Pregnancy-Friendly Treadmill Tips | Fit Pregnancy

Pregnancy-Friendly Treadmill Tips

Guidelines for staying safe while fitting in your prenatal cardio workouts.


Tip #5: Hang on to the railings.
They offer support for women trying to balance a baby bump.

The incline is fine as long as women hold on to the railings of the treadmill, says Samantha Barrionuevo, a personal trainer at Miami Total Fitness.  The combination of the frontloading baby weight and the incline could lead to imbalances while walking or running. The bars are meant to help keep you stead; if you are hanging on for dear life, it’s time to lower the incline and speed to safer levels.

Tip #6: If the talk test isn’t for you, use the rate of perceived exertion (RPE).
Rate different levels of exertion on a scale to keep yourself on track.

 “If you have a scale from one to 20 with 20 being the most intense and one being nothing at all, you want to be between 12 to 14,” Barrioneuvo says. You have to know yourself and how your body feels at each stage for the RPE to work correctly.

Tip #7: Keep a water bottle at the treadmill.
Hydrate throughout your workout to avoid overheating.It’s important to keep your body temperature cool during pregnancy, and water definitely helps accomplish this goal. “Dehydration is the number one cause of premature labor, so make sure to keep drinking while you’re on the treadmill,” Barrioneuvo says. “If you can’t walk while you drink (no shame there), then just step off the treadmill or slow down your pace.”

Tip #8: Stretch, but not too far.
Stretch after your warm up and again after your cool down.

It’s always a good idea to stretch, but do so with care and awareness. While you are pregnant, your system produces a hormone called relaxin, whose job is to prepare you body for birth by loosening some of your muscles, ligaments and joints. This can make it easy to overstretch, so be aware of your limits.

Tip #9: Hug baby while you run or walk.
Strengthen your abs with a simple breathing exercise.

Take your hands to your belly and exhale deeply and “hug” the baby with your abs (transverse abdominis). Higgins says you can literally say “Ha!” to feel the muscle contracting up and in. “See if you can find that hug with baby while you are walking,” Higgins says. “Simultaneously strengthening the core will make for an easier delivery with less back pain.”

START NOW:  Get our easy-to-follow prenatal treadmill workout  (which can be used throughout your pregnancy, and beyond!).

—Maggie Young


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