Is Brisk Walking Good During Pregnancy?
Everybody knows that pregnant women have to keep fit and get their muscles toned. A lot of fitness centers and health clubs offer special programs for mums-to-be.
Anyway, not all women trust such programs or have time for them or the doctor may have prohibited any intense physical activity.
So what should you do? Do you have to stop dreaming about having easy labor and getting back in shape quickly afterchildbirth? Or about regaining your beauty and figure without strenuous exercises?
For sure, not. The solution is simple: practice walking and brisk walking.
Pros and cons of brisk walking during pregnancy
Is brisk walking good during pregnancy?
Brisk walking is a great way to make sure you are getting the exercises you need in pregnancy. It will keep you fit and healthy.
It can also reduce stress and improve your mental condition, as it’s not a secret that a lot of women during pregnancy are more nervous and vulnerable due to the hormonal changes.
Beautiful sceneries that you see while walking in a park or in a forest also help to reduce stress and give you the strength to cope with the dramatic changes your body is experiencing.
It also improves overall circulation, helps to fight fatigue and falling asleep in the night easily. Most pregnant women who practice brisk walking notice that they sleep much better. Also brisk walking is a safe way of ensuring good physical condition so as when it’s time to deliver the baby the labor is easier and normally shorter and the recovery is quicker.
And it’s good for your baby too, because besides keeping your weight in check, it also keeps the baby’s weight in check and helps to achieve a healthy birth weight.
As for the disadvantages, it’s hard to even name one. Fast walking has little or no impact risks during pregnancy. You should refrain from brisk walking only if your physician has recommended to exclude an exercise program after a look at your complete medical history.
So, how do I start?
You can enjoy brisk walking in all the three trimesters. Start slowly, especially if you were not very active before the pregnancy. From 5 to 10 minutes walks (for example, take a walk during the lunch break at work or walk around the block after dinner) build up to 20-30 minutes walks.
In early pregnancy (first trimester) give brisk walking a miss, if it’s hot and humid outside or if it’s raining/snowing, so to evade the sharp temperatures change in the body. Go to a mall and try swimming instead 0r just use a treadmill.
Do some light stretching and warming up exercises before walking.
Develop your own comfortable pace, do not run or race walk – brisk walk.
Once you’ve got into the habit you can have walking sessions four or more times per week.
It’s ideal to have a walking workout in the natural surroundings, in a park or in a forest. This way you can relax and improve your attitude and mood as well. Things to carry with you, while brisk walking, include the following:
- a bottle of drinking water to avoid dehydration
- some snacks
- a hat or an umbrella
- sunscreen to protect your skin
- your iPad to listen to some music
After the walk remember to do some stretching again.
- heart disease
- blood clots
- recent pulmonary embolism
- high-risk pregnancy
It is generally recommended to consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise program during pregnancy.
Don’t forget that during pregnancy your center of gravity shifts, as your body is adjusting to the changes, so always walk with caution and look forward. It’s normal to feel clumsy and awkward in the second and the third trimester. You can swing your arms to aid balance.
In the third trimester it’s especially important to avoid steep or uneven or slippery paths. As the time for labor is drawing near, keep your phone handy or walk with someone to be sure you can get help if you need it.
Stop walking immediately and contact your physician, if you experience any of the following:
- vaginal bleeding
- strong and severe abdominal pain
- difficulty breathing
- uterine contractions lasting 30 minutes after the exercise
Brisk walking is a great exercise and you will surely avail its benefits. It’s safe, fun and doesn’t need equipment or special planning.
It increases your cardiovascular health and tones your muscles. A lot of women have already appreciated its advantages.
Even those women who prefer to stay at work until the last month of pregnancy can incorporate brisk walking in their everyday routine.
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