How Many Steps Should A Pregnant Woman Walk A Day?
We’ve got the scoop on how to approach walking during pregnancy for all expecting mothers out there. If you’re curious about physical activity during pregnancy, or you just want to know how many steps should a pregnant woman walk a day, keep reading!
Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that many pregnant women swear by — it’s easy on the body, great for the mind, and can be done pretty much anywhere.
Table of Contents
- When should I start walking during pregnancy?
- How many steps should a pregnant woman walk a day?
- How many steps should a pregnant woman walk per day in the first trimester?
- How many steps should I walk in the second trimester?
- How many steps should I walk in the third trimester?
- How does walking help during pregnancy?
- Is too much walking bad during pregnancy?
- What happens if you don’t walk during pregnancy?
When should I start walking during pregnancy?
You can begin walking in your first trimester of pregnancy once you’re cleared by a doctor. It’s important that you discuss exercising with your OBGYN; they will recommend the intensity and duration of walks you can take and will discuss the signs your body may exhibit if you are overexerting yourself.
It’s important to know that the first trimester often brings many unpleasant symptoms, morning sickness being the most common and arguably the most uncomfortable.
If you experience morning sickness, fatigue, low energy, or lack of motivation, don’t feel guilty or try to force yourself to work out. You’re growing a human, and that’s the hardest job in the world. Be gentle on your body!
How many steps should a pregnant woman walk a day?
A pregnant woman should walk anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 steps each day. The number of steps you walk each day will vary based on your current fitness level, lifestyle, and overall health. Women who have more physical jobs, like teachers or doctors, likely walk more than those who work in an office or a virtual environment.
Rather than aiming for a number of steps per day, you can focus on a time period that feels more achievable and comfortable for your body.
The CDC recommends 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of aerobic activity per week of pregnancy. If 30 minutes doesn’t feel doable, don’t stress! Start with 10-15 minutes of movement and go up from there. Getting out and moving your body is what matters.
It’s important to understand that every pregnancy is different. Some women feel great and are active, while others experience morning sickness and discomfort all 9 months. You are the only one who can gauge how you feel, so trust your gut.
How many steps should a pregnant woman walk per day in the first trimester?
A healthy pregnant woman with a low-risk pregnancy should walk anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 steps in the first trimester.
Try not to compare your activity now to what you were doing pre-pregnancy. Things are different now! Growing a baby changes your body in significant ways, and you will be feeling those changes quickly in the first trimester.
You may not have the energy to reach 10,000 steps early on in pregnancy, and that’s perfectly fine.
Talk to your doctor about ways you can get some aerobic exercise if your energy is low or you are uncomfortable. It truly depends on the individual and the pregnancy to answer just how many steps should a pregnant woman walk a day, so keep that in mind.
How many steps should I walk in the second trimester?
In the second trimester, you should walk 10,000 steps each day. The second trimester is typically when pregnancy starts to get more enjoyable. The first-trimester discomfort has dissipated, and you may experience an energy boost, increased sex drive, and overall mood improvement.
If you feel up to it, add some distance or time to your walks, evaluating how you feel during and after. Just make sure you can do so without experiencing any belly strain, pain, or discomfort.
The general rule of thumb for exercising while pregnant is you should never be out of breath or unable to hold a conversation while working out. If your heart rate rises and you feel breathless, stop immediately and rest.
How many steps should I walk in the third trimester?
In the third trimester, you should walk 8,000-10,000 steps if your pregnancy is low-risk and your doctor approves. Towards the end of the third trimester, you may start to feel uncomfortable, and walking may be more difficult.
If you need to make your walks shorter to maintain a safe heart rate, that’s the right choice. You may feel out of breath faster and generally move slower. It’s natural to slow down physically towards the end of your pregnancy. Embrace this change — it means you’re going to meet your sweet baby soon!
How does walking help during pregnancy?
Maintaining a consistent exercise routine throughout pregnancy has amazing health benefits for both you and your baby. Studies show that women who exercise regularly have a decreased chance of developing gestational diabetes, unplanned C-sections, experience less back pain, and can even relieve constipation and heartburn.
Not to mention that walking outdoors can be a huge mood boost! There may be days during pregnancy that are an emotional roller coaster, so getting outdoors and into the fresh air can do wonders for your mood.
Exercise can also help with weight gain during pregnancy, promote better sleep, and help to build and maintain strength.
Is too much walking bad during pregnancy?
Too much walking at a rigorous pace while pregnant can be dangerous. Even if you were active and fit before pregnancy, you can still overdo it while walking.
If you experience an abnormally rapid heartbeat, pain, dizziness, swelling, or bleeding, stop walking, rest, and call your doctor immediately.
What happens if you don’t walk during pregnancy?
A lack of exercise during pregnancy can be linked to several pregnancy-related issues for both mom and baby. Complications include high blood pressure, increased weight gain, heartburn, and digestion problems.
Aerobic exercise helps pregnant women to maintain a healthy weight and can prevent gestational diabetes, pre-term labor, and other issues during delivery.
If your pregnancy is high-risk, your doctor will discuss what you should do to remain healthy and strong while keeping the baby safe.