Walking On A Treadmill During Pregnancy

The benefits of aerobic exercise during pregnancy are well researched, making walking a highly recommended form of exercise for most expecting mothers. Treadmills are convenient, safe to use, and make it easy to complete a workout without thinking about the weather or time of day. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the health benefits of walking on a treadmill during pregnancy, the speed and intensity you should adhere to, and how to use a treadmill safely throughout your pregnancy to stay healthy.

Can I do the treadmill in the first trimester?

Yes, you can use the treadmill in the first trimester of pregnancy. If you are experienced with this machine and your doctor says OK, then go for it! 

If you’ve never been on a treadmill before and want to try it for low-impact aerobic exercise, hats off to you! This form of cardio is safe, relatively easy, and can be done in the gym or at home.

If you’re a beginner, make sure you get a tutorial from a gym employee or watch videos from the manufacturer before using the machine. There are several settings you should be aware of, including speed, incline, and intensity.

Start by walking slowly and increase the pace as you feel comfortable. Treadmills have rails for a reason. People lose their balance, particularly if they are running, sprinting, or not paying attention. 

As a pregnant woman, you should not participate in aerobic exercise that may cause you to trip and fall or become injured. We recommend walking on the treadmill for the duration of your pregnancy to play it safe and avoid injury, strain, or pain. 

Is it safe to walk on a treadmill during the second trimester? 

If you’re healthy and your pregnancy is low-risk, it is safe to walk on a treadmill during the second trimester.

In your second trimester, you may experience higher levels of energy and more motivation to exercise. Try walking for 5-10 minutes longer than you were in your first trimester. If you feel good and your heart rate is normal, you can slowly add more time to your walks.

It’s important to be aware that during pregnancy, your body temperature rises much quicker than a non-pregnant person. It’s essential that you stay cool and hydrated during any treadmill workout or any other physical activity. Keep a water bottle close by and be aware of your body temperature.

Can I walk on a treadmill during the third trimester? 

Yes, you can walk on a treadmill during the third trimester. However, around week 35 is when many women start to get pretty uncomfortable. 

There’s a nearly full-term baby in your belly, so walking on a treadmill may not be as easy as it was in the last 9 months… And that’s OK! 

If you’ve been able to spend your pregnancy walking and staying active, that’s a great achievement. Don’t compare your current workout routine to what you were doing pre-pregnancy. Your body and your goals are different now. 

We recommend consulting with your doctor about what your exercise goals should be at the end of your pregnancy. They’ll have the best advice on what you should be doing to stay healthy and prepare for the arrival of your new baby. 

What speed should I walk on the treadmill while pregnant?

While walking on a treadmill while pregnant, you should walk at a speed that allows you to breathe normally, like when having a conversation. Speed will vary depending on the woman and how active she is, but this is the general rule of thumb that can gauge how fast you should be moving.

Generally speaking, 2-3 MPH is a safe speed to walk on a treadmill while pregnant.

Most treadmills have an incline setting, where you can increase the tilt of the tread to mimic walking up a hill. Walking on an incline is generally safe for pregnant women, as long as you hold on to the railings to prevent losing your balance. 

How many minutes should a pregnant woman walk?

If you are new to aerobic exercise, try starting with a slow-paced 10-minute walk. After a few days, add another 5 minutes to your walk. Scale-up every few days until you can comfortably walk for 30 minutes without getting out of breath or overheating. 

Is it bad to walk too much when pregnant?

Like any form of exercise during pregnancy, overdoing it can be dangerous and cause complications for both the mother and the baby. The goal of exercise during pregnancy is not to be the most fit you’ve ever been or to push yourself like you would in a pre-pregnancy workout. 

Walking too fast, too far, or too often will catch up with you quickly. You will likely feel more exhausted than energized after a workout, experience more soreness and fatigue, and even feel pain during exercise. 

If you experience any of these, stop exercising immediately and rest. Overexertion during pregnancy can be dangerous — don’t push yourself too far just for the sake of a challenging workout. 

What are the benefits of walking on a treadmill during pregnancy? 

Walking on a treadmill during pregnancy is a beneficial way to stay active through low-impact aerobic exercise.

Walking strengthens your leg muscles, improves endurance, boosts mood and energy levels, and can even help your body prepare for labor. 

According to the American Pregnancy Organization, walking during pregnancy can also improve sleep patterns, prevent and treat gestational diabetes, and reduce heartburn, constipation, swelling, and bloating. 

Walking On A Treadmill During Pregnancy

Can walking on a treadmill induce labor?

While many doctors and medical professionals recommend aerobic exercise to induce labor, there’s no guarantee that it will work for you. Walking does create pressure in the cervix, which can encourage the baby to move into a better position for delivery. 

If walking feels good and your doctor recommends using it as an induction technique, it sure can’t hurt to try! 

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