Friday, 12 August 2016

Walking in Pregnancy: 10 Tips

The gym can be enjoyable, swimming is good for you, running suits some people, but walking is suitable for all of us, not to mention being free and easy to do.  Walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercise for pregnant women.  Walking provides an all over body work out, as well as essential load-bearing exercise, increases oxygen flow to your baby, and provides some feel-good endorphins all at the same time.  This fantastic keep fit exercise needs no special equipment, can be done whatever the weather, and is safe throughout your pregnancy (unless you have been told otherwise by a professional.)


Medical Advice

Before doing any new exercise seek medical advice during your pregnancy. If you’re not normally highly active, having an extensive walking regime can put a strain on your body and your developing unborn baby.

Plan a Sensible Route

During your pregnancy it is really important not to over work yourself because you can become quickly fatigued. Plan a route which is fairly flat and not too boggy or mountainous to ensure you have good balance and stability.

Companionship

Try and walk with a companion both for safety reasons and because it’s easier to stay motivated if you have someone to exercise with.

Appropriate Clothing

Make sure you are prepared for your walk. Wear loose fitting clothes, have appropriate supportive, well gripped footwear and have a good fitting bra. Remember to keep warm. Apply layers which you can remove and put back on in changing temperatures.

Keep Hydrated

Keep hydrated throughout the day. During your walk take a small bottle of water with you and keep sipping regularly. After exercise consume another bottle of water to replenish lost electrolytes.

Warm Up/ Cool Down

This is really important in order to prepare your muscles for exercise and to bring your heart rate back down to normal post exercise. A thorough warm up and cool down will prevent strained muscle soreness and also help remove lactic acid which has accumulated over time.

Keep Eating Sensibly

It is the inevitable that you will gain some weight during pregnancy but walking will help keep that to a minimum but it is vital to ensure that you eat healthily. Each meal should contain protein and green vegetables (yes, even breakfast ie. Scrambled eggs with rocket). Fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds are all great snacks that will help your pregnancy. Good fats to include in your daily regime are coconut oil and olive oil. These will be helpful to both you and your unborn baby.

Listen to Your Body

You tend to experience highs, lows, peaks and troughs during pregnancy and it is really important to listen to what your body is telling you. When you’re feeling exhausted delay a walk to when you feel up to it both physically and mentally. Never push yourself to the limit, as this can be potentially harmful to you and your unborn baby. Also your ligaments loosen over the nine months due to changes in hormone levels. While these hormones are absolutely critical for a successful pregnancy, they also can make exercise more difficult. As long as you’re sensible about the level of exercise, you should be OK.

Posture

Having a poor posture can cause back ache and muscular pain. Keep your head up and look forward, swing your arms to gain momentum and stability. Your stomach muscles are there to be used so engage your core as much as you can which will help with your posture. Avoid putting a strain on your back by walking anything too mountainous. Try not to waddle towards the end of your pregnancy.

Enjoy It!

Having planned and prepared a walk that is appropriate for whatever stage you’re at in your pregnancy, enjoy the time to relax, chat, take in the fresh air and look forward to an exciting moment in your life. Remember to take each day as it comes and enjoy the great outdoors.

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