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 2 (13-25 weeks)
During this “honeymoon” trimester, energy peaks and nausea should be history—the perfect time to exercise.
■ If you are beginning this program in your second trimester, start by walking 10 minutes a day, four to five days a week.
■ When you’re ready, pick two days that will become your longer-walk days (15-30 minutes) and add another day of walking.
Your Goal Toward the end of the trimester, try walking 15-30 minutes a day, four to six days a week.
You’re ready to gradually lengthen your walks and pick up the pace at certain points. Just be sure not to push if you’re feeling tired or get overheated.
■ If you are beginning in your second trimester, start by walking 20 minutes a day, four to six days a week.
■ Gradually add minutes every other day so that your total on those days is at least 30-40 minutes.
■ Once or twice a week, if you’re feeling up to it, increase your RPE by one level (see “Keep It Safe,” at top) for 10-15 minutes during the middle of the workout.
Your Goal Toward the end of the trimester, try walking 25-40 minutes a day, five to six days a week, increasing your speed during one or two walks.
Provided you’re feeling good, it’s fine to continue increasing the length of your walks and picking up the pace a couple of times a week.
■ If you are beginning in your second trimester, start by walking 30-40 minutes a day, six days a week.
■ Choose at least one day when you aim for 50 minutes, incorporating hills, stairs and/or intervals, but don’t push beyond an RPE of 7.
■ Lengthen your shorter walks until your total is at least 40-50 minutes on each of the remaining five days.
Your Goal Toward the end of the trimester, try walking 40-50 minutes a day, five or six days a week; and 60 minutes a day, one day a week.