Editor's note: The following post was written by Olympic athlete and mom Kerri Walsh, two-time gold medalist in beach volleyball. This week Kerri shares how she maintains her cardio fitness level while pregnant.With an energetic almost-1-year-old keeping me busy from dawn till dusk and number two due in just a few weeks, sometimes it seems impossible to find the energy for a cardio workout. Isn't chasing Joey enough? But, let's face it, I want to go back to the Olympics so I need to stay fit. Thank goodness I have a few tricks up my sleeve:
- Work out with friends. I still work out a few times a week with my husband, Casey, and a group of other volleyball players. They keep me motivated and remind me of where I aspire to be when I am back on the court in a few months (knock on wood!). Plus, it's just plain fun to be with adults for a few hours a day.
- Figure out when you have the most energy. Most of us pregnant ladies don't feel great in the morning. Give your body a few hours to wake up then take advantage of your most energetic hours to get your heart rate up. However, if the morning is the only open window you have in which to work out, just do it! It'll get your day off on the right foot and give you some extra pep in your step.
Learn more of Kerri's tricks and her treadmill interval workout when you read more.
- I'm going to let you in on my number one secret: interval training. Shorter spurts are easy to digest mentally, they feel great, they keep you in shape, and they are totally doable.
- Make an appointment. Meet a friend or trainer at the gym at an appointed time. If you're accountable to someone else, you'll do it. My cardio date is with my sister, KC, and I have other dates set with my Pilates instructor, Kerry, and often times I'm solo which is rewarding in its own way.
- Unless I am feeling completely wiped out, which has happened a handful of times throughout my pregnancy, I make myself do something physical every day. The plain fact of the matter is that it helps! It gets me going, it gives me confidence that I'm staying fit for myself and my family, and it makes me proud of myself. Plus, the energy I feel post-workout is glorious!
My Favorite Treadmill Interval Workout
- 5-minute warmup level 5 (should be easy, but not super easy).
- When the timer hits 5:00 sprint all out for 30-45 seconds at level 10. If level 10 is too much, find an appropriately challenging level that suits you. Push yourself!
- Rest for three minutes after the sprint at whatever level you warmed up on.
- Repeat 5-7 times.
- Cooldown 5 minutes level 5.
Remember: If you're pregnant, consult with your physician about exercise. Intervals are not for everyone, and it is strongly recommended that you have a solid cardio fitness base before adding sprint intervals into your workout routine.