The Use of Walkinig on the Treadmill while Pregnant

There were times when “pregnant’ and “sporty” could hardly be used in one line.

But I hope that you’re one of the modern mothers-to-be and you understand that pregnancy is not a sickness and you don’t have to lay down the whole nine months in fear of any exercise.

Fit is new sexy and it goes with a woman in your condition as well.


What the doctors say?

Walking on the treadmillWell, your own biology speaks in favor of a workout during pregnancy. It’s a known fact that when you’re with child your blood circulation changes dramatically.

You have a whole new circulatory system in the placenta, it will be up to one liter more blood in your body altogether when you reach your seventh month and your heart pumps 40% more for every minute.

All this blood has to bear enough oxygen for you and your baby to stay healthy and not to suffer from hypoxia. And that’s what the physical activity is for – to enrich your blood with oxygen at higher level.

So if you were always fit and sporty there’s absolutely no reason for you to drastically change your lifestyle. But if you’ve never been a gym fan before – you might better think of changing your attitude.

Remember though that there are general recommendations stating when it’s better to be extra careful with any sport, so don’t exercise when you have:

  • heart or lung disease;
  • risk of preterm labor;
  • bleeding;
  • premature dilation;
  • preeclampsia (pregnancy-induces high blood pressure);
Attention! Before starting any sports activity check with your doctor that its safe for you and your baby. Remember – every pregnancy is different!

What the doctors say?Most physicians would recommend walking as an exercise suitable for almost every pregnant woman. The data about running or jogging is a bit controversial, so if you’ve never ran a marathon before – now it’s definitely not the time for it.

Keep it low-impact – for now your aim is to keep your body functional, not to pump up your muscles.
So let’s say

Walking on treadmill during pregnancy

Not everyone is lucky to live in the area with low pollution rate and a lot of green spaces or going through their pregnancy during nice warm sunny days. If you’re not one of those lucky ones you might think about choosing a gym with its air-conditioned atmosphere and comfortable conditions over unpredictable weather outside.

Then – pick up your dusty abonnement and get to the fitness center for your treadmill workout.

How to organize your training?

Now it’s more than ever important to choose the best training equipment possible. So follow this tips to find your perfect treadmill:

How to organize your training?

  1. Make sure it has strong handles and has an automatic shut off system. Safety first!
  2. It should be wide enough and comfortable to walk on.
  3. The range of speeds and regimes should be fitting your purposes.

Another thing to prepare for your workout is a pulse monitor. Most of the machines are checking your pulse themselves and give you recommendations accordingly.

You can also get plenty of new smartphone applications which will help you to pace yourself. For reference, your pulse should not go over 60% of PO2 max (pulse of a maximum oxygen consumption) in the first trimester and 65-70% in second and third.

To count your max PO2 use the formula: 220-your age.

Like this if you’re 30 years old then 220-30=190, and 190×0,6=114.

So keep your pulse under 114 beats a minute.

Ready, steady, go!

Ready, steady, go!So, you’ve checked your treadmill, got your monitor, prepared a bottle of water. Now the actual workout starts.

Warm up: start with slow walking with minimal inclination (0-3%), don’t rush over 4-5 km/h. Five minutes in this regime will prepare you for the next stage.

First half of workout: keep the incline on the 2-3% level and walk for 10 minutes, changing the speed of the treadmill every 2-3 minutes on 1,5 km/h back and forth.

Second half of the workout: keep the speed consistent on 4-5 km/h and every 2-3 minutes change the inclination on 2-3 % back and forth. Continue for 10 minutes.

Cool down: walk 5 minutes decreasing the incline to a starting %.

Keeping this system your training will take around 30 minutes. Which is perfect for the moderate exercise you need.

But if you don’t feel that this is enough, change the inclination on the treadmill and have it a bit harder. It’s not recommended to increase the speed of walking.

Important! Always be hydrated!

When to abort a workout?

When to abort a workout?Even if you’re perfectly healthy and your doctor says there’s absolutely no reason for you to take extra precautions during sports activities, please, keep in mind that if any of this signs appear during your training you have to stop immediately and consult your gynecologist:

  • vaginal bleeding or any other liquid leak;
  • fainting or dizziness;
  • headache;
  • chest pain;
  • contractions;
  • decrease in fetal movement.

Anything else?

There are few other tips which you might find useful for walking on the treadmill while pregnant.
If you want to check quickly that you’re not overdoing it – go for a «speaking test».

Imagine you walk next to a friend and want to sustain a conversation while doing so. Can you? If you are really out of your breath and find it hard to speak – you have to lower the speed or incline of your treadmill.

Can you chitchat easily? Maybe you’re underestimating yourself and could have a bit bigger load. And, please, don’t feel stupid speaking out loud to yourself, this time your health Is more important than your public image.

When you’re getting into your second trimester buy a pregnancy belt. It will support your bump and provide you with even more comfort then before. It also will take a bit of weight off your ligaments and distribute some of it to the back, helping your knees and hips.

Anything else?The heavier you are – the more load your veins carry, so after a training session you might start feeling your legs getting too heavy.

Let them rest by putting them up for at least ten minutes after a workout, but better avoid laying on your back while doing so. For the same reason you might want to consider investing in a pair of compression stockings.

Useful video

Watch this video with a workout for mothers-to-be:

What do you get in result?

Now you know that there’s no better way to keep yourself on track during pregnancy than to walk on a treadmill. Safe, easy to use and efficient, this simple piece of equipment will help you keep your body maximally fit during these nine months.

You will have to worry less about getting in shape afterbirth, because your body will still have functional muscles, which you’ll thank yourself for.

So, future mommy, it’s not the right time to get lazy, go and conquer that treadmill!

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