One would “ask what is so special about walking? In fact walking brings invaluable benefits to your body. The main thing is all about organizing the process right. So, why walking is good during pregnancy?
Benefits of walking during pregnancy
Is it safe walking during pregnancy? For those who’re interested in knowing whether walking is safe for pregnant ladies, are getting a positive answer. Not only safe, but also useful!
How does walking help during pregnancy? Why is walking important during pregnancy?
The exchange of oxygen is being normalized resulting in oxygen getting through the placenta to your baby, contributing to its growth and development.
Walking strengthens muscles of legs, back and buttocks. It increases the blood supply to the bone tissue, resulting in improvement of calcium metabolism.
Besides walking is a great way to strengthen the immune system. Long stay in air under the soft rays of the sun has a restorative effect on the body, enriches the blood with oxygen, calms and strengthens the nervous system, thereby helping to resist diseases.
Walking plan and time
Usually walking doesn’t require any warm-up, you just start your walk at your own pace and listen to your body. “How much should I walk during pregnancy for normal delivery?” – is a common question. Try to walk at least 2 hours a day in a quiet pace, especially when the weather is nice. It’ll be beneficial for your baby if you walk 2-3 times a day for 30-40 minutes.
Walking workout is the most healthful, especially in early mornings when the air is still clean, and at nights just before sleep.
We do not recommend choosing too complicated or unfamiliar routes. If there is a park, forest or grove near your house, you are very lucky. The more trees, the better it is. If you live in downtown or in an industrial area, find your nearest park or waterfront, and go there.
If possible, it is useful to live in the country or in the village during summer. Walking through the garden or along the river gives positive emotions and as well as it produces the positive impact on the health of a pregnant woman and her baby. Just remember that in bright sunlight hours it is not recommended to stay out long. Walk in the shades of trees.
To increase the benefits from walking you can combine it with listening to classical music, which has a beneficial effect on the psyche. Particularly are recommended the works by W. A. Mozart, though you can pick up works and authors to your own liking.
If the weather is bad, walk on a treadmill at home or a nearest fitness center.
How to walk for the benefit of the child?
During the walk it is important to stride, not to sit on the bench, but if you are tired, sit down to relax for a few minutes. The more you walk, the better your body is prepared for childbirth. If you feel strong enough you can also try brisk walking. Take into consideration that there are different walking programs in early and late pregnancy.
Don’t forget to keep your posture! Make sure that the load is evenly distributed between all groups of muscles of the abdomen and back.
When leaving home, you should be dressed comfortably and up for the weather.
In the late pregnancy period, don’t forget to take your card and passport with you just in case.
Can a pregnant woman take the stairs?
Each time, when at the staircase, a pregnant woman asks the question – can she take the stairs or not?
As we all know, you can go up and down the stairs. And if the last action of going down hasn’t got any contra-indications, climbing up the stair is rather controversial.
Normally, the doctors even recommend walking up the stairs to maintain health and good physical shape, as climbing the stairs can be equated to sports. Walking the steps gives a considerable load on the muscles of the legs, back, musculoskeletal system, respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
That is why taking the stairs is useful but not for everyone – for those with diseases of the joints, asthma or hypertension, the load may be excessive and instead of the expected health improvements may lead to exacerbation of existing diseases.
This Warning applies equally to the period of pregnancy when the load on all the mentioned systems already increased.
However, pregnant women can use the stairs with the use of the following simple rules:
- You should not attempt to quickly climb or descend the stairs – this will not diminish, but rather increase unwanted load during pregnancy. You need to choose a calm, comfortable walking pace and stick to it throughout the way.
- When climbing stairs you need to arrange a short respite to relax, restore breathing and calm heartbeat, and then continue climbing. A stop should be done at least every 2 flights of stairs.
- When walking on stairs, it is important to breathe correctly. Inhale through the nose and exhale through your mouth; breathing should be relaxed and calm – it will reduce the load on the heart.
- If you need to walk up the stairs not periodically, but daily (the lack of or inability to use lift in your own home), you must use compression garments: socks, stockings or tights for pregnant women with supporting effect. It will serve as an effective measure to prevent the pain and cramps in the legs, to prevent the development of varicose.
- No matter whether you walk up or down the stairs, you must be particularly careful and look down, and always have a hand on the railing.
Why do hands sweat and swell after walking during pregnancy?
Most often during sleep at night fluid is being accumulated in the tissues and as a result you have swollen hands in the morning. There is no any particular risk of swelling of the hands; however this can bring the future mother a lot of discomfort.
That occurs because of the fluid accumulating in the wrists, putting pressure on the nerve located there and blocking it. Blocking the nerve leads to the sensitivity of the fingers, the sensation of tingling and (or) burning in the fingers.
What can be done to stop swelling of hands during pregnancy?
Make sure that enough movement is done to prevent the stagnation of fluids in the body. The best solution will be again walking in the fresh air, for at least 2 hours per day.
Start doing some gymnastics exercises for hands (squeezing and unclamping of the fingers in position “hands above your head”).
Control attentively your body weight. Weight gain should not exceed 300-500 g per week. The amount of fluid must match the number of its withdrawal from the body. The rate of consumption of liquid is 1.5-2 liters per day.
Do not dehydrate your body with extra restrictions, as a rule; the body knows what it needs. Avoid salty, spicy or smoked food.
Limit your intake of salt from 12-15 g to 7 g per day. The sodium in salt delays the withdrawal of fluid from the body, increasing the strain on the kidneys.
Take vitamins after consultation with your doctor. That is to strengthen the vascular wall, improving the flow of blood through the vessels and consequently reducing swelling of hands during pregnancy.
You should refrain from walking if you have:
- Exacerbation of chronic diseases, acute respiratory infections or ARI
- Increased tone of the uterus
- Increased pressure and swelling
- Pain in the muscles of the lower back or abdomen
A professional opinion on walking during pregnancy: