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Walking as Exercise During Pregnancy: Tips and Benefits

Walking as Exercise During Pregnancy: Tips and Benefits

Walking is one of the best exercises – whether in pregnancy or in your regular life. Walking every day for a minimum of 30 minutes helps enhance your blood circulation, controls diabetes, and manages blood pressure. As with other types of exercise, it can strengthen your body muscles and joints. Walking while pregnant is considered to be a great form of cardiovascular workout.

Compared to all other exercises, walking during pregnancy is one of the safest exercises for both – the mommy and the baby.

Walking while pregnant: Do’s and don’ts

First things first: make sure to get the most comfortable pair of shoes and clothes and get started. With respect to walking in pregnancy, an expectant mother would have multiple questions pertaining to – how much to walk, when to walk, its benefits and other do’s and don’ts.

Let’s begin with some basic do’s and don’t which you need to take care of before engaging in this type of exercise.

Do’s

When walking while pregnant, do take care of your body’s balance. It might take time for you to get used to your larger midsection while walking, but walking every day will get you closer to the technique.

Do listen to your body’s signs and signals. Understand when to pause and stop if you feel tired or going out of breath. Take it slow. The most important thing is to get moving, at your own pace.

Don’ts

Avoid comparing your performance against your pre-pregnancy fitness levels. Remember: when it comes to walking while pregnant, the goal with respect to walking time should always be to maintain your fitness and not challenge its limits.

Don’t go out for walks if it’s extremely hot. Go for a treadmill on such sunny days. Walking in pregnancy makes you feel better when done in pleasant weather.

Advantages of walking while pregnant

Being physically active during your entire pregnancy tenure is good for the mother’s and baby’s health. Below are some of the benefits of walking in pregnancy:

Sets a positive post-pregnancy habit

Walking in pregnancy and engaging in other forms of exercise makes it more likely that the mother will be continuing the same post-giving birth. It helps the mother get back in shape and stay healthy beyond pregnancy.

Strengthens the joints

Walking in pregnancy improves the joint’s flexibility throughout its motion. When joints and muscles lack movement, they become stiff.

Walking prevents this issue and related problems as moving legs helps in keeping the hip joints loose. Strong and flexible hips prove to be really helpful during the delivery time.

Keeps your mind relaxed and peaceful

The happy hormones released while walking helps the mother to feel good and stress-free. Happy mom passes the happy feelings to her baby as well. It helps the mother to maintain a positive mindset.

walking during pregnancy

Tips for walking while pregnant per trimester

These are certain basic tips and suggestions which can help you adapt to the right form of walking spread over the different trimester. However, always consult your doctor or therapist before starting any new form of exercise.

During the first trimester, which is the first 3 months of pregnancy, the mother should start walking 10-20 minutes, three days a week if not used to exercising earlier.

Once you are regular and your body gets used to, increase it to 15-20 minutes for five days a week by the end of this trimester. For the ones who exercised before pregnancy as well, they should try to begin the pregnancy walking 20-30 minutes – four days a week and eventually go up to 40-60 minutes for six days a week.

In the next 3 months, referred to as the second trimester – as the morning sickness becomes lesser, it’s a good time to amp up your pregnancy walking.

Beginners can walk five-six days a week for 20-30 minutes per day. Those used to walking while pregnant can opt for a thirty-fifty minutes target per day for six days a week.

In the third trimester of your pregnancy, slow down and focus more on being comfortable. You can maintain the same duration as per your second trimester but at a reduced speed. You can even consider doing the pregnancy walking for lesser days compared to your previous trimesters.

This period is more about being in your comfort zone – physically and mentally and prepping for the big day.

So all you mommies-to-be out there, now that you know the perks and techniques of pregnancy walking, what are you waiting for?

Get, Set, Start Walking!

 

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

5 Reasons Walking is the Best Exercise During Pregnancy/https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/6257/5-reasons-walking-is-the-best-exercise-during-pregnancy/Accessed on 03/05/2020

The Benefits of Walking for Pregnant and New Moms/https://www.parents.com/baby/health/lose-baby-weight/the-benefits-of-walking-for-pregnant-and-new-moms/Accessed on 03/05/2020

Walking During Pregnancy- Benefits, Safety, and Risks/https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/walking-during-pregnancy/Accessed on 03/05/2020

Walking in pregnancy/https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a7863/walking-in-pregnancy/Accessed on 03/05/2020

Easy Pregnancy Walking Workouts for Every Trimester/https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/fitness/easy-pregnant-walking-workouts/Accessed on 03/05/2020

Walking and pregnancy/https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/exercise-pregnancy/what-kind-exercises-can-i-do/walking-and-pregnancy/Accessed on 03/05/2020

Pregnancy and exercise: Baby, let’s move!/https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-exercise/art-20046896/Accessed on 03/05/2020

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Oct 17
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.