This Article is About
poor circulation
varicose veins
physical stress
sedentary lifestyle
exercise routine
first few days
ample water
exercise program
moderate amounts
keeping fit
Walking In Pregnancy
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Walking in pregnancy is one of the simplest and most effective ways of keeping fit during this all important time. In this article I will discuss the benefits of walking as a part of your weekly exercise routine. The second part of the article will list some 'smart' walking tips.

Benefits of walking in pregnancy

The primary benefit of walking in pregnancy is that you can begin doing this at any stage of your pregnancy. So even if this is the first time that you are embarking on an exercise program or returning to exercise after any length of time don't feel daunted. Begin slowly for a few minutes a day, and ramp up your regime in time. The key is to listen to your body.

Pregnancy is a time when your body undergoes major changes. These changes cause both mental and physical stress. There is no better stress-buster than a quiet walk during sometime of the day.  This will be your time to enjoy the outdoors. The 'happy hormones' (endorphins) released during the walk helps you to rejuvenate. If you are beginning to exercise after a while, in the first few days it may seem like you are dragging yourself out of the house. Soon however, it will become a fun part of your day. If you have a set time for this everyday you will soon find yourself looking forward to this time to yourself. A little pick me up - a shot of 'caffeine' with a healthy buzz!

As your pregnancy advances and particularly in childbirth you will require a lot of strength and stamina. Your back and lower body in particular need special attention. Issues such as varicose veins are a very common and painful problem that crops up in pregnancy. The condition is said to be caused by poor circulation. The primary culprit being a sedentary lifestyle. Walking is a great way to relieve and prevent varicose veins and prepare you for labor. 

Another frequent complaint in pregnancy is constipation. While drinking ample water and consuming moderate amounts of fiber is important, so is movement. A short walk everyday or on most days of the week is a simple remedy to get things going. Our bodies were built to walk - so get moving.  A further benefit of walking in pregnancy is that it is actually very good for your baby. The increase in blood supply to the uterus and release of endorphins contributes to this. It is also nice to know that your baby enjoys the rhythm of your walking - it is a memory that they carry with them into the outside world. Did you ever wonder why babies are soothed by walking and rocking?

Smart tips for walking in pregnancy

As is the case of any good thing, over doing it can cause problems. Moderation and mindfulness is key. Please keep the following tips in mind when walking for exercise.

  • Listen to your body - move at your own pace. You may need to reduce pace and duration as your pregnancy proceeds.
  • Warm up at the start of your walk, stretch at the end. Be aware that your ligaments are loose in pregnancy so protect them. 
  • Protect your back. Be mindful of your posture - walk tall, tuck your buttocks under and keep your chin parallel to the ground. Let your belly hang loose - relax.
  • Reduce your pace if you feel breathless.
  • Keep yourself well hydrated - carry a bottle of water and sip in-between your walk.
  • Dress appropriately keep your mind on the weather. Your immune system is compromised in pregnancy - so you are likely to catch a cold more easily - be wary of this. At the same time, don't rug up unnecessarily it is also important for your baby's well-being to keep cool. The right balance is key. 
  • Wear suitable shoes. Flat cushioned shoes are ideal.
  • If you injure yourself or feel out of sorts give your walk a skip. If you re-start after a while, ease into it.
  • Walk for exercise at least 3 days a week, take a rest day in between.
  • According to your circumstances you may need to consult your health care provider before commencing a fitness program.

The numerous benefits of walking in pregnancy are hard to ignore. In addition to walking for exercise ensure that you keep moving throughout the day. When walking for fitness keep the tips listed above in mind. There are some great books out there on walking and options for keeping fit in pregnancy. Remember whatever exercise you undertake be it walking in pregnancy or any other activity, be kind to your yourself. If you liked my article "Walking in Pregnancy" please visit my website

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