You can maintain cardio fitness during pregnancy! Read our tips for including cardio in your pregnancy workouts safely and keeping up a fit pregnancy!
Resistance training during pregnancy should not exclude regular cardio exercise and some cardio exercises should be incorporated into your regular pregnancy fitness routine.
Using a step is good cardio exercise, strengthening your legs and working your glutes.
Step up with your right leg, bringing your left leg through and raising to hip height with your knee at a 900 angle.
Return your leg, with control, to the floor and repeat 10-15 times on each leg.
FittaTip: ‘This is a good exercise for working with a partner or trainer as they can steady the step and provide support and reassurance, especially as your bump gets bigger and you adjust to your centre of gravity changing.’
Kicking against pads is a useful cardio exercise that improves your balance, strengthening your core as well as your legs and glutes. If you’re used to including an element of kicking in your workout then there’s no reason not to continue this exercise during pregnancy for as long as you feel comfortable but take extra care:
Make sure your weight is evenly distributed and don’t lean backwards.
Don’t kick any higher than you feel comfortable – your partner should hold the pads around knee height.
Use the top of your feet to connect with the pads, not your toes.
Aim for 15 kicks on each leg and then alternate legs for 15 kicks
FittaTip: ‘This exercise is fine if you’re used to kicking but I wouldn’t advise introducing it if you’re new to pregnancy exercise as your centre of gravity changes as your bump develops. Stop if you feel unsteady.’
Running during pregnancy is a fantastic all round cardio exercise and a great way to stay fit. If you are used to running regularly pre pregnancy there is no reason not to continue to run when pregnant, just make sure you adapt as your bump gets bigger.
During pregnancy you should aim maintain a good level of fitness rather than strive for improvement, so decrease your distance, speed and frequency. How far and how fast you run when pregnant is very much dependent on your pre-pregnancy levels.
FittaTip: ‘You should always listen to your body during any pregnancy exercise – and remember the ‘talk test’. Anyone exercising whilst pregnant should be able to continue a conversation – if you can’t talk, slow down and reduce the intensity. Running with a trainer or partner will give you someone to chat to – it’s the best way to ensure you don’t push yourself too hard!’
Use these exercises as part of a complete workout that includes a safe pregnancy exercise warm up, strengthens your arms, develops your core and targets your legs!
When doing any activity when pregnant make sure you listen to your body and stop if you feel uncomfortable Always consult your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns.