Latin dancing are currently very popular. Tap dancing is another form of dance that provides a great cardio workout. Or use machines such as cycling machines or rowing machines at home or in a club.
A very comfortable cardio exercise for pregnant women is swimming. Swimming and water aerobics provide excellent cardio fitness programs, and the water tends to make weight gain less evident. The body feels buoyant, lighter and easier to move. The warmth of the water is also very soothing. Remember, however, to avoid the hotter water of a whirlpool when pregnant.
Most fitness experts recommend a 20- to 30-minute cardio workout during pregnancy to provide the fullest benefits. The new Surgeon General’s report on fitness has been amended to recommend one hour of walking at a speed of 4 miles per hour. However, shorter times of 10-minute segments with breaks in between also provide the body with an excellent workout.
When you consider what exercise will work for you, remember that a little exercise is always better than no exercise. Consistency is always the answer. If you only do one cardio workout a month, you will not notice any physical benefits except a few days of stiff, sore muscles. But shorter workouts every day or every other day will provide the results you desire – which is, of course, a healthier body and easier pregnancy.
Our articles are prepared to give advice. Always consult your doctor first for any problems.