Back Hurt; Okay To Walk During Pregnancy?

Alexandra Powell Allred's picture

QUESTION

Dear Fitness Expert,
I am about 4 weeks right now and I was wondering if I could start walking every day. I have been active in the past, lifting weights and running about 2-3 times a week. However, I hurt my back this summer and have been unable to do very much. I was just getting back in the groove when I found out I was pregnant.

ANSWER

First, you must speak to your doctor regarding your back. Because there will be stress on the back as you move along in your pregnancy, you want to be very proactive about back care and keep in touch with your primary physician and OB/GYN. Everyone needs to be on board with your workouts, medications, warm-ups/cool-downs and overall body conditioning.

Having said all this, there is no reason you should not be able to walk. Walking is a low-impact workout that will continue to work vital muscle groups and keep you in condition for the big day. The absolute best thing you can do is design a workout with a trainer -- if money is an issue, make it a one-time deal -- simply to ensure your movements are safe and proper. As long as your body is strong, you should be able to work out up to the day you go into labor. Olympic marathon runners, race walkers and every-day runner/walkers report easier, healthier pregnancy as a result of their walking/running program and speedier recoveries ... so get those shoes on and start a walking program as soon as you talk to your OB/GYN and trainer.

Good luck.
-- Alex