To Cardio Or Not To Cardio, That Is The Question

One of the many challenges expectant mamas may encounter during pregnancy is finding the right balance of exercise. The Hatch helps you break down how much exercise is right for you.

pregnant woman exercising

Advanced athletes

Many athletes or women who do hardcore exercising, running and jogging are given the okay by their doctors to continue a modified version of their regular routines to a certain point in their pregnancies. That’s because their bodies are acclimated to this type of exercise already.


Cardio, particularly non-impact cardio like walking on the treadmill, doing the elliptical machine and riding the bike (stationary or otherwise), is generally great for pregnant women. In the past, many doctors would recommend not letting your heart rate raise above 140 beats per minute. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercisers no longer have to limit themselves to that number.

The Department of Health and Human Services suggests pregnant women partake in “at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week — without any specific heart rate limits.” Note that working out too rigorously during pregnancy could result in vaginal bleeding, contractions in the uterus and other problems. You should be able to maintain a conversation during any form of exercise to ensure you are not pushing yourself beyond your pregnant body's limits.

Yoga addicts

Yoga has been touted as one of the best exercises for expectant mamas. The gentle poses and stretches can work wonders for some of the typical aches and discomfort associated with pregnancy, such as lower back pain. Chances are your local yoga studio offers a pregnancy yoga class, and you can find yoga DVDs aplenty that are geared toward all stages of a woman’s pregnancy. Many women agree that the meditation aspect of yoga can also help during labor/delivery.

Ask your doctor

There is no doubt that there are many benefits of exercise during pregnancy. It helps with ease of delivery, can stave off excess weight gain and speeds postpartum recovery. However, we suggest you check with your doctor before doing any kind of exercise during your pregnancy.

Watch this video for more about exercise during pregnancy

More on pregnancy and exercise

Starting exercise during pregnancy
More research supports safety of exercise during pregnancy
Easy exercises for pregnant women


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