The Benefits of Walking During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a special time in the life of all mothers-to-be. It is important to do whatever you can to make sure you’re comfortable and healthy to ensure you and your baby’s safety during the entire process.
Staying active during pregnancy is widely recommended unless your healthcare provider has specifically advised bed rest. Luckily, the simple exercise of walking is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stay active during pregnancy.
What are the benefits?
Some reasons why you might want to start walking during pregnancy include:
- It builds stamina and muscle strength, which you will need during the birthing process
- Movement aids digestion, preventing common gut problems like constipation and heartburn during pregnancy
- Exercise and movement prevents complications like gestational diabetes and hypertension
- Walking outdoors is said to elevate mood and relieve stress levels
- It’s great to keep your pregnancy weight gain in check
- It is said to help you have a shorter and easier labor
Is it safe?
Yes, walking during pregnancy is completely safe unless your healthcare provider has advised you otherwise. It is best to consult with your care provider before starting in case you have any concerns.
Here are some safety tips for walking during pregnancy:
- Start slow, the goal is to stay active
- Start in small increments by walking 5-10 minutes and then slowly increase the duration when you feel like you can tolerate it
- Take a break if you feel like you’re out of breath, don’t expect yourself to walk a mile without breaking a sweat
- Walk at a comfortable pace, don’t jog or run
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes to prevent any incidents
- Make sure you stay hydrated
- Walk on a smooth path
- If possible, have your partner or someone else accompany you
However, stop all exercise and contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have any kind of vaginal bleeding
- You feel dizzy or feel yourself blacking out
- You feel any kind of chest pain
- You have severe swelling in your legs
- You feel any kind of contractions
How can I make it more fun?
Making the whole process of walking more fun will encourage you to do it more often!
- Take a friend or partner with you, company makes everything fun!
- Listen to your favorite music or audiobooks
- Do it with a group of other moms-to-be
- Do it in a park or street with a beautiful view
Can I do other exercises while pregnant?
Yes, you can! But please speak to your care provider before starting any of these. Some of the other exercises you can do during pregnancy include:
- Yoga: It’s one of the most popular workouts preferred by pregnant women! It will help you move, without being too intense
- Swimming: Another great low-impact activity that works great to build stamina and muscle strength
- Riding a bike: A great way to strengthen your pelvic muscles is by biking. Most recommend a stationary bike to avoid balance challenges and heavy impact on your joints.
- Low impact aerobics: As long as you don’t do anything too strenuous, aerobics is safe in pregnancy. It’s a great way to stay active and burn off extra calories.
- Pilates: Pilates is usually low-impact and works to increase muscle strength and flexibility. As long as you feel comfortable, it’s safe to practice.
Don’t forget to stretch and stay properly hydrated before and after you go for your walk! This will help your muscles not cramp up while exercising. Have more questions about walking during pregnancy? Feel free to send us a message or give us a call at 210-481-7549.
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