Updated: Jan 28
A lot of pregnant women decide to undergo a workout program after they find out they’re expecting, thinking that the baby on the way is the perfect motivator to get in shape. While it’s great more women take the initiative to get fit after discovering they’re expecting, this can also be a challenging time to undergo a drastic lifestyle change. However, with the right exercise, undertaking a workout routine might be the right option for certain individuals.
Most women are able to complete prenatal workouts on the treadmill, allowing themselves the opportunity to get fit or stay in shape while pregnant. Read on to learn about the numerous benefits of power walking on a treadmill while pregnant, including reducing your back pain and a better post-pregnancy body, and get ready to get on that treadmill sooner rather than later.
Treadmills offer an assortment of benefits, including a powerful strength training and aerobic workout when combined with things like dumbbells and resistance bands. Luckily, pregnant women can experience much of the same benefits from working out on the treadmill as their non-pregnant counterparts, including controlling their weight, while altering the workout to match what their growing body needs. Read on to learn more about the benefits of power walking on the treadmill while pregnant.
Reduce Back Pain
Backs ache A LOT while pregnant, and this is due to a variety of factors, including the baby pressing against the spine, your body growing, poor posture and the addition of a large amount of weight in a centralized location. Unfortunately, backaches also occur due to your newfound center of gravity putting your body off-kilter from what it’s used to. Luckily, power walking forces the spine back into place without risking injuring your baby. With this perfected posture, you’re better able to reduce the spasming commonly associated with back pain as well as reducing general achiness all around.
Easy to Complete
One of the primary reasons pregnant women love walking is because it’s easy. We all walk, and it takes no special equipment, clothing or puts uncommon strain on the body. In fact, you simply have to move your feet and pump your arms to get a full-body workout both you and your baby will love. The best part? It’s easy to adjust to your fitness level and ever-growing belly as well. When you want to have a more intense workout, simply push yourself slightly harder while softer days can go slow and easy. Regardless of how you want to work out, you’ll be able to do the correct routine for your body with power walking.
Safe for Pregnant Women
One of the main things women will notice about powerwalking on the treadmill while pregnant, besides how easy it is, is how their doctors don’t have an issue with it.* Doctors will recommend most women exercise for at least 30 minutes a day throughout their pregnancy. By power walking, women are able to get both a strength and cardio workout in one routine, something that doctors love due to the ease of completing the workout as well as the safety of completing this low-impact exercise.
*We are going to note right here that any pregnant woman looking to start an exercise program should consult with their doctor before undertaking a program. Those who experience any sharp pain during a workout should stop immediately and seek out medical attention if combined with symptoms like uterine cramps, bleeding, spotting, etc. Talk to your doctor before starting this program. This guide is simple advice for women who are considering starting a power walking program while pregnant.
One of the biggest fears most pregnant women have is gaining a large amount of weight while pregnant. While diet is certainly a factor that comes into play when looking and natal weight gain, exercise can also help those looking to keep their weight at bay. When completing a workout on the treadmill, expecting women are torching away calories. When they add in HIIT power walking workouts on the treadmill combined with strength training, they’re super burning calories to stay in shape and have a safer, easier pregnancy.
Do (Almost) Anywhere
Luckily, treadmills are almost everywhere, with many gyms, hotels and fitness centers offering at least one treadmill in their repertoire. However, Fitscope Powerwalking workouts can be completed off the treadmill as well for those who want a workout that burns calories while enjoying the great outdoors as well. While the treadmill is likely the safest option for those looking to power walk in the later stages of their pregnancy, power walking to a Fitscope workout program can be completed anywhere you are in the world.
Full Pregnancy Workout
Power walking can be used throughout the full course of the pregnancy, allowing users to stay in shape without worrying about whether or not they’re going to intense for their growing bodies. Prenatal workouts can vary drastically in intensity, but by following a powerwalking workout, pregnant women can complete the same basic movements throughout their entire pregnancy. Furthermore, they can easily adjust their intensity and movements used throughout the workout, getting their perfect workout in without worrying about what their body can handle. Finally, most pregnant women are able to powerwalk up until the day they’ll give birth.
Better Post Natal Body
When you work out throughout your pregnancy, you’re not only keeping your baby weight in check, but also ensuring your post natal body looks great too. When you power walk, you’re automatically tightening the abdominal ad vaginal muscles, both of which you need to give birth easily and naturally. While this isn’t to say that people who need them shouldn’t opt for c-sections, those who wish to give birth vaginally will be thankful they strengthened those muscles throughout their pregnancy.
Tips for Working Out While Pregnant
Stay At Your Fitness Levels – If you were an Olympic level runner before finding out you were pregnant, you probably don’t need us to tell you that you don’t need to instantly start powerwalking the day you find out. However, if you rarely worked out before becoming pregnant, now isn’t the time to start a vigorous program. Talk to your doctor but it’s usually best to workout at the level you were before finding out you were expecting.
Stay Hydrated – Who would have thought that making a baby is a lot of work? With this work comes a lot of water loss as well, with many finding they sweat more as they workout and complete day to day activities. This is due to the body needing to put in work for even basic tasks. Unfortunately, this also means you are more likely to become dehydrated. Take the time to drink plenty of water each day to ensure that you are able to work out and double your water intake when working out to ensure you don’t lose too much water.
Food is Fuel – While eating for two is a little extreme, you do need to eat slightly more when pregnant to give you and your baby adequate nutrition. Before working out, you should eat a higher carb snack such as a banana or fruit juice to ensure you have adequate energy throughout the entire workout. Furthermore, working out without anything in your stomach while pregnant can cause dizziness, leading to energy on the treadmill.
Know When to Take a Break (or Quit)
Pregnancy puts more women in touch with their bodies, but it also means they sometimes don’t know exactly when they’ve worked out too much. The main thing here is to know what the body is trying to say. If something feels uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to take a break from the workout. If the pain continues, don’t be afraid to quit for the day. The machine will always be there the next day, but the baby may not if mom works out too hard.
Some the signs to watch out for if exercising while pregnant include:
● Regular contractions
● Painful contractions
● Dizziness, shortness of breath and/or fainting
● Chest pain
● Nausea (if not a regular sufferer of morning sickness)
● New or unusual pains
● Leaking or bleeding from the vagina
● Swelling (pay particular attention to the calves)
● Muscle weakness
● Loss of balance
Sample Powerwalking Workout
Warm Up – 5 minutes – Walk at 0% incline at 3mph
Increase incline to 2%
3 minutes – Walk at 4 mph
2 Minutes – Walk at 3 mph
3 Minutes – Walk at 4.5 mph
2 Minutes – Walk at 3.5 mph
Increase Incline to 5%
3 Minutes – Walk at a comfortable pace
Decrease Incline to 3%
2 Minutes – Walk at a comfortable pace
Increase Incline to 6%
3 Minutes – Walk at a comfortable pace
Decrease Incline to 4%
2 minutes – Walk at a comfortable pace
Cooldown – Decrease incline to 0 and walk at 3 mph
Want to hop on your treadmill and start working out as soon as possible? Fitscope offers PRENATAL online studio classes for cycling, power walking (on the treadmill), strength workouts, ellipticals & rowing machines to allow mothers-to-be to vary their workouts while obtaining maximum benefits. Click here to learn more and receive a free one-week trial.