Feel great and better prepared for the big day with this easy and effective pregnancy cardio workout at home. Maintaining a strong body, a sound mind, and buoyant spirit while your baby is growing inside you is your purest expression of love for him or her during this period.
Unless your OB-GYN ordered a complete bed rest, there are no reasons to keep yourself from getting active when you are expecting. In fact, there are numerous benefits for you and the baby in your womb when you keep your heart, mind, and entire body strong and lively throughout your pregnancy.
A header here, like “Benefits of exercising before giving birth”
Here are some of the rewards for regularly exercising in the months before giving birth:
- Maintaining your physical and mental well-being cascades to that beautiful human being growing inside you. The term “eating-for-two” is not just an idiomatic expression. It is a statement of fact that your baby is getting the nutrients, amino acids, and everything else he or she needed to completely develop in your own body. So the healthier you are, the better for your unborn child.
- Building and sustaining the strength and stamina of your muscles and internal organs will not only better prepare you for labor and childbirth. It will also help you cope up with the common discomforts brought about by the ongoing changes in your body. It includes minimizing back pain, constipation, and leg cramps.
- Pregnancy cardio workouts at home, in the gym, or anywhere else for that matter, helps improve and maintain a healthy blood circulation. Besides keeping you and your baby well and strong, a finely functioning circulatory system helps reduce or completely eliminate your tendency for bloating, edema, and various natal complications.
- Cardio exercises help trigger the release of endorphins in the rewards center of your brain, making you feel good and happy. It puts you in a better mood and keeps the irritability and mood swings in check. Although it’s your husband who will probably benefit more from this.
- It helps you regain your pre-pregnancy shape faster after giving birth. Did we just have your full attention? Why do you think many entertainment celebrities and supermodels hire a fitness trainer from the moment they found out that they were expecting? Victoria Secret’s model Alessandra Ambrosio was actually given a lot of cardio workout by her personal trainer throughout her pregnancy. It includes cardio-sculpt, swimming, and dancing. She was not even subjected to a calorie-counting diet during the period, just a sensible and healthy eating habit.
We could probably cite more advantages for staying active during pregnancy, and perhaps, you could too. However, our primary duty is to suggest some exercises for moms-to-be and not just assert the many benefits of doing pregnancy cardio workouts at home.
Although you could probably just walk around your house, we encourage you to take this workout outside. Anyway, your home is not just confined inside your four walls; it also encompasses all the public places within your neighborhood. So, put on your cutest maternity walking outfit, strap on a good and well-balanced pair of sneakers or rubber shoes, and start rambling around your place.
Walking leisurely around the park at a steady pace for 30 – 40 minutes would qualify for a low-intensity cardio workout. However, you can turn it into something like an interval training or speed play. What you will do is alternate short 2-minute brisk walks (or jog if you still feel comfortable with it) with 3-5 minutes moderate pacing. Doing this alternating sequence repeatedly for 15 – 25 minutes actually makes a better cardio workout than the first one.
Do this exercise least 3-5 times a week. And yes, you can do it inside the mall too as long as you keep a steady pace.
If you are one who enjoys swaying to the beat or has been taking Zumba or aerobic dancing before, then this is probably the best pregnancy cardio workout at home for you. However, you should stick to low-intensity choreographies wherein there is not much jumping, bouncing, and twisting moves, just to be safe. After all, you are training now to rock your soon-to-be baby to sleep, and not to be on the next season of “So You Think You Can Dance”.
Besides making your heart pump more vigorously, dancing is also great for muscle toning and increasing flexibility. And since this exercise usually involves a lot of pelvic movements, it can strengthen your core, including your abdominal muscles, thus curtailing back pains and constipation.
Another thing that you should know is that during ovulation and pregnancy, your ovary, as well as placenta (when you are pregnant) secretes a copious amount of “relaxin”. This reproductive hormone relaxes your pelvic ligaments and some other joints, as well as softens and widens your cervix. That is why you have to be very careful and shun movements that are too strenuous and complex, so as not to hurt yourself.
3. Low Impact Aerobics
The beauty of this pregnancy cardio workout at home is that you can easily incorporate muscle toning and strengthening movements and still bring your heart and lungs to function at an elevated level. If you are still on the first to second trimester you can include light compound exercises such as squats, curls, lifts, and other movements you are accustomed to.
The secret here is having a filler cardio movement in between each exercise such as marching in place, wide-stance squats, or stepping on and off an exercise platform. You will do this moderately for 15-30 seconds before going to each succeeding exercises in your program.
Again, like in dancing, do not pick exercises that involve jumping, abrupt twists and turns, and other complex moves. The name of the game here is repetition. Meaning, you will do at least 8-12 counts for each set of movements. Music can also help a lot here in terms of motivation.
There are a lot of other great options out there to get your body moving and your heart pumping faster for several minutes for the sake of your health as well as the tiny angel growing inside you, naming swimming, stationary biking, going to the gym, etc. However, we have to stick to our main topic “pregnancy cardio workouts at home”, which is based on the fact that not every pregnant woman have easy access to a pool or an ocean, or own a recumbent bike, or even have a gym membership.
What we presented here is what we think are the most practical, accessible and effective cardio workouts for any woman carrying a child in her womb, Provided, of course, she is not having a high-risk pregnancy. And while on that note, whether you feel as strong as a horse or as dainty as a daisy, we still strongly advise that you consult your doctor first before embarking on any exercise program. And also, don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated while working out.
Thanks for reading mommy, and oh you look positively glowing, by the way.
Chester Peterson is the founder of [HeroMuscles.Com], the father of two children. I workout every day and I really want to share with you my knowledge and experience about my passion on this blog. It would be great if you dropped by, read what I wrote and left some comments. Connect with him at [Twitter]