We all know that exercise is necessary for the health of pregnant women and the baby. But in case one’s lifestyle does not include an exercise regime prior to pregnancy, it is advisable to avoid starting anything new without due care. However, in such cases, walking is the safest and the ideal cardiovascular exercise for pregnant women.
Why is walking an ideal exercise? Let us discuss some of the benefits of walking for pregnant women.
- Provides overall physical fitness: Walking during pregnancy makes you physically fit and active. It is an ideal exercise for the body and helps in maintaining cardiovascular health. It also helps to keep the muscles well toned.
- Maintains ideal weight: Walking burns calories and prevents excess weight gain. It keeps you and your baby’s weight in check.
- Eases Labour: Walking helps in making the delivery process easy and natural. Walking improves flexibility which increases the chances of normal delivery too.
- Reduces stress: Due to the hormonal changes in pregnant women most of them experience stress. Walking helps in lifting up your mood and relieving stress.
- Provides relief from discomfort:Pregnant women generally experience body aches, pains and have to deal with discomfort. Walking is an ideal exercise to provide relief from such problems.
- Lowers the chances ofGestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes: is a condition of increased blood sugar levels in pregnant women. This increases the risk of premature delivery. Walking regularly lowers the chances of gestational diabetes.
- Reduces risk of Preeclampsia:Preeclampsia is a complication caused due to high levels of blood pressure and extra protein present in the urine. Walking helps in lowering cholesterol levels and keeps blood pressure in check.
- Improves sleep:Studies suggest that walking helps in improving sleep pattern of pregnant women. As pregnant women generally feel discomfort while sleeping, their sleep is disturbed. Regular walking helps you get a restful sleep as it eases the pains and discomfort.
- Boosts energy: Pregnant women generally feel lethargic and tired. Walking regularly on a daily basis for a short duration of 15-20 minutes helps in feeling energized for longer hours and lifts up your mood too.
- Other benefits: Apart from the above-mentioned benefits walking helps to ease constipation, boosts confidence and keeps you happy and optimistic.
What precautions should you take while walking during pregnancy?
- Wear proper shoes:Never wear sandals or slippers while going for a walk. It does not give ample support to your ankles and knees and could give you might feel discomfort after walking. Always wear walking shoes which are of a proper size and an ideal fit.
- Start slow:If you have been not been active before pregnancy, start slow and walk for 15 minutes for 2 to 3 times a week. Later increase the intensity and time as per your convenience. Never overdo. Your body gives you a signal. If you feel tired, stop and take rest and then resume walking slowly.
- Stay hydrated:Always carry a bottle of water to avoid dehydration. Dehydration will increase your body temperature and might lead to contractions which would not be safe for you and your baby. Stop if you feel any discomfort like dizziness or fatigue. Have a glass of coconut water after your walk.
- Maintain proper posture:Always walk with your back straight while walking. Also place your heel first and then roll onto your toes.
- Stretching exercises: Do mild stretching exercises to loosen up the muscles before you begin walking. Do consult an expert before doing any stretching exercises.
- Protect yourself from heat: Wear a cap or hat and apply sunscreen before you go for a walk.
- Have a snack:Drink a glass of milk or eat a light snack, like a fruit or an energy bar before going for a walk.
If you have been active before pregnancy, you can continue your walking routine. However always consult your doctor before starting any exercise regime and then make it your routine. Walking will surely benefit you and your baby growing within you.
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Author’s Note: This is a sponsored post and contains links.
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