Walk This Way
Here’s a trimester-by-trimester guide to the perfect walking workout for pregnant women of all sizes, shapes and fitness levels.
Trimester 1 (up to 13 weeks)
Approach this program gradually and focus primarily on sticking with it. Increases in intensity and duration will come over time.
■ Start by walking 10-15 minutes a day, three days a week, taking at least one day off between walks.
■ When you feel ready, add another day of walking and increase each walk by 5 minutes.
■ After a few weeks, add a fifth day of walking.
Your Goal Toward the end of the trimester, try walking 10-20 minutes a day, five days a week.
The fitter you were before you became pregnant, the sooner you can ramp up to six days of walking a week.
■ Start by walking 20 minutes a day, four days a week.
■ When you feel ready (after four to five weeks), add a fifth day, then a sixth. Also, increase the length of each walk by a few minutes.
Your Goal Toward the end of the trimester, try walking 20-40 minutes a day, six days a week.
Even if you’re fit and a faithful exerciser, changing to a low-impact walking program might be just what you need to continue staying active and feeling good.
■ Start by walking 20-30 minutes a day, five days a week.
■ When you feel ready, add a sixth day and increase the length of each walk by a few minutes each day.
■ If you feel up to it, also add hills, stairs and/or bursts of increased speed (intervals), but don’t push beyond an RPE of 7 (see “Keep It Safe,” at top).
Your Goal Toward the end of the trimester, try walking 30-60 minutes a day, six days a week.