Taking up new sports now that you are pregnant is not the best idea. The safest and most beneficial option is continuing with the activity you were engaged in before pregnancy. Make sure it’s not included in the list of exercises to avoid while pregnant though. For example, you can swim during pregnancy – a great activity for moms-to-be.
If you want to play it safe (or if you have pregnancy discomforts that stand in the way of exercising), stick with walking. Is walking good during pregnancy? Yes, it is. It’s the safest cardiovascular activity to undertake when you are pregnant. Your doctor will confirm it. Walking is low-impact, stress-free, and it’s better for your knees and ankles than running.
You can walk almost anywhere without depending on time restrictions or pace requirements. You don’t need any special equipment for walking, just a pair of comfortable shoes and clothes, a supportive bra and determination to keep fit. Want to know more on whether pregnant women can run or not? Read more about it in one of our posts on pregnancy.
Walking during pregnancy: benefits
- walking during pregnancy keeps your heart strong
- it’s a very safe exercise to ease labor
- it fends off weight gain during pregnancy and after delivery
- walking lowers the risk of nausea, constipation and other pregnancy discomforts
- it prevents problems with sleep
- it improves your mood
Walking: safe exercise for pregnant women
One of the great benefits of walking during pregnancy is that this easy exercise is accessible to expecting mothers of all fitness levels. The rule of thumb here is to walk in moderation and never exhaust yourself to the point of being totally out of breath. Remember that pregnancy is not the best period to put your physical strength and endurance to the test.
Make sure you heed doctor’s advice below to walk through your pregnancy smoothly and safely:
- avoid walking when it’s too hot outside to prevent overheating
- carry a bottle of water with you and drink it regularly
- be aware that walking with a belly takes time to get used to
- as your due date approaches, stay closer to your home and keep your mobile phone handy
- stop walking right away and check with your doctor if you are experiencing vaginal bleeding, dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain or any other pregnancy complication during your walking sessions
During the 1st trimester you won’t have to change your usual walking routine. Just make sure you wear a comfortable outfit, drink a lot of water and protect your skin from the sun. After arriving at your 2nd trimester, focus on your posture to prevent muscle strain in your back and swing your arms to maintain balance. Once you reach the 3d trimester walk on level ground and off uneven paths.