Cardio can become more fun in the second trimester. The first trimester is a bit of a struggle, and the third trimester often is very uncomfortable for plyometric cardio moves. You also have to do less in the third trimester to get your heart rate up, where as the second trimester still takes some effort.
I also highly recommend cardio to maintain your weight and even burn off some extra fat that may have piled on in the first trimester. I always gain weight super fast in the first trimester, then even out as i start feeling better again. I have a great cardio workout for your first trimester, and this one is even more challenging for the second trimester.
This cardio workout is an advanced workout, where you can modify. I am a huge cardio fan, and even keep running during pregnancy, so I like a difficult cardio workout. I also know there are lots of mamas out there who want to keep up their cardio fitness during pregnancy. This is just one of the cardio workouts I do, and I hope you give it a try!
REMEMBER: please modify exercises to best suit you. That is key to fitness during YOUR pregnancy. What works for me, could be painful or uncomfortable for you. Never push yourself to that just to follow a workout.
Here are some great low-impact cardio moves you can use, if some of the moves in this workout don’t work for you.
Let’s get to the best second-trimester cardio workout:
The plan: Each move is 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of butt kicks. There is no rest in between moves. Once you complete all the moves, you can rest for one minute and that counts as one round. Go for 3 rounds total 🙂
Jump Rope (imaginary jump rople)
Floor Jacks (touch the floor between jacks)
Wall sits with punches
Here is a demonstration of each move:
Some important tips to remember when doing cardio while pregnant:
Cardio is different for everyone, just like weights are different for everyone. Make sure to rest if you are feeling really out of breath. You don’t want to feel like you are sucking air. Make sure to rest and catch your breath when necessary.
Why are cardio workouts important during pregnancy?
Cardio is very beneficial during pregnancy because it helps increase the strength of your heart. A strong heart usually helps with lower blood pressure, and it burns calories! Cardio is a great way to burn the calories you are consuming. Weights and strength work is important too, but doing only lifting or weight work doesn’t burn as many calories. Cardio workouts like the one I have here work many muscles in your body, as well as your heart and lungs. This turns your body into a calorie-burning machine. I often combine weights and cardio together for time’s sake.
Are strength workouts beneficial for pregnancy?
Absolutely! Most of my program is very strength-based because holding on to muscle is really helpful during pregnancy. Muscle will help protect your joints, which are loosening, as well as help with a fast labor. Being strong really helps your body recruit all those muscles to help baby come out quick. I don’t know about you, but I do not enjoy being in labor. I want it over fast. I’ve been fortunate that my last two labors were less than 4 hours, and my body was able to use all the strength I maintained to get those babies out. I’m hoping for a similar fast labor with this baby coming up. Having muscle mass also helps burn more calories throughout the day, and you will be able to hopefully maintain some of that muscle during the 6-week postpartum weight.
Your workouts can not out-do a bad diet:
No matter how hard or long you workout, you can’t fix a bad diet with a workout. It is so easy to eat thousands of calories in minutes, and burning those calories would take hours and hours of work. Most of the time, cravings cause us to overeat during pregnancy. I have the hardest time in the first trimester. I personally use protein shakes to really help manage my cravings. I’ve found that if I get a good protein shake in, with fruit and spinach, I am full and satisfied. And my Bump Dust protein powder is specifically formulated to help with pregnancy cravings. You can get lots of amazing nutrition, vitamins and minerals, all in a shake that will help keep those cravings under control.
Both cardio and strength workouts are really important to stay fit during pregnancy. I combine both into one workout most of the time, to make the most of my time at home. My workout program focuses on strength work using dumbells and an exercise ball. Staying fit during pregnancy doesn’t require a gym membership or lots of time. It’s all about good nutrition and being efficient with your workouts. The eating clean challenge is a great place to start, and combine that with your workouts to have a super fit pregnancy.