First of all, what exactly IS cardio??
Cardiovascular fitness or more commonly known as ‘cardio’ refers to any exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing. Some examples of cardio include walking, swimming or bike riding. Regular cardio training, pregnant or not, keeps your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy.
The benefits of cardio training while pregnant are endless!
• Prevent excessive weight gain
• Improve energy levels
• Faster return to pre pregnancy weight following birth
• Improve mental wellbeing
• Improve circulation
Health professionals advise for pregnant women to partake in 150 minutes of brisk walking (or equivalent) per week. This might sound a little overwhelming at first but when you break it down, it’s really not much at all!!
Here’s an example:
Say you walk 10 minutes to and from the train station every day for work. That’s 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. That’s 100 minutes already done! Throw in a relaxing hours walk on the weekend and your 150 minutes is complete!
Drive to work? Try 10 minute walk in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch time and then 10 minutes after work. Do this 5 days a week and that’s 150 mins done!!
The trick is to find what works best for you and stick to that. Remember you don’t have to kill yourself to get the benefits of exercise while pregnant. Just a little bit of movement each day can make all the difference to your physical and mental well being!
If you already have a regular workout routine, it is safe to continue this routine unless told otherwise by your doctor.
SAFE cardio to do while pregnant:
• Exercise biking
• Running or jogging **ONLY if this was part of your regular routine prior to getting pregnant
Exercises to AVOID while pregnant:
• Contact sports (basketball, hockey, soccer etc)
• Road cycling (anything with a risk of falling)
• Scuba diving
If you want to stay healthy and strong throughout your pregnancy but not quite sure where to start, visit STRONG by Alex for a safe and effective pregnancy exercise program.
Written by Alex Gleeson