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6–8 Weeks Postpartum: For the next 2 weeks, extend your hiking time by 15–20 minutes per hike, and drop a day so that you’re hiking 4 times a week.
8–12 Weeks Postpartum» For these weeks, extend your hiking time another 30–45 minutes and drop a day, so you’re hiking for 2 hours 3 days per week, still varying days on flat ground with days hiking on hills.
On the 2 days that you’re not hiking, do a different exercise, such as aerobics or swimming, to stay active.
Note: When your baby weighs 16 pounds, it may be time to transfer her from a front carrier to a backpack. When you do this, add neck and shoulder rolls to your warm-up.
Walk This Way
Walk naturally. Push forward with your hips and pull in your abdominal muscles. Doing this will help to keep yourself balanced and support your back.
* It’s easy to lean forward while wearing a backpack. Avoid this by keeping your hips forward and your shoulders relaxed.
* When walking downhill, keep your knees slightly bent and take small steps, rolling from heel to toe. When walking uphill or downhill, shorten your stride and swing your arms as you would normally without a backpack or front carrier.
* Raise your arms over your head from time to time. Doing this will keep your hands and fingers from swelling.
* Never hike alone.
* Keep it up! Even if you return to work after your maternity leave, try to keep hiking, at least as a weekend family activity.