Walking is considered to be the best cardiovascular exercise. Also safe throughout the nine months of your pregnancy, walking is one sure thing that will keep you fit. The reason why many doctors encourage walking during pregnancy is that it is the least expensive and easiest way to start exercising, with benefits aplenty. And if you are new to walk, then this should be gradually incorporated into your routine. Start walking for ten minutes, and once you start getting comfortable with it, then gradually increase the time limit.
Reasons why walking is encouraged during pregnancy
- It eases the process of labor, walking helps the joints to remain flexible, and hips can easily expand during the time of delivery. It also makes your heart stronger and builds a higher level of stamina
- Walking helps in good circulation of blood, preventing varicose veins (swollen, twisted veins) caused by sitting in the same position for a long period
- It fights morning sickness and makes you active. Even after delivery, walk keeps the body active
- It also reduces the chances of constipation
- It burns extra calories and helps in shedding extra fat
- Walking acts as a stress buster. If you walk with your partner, you can share your thoughts with him and release all your stress and worries. Even if you walk alone, it gives you a peaceful state of mind
Rules for walking during pregnancy:
- Warming Up: Take two minutes of your time to warm up
- Ankle Circles: Move your toes in circular motions 6-8 times, both clockwise and anti-clockwise. Repeat with the other foot. Take the support of a wall or a railing
- Swing the legs: Balance yourself on one foot holding a wall or rail and Swing your free leg forward and back from your hip in a relaxed motion. Repeat 10-20 times; switch legs and repeat
- Arm Circles: Stand while holding arms straight out to the sides. Circle arms backward ten times; repeat in the opposite direction
- Cooling Off: After you are done with your walk, take 5 minutes to do some stretching exercises – back, shoulders, hips, thighs, and calves. This should not hurt even when your pregnancy progresses
Points to be kept in mind while walking:-
- Gradually increase your time and do not strain your body
- If alone, carry a mobile, but it is best to have someone to accompany you for stress buster chitchat
- Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated and healthy snacks in case you have a sudden urge to eat. Carry a bottle with you
- Wear a comfortable pair of shoes and a dress. The shoes should support the ankles and the arches. Take small steps instead of long steps
- The track where you walk should be leveled and clean. Avoid bumpy roads or muddy parks.
- Walk as much as your body permits do not set targets. Walk with ease and stop when you feel tired or uneasy.
Remember that oxygen is going to the baby through your, so refrain from exhausting or pushing yourself.
- Watch out for warning signs like bleeding, body pain, swelling, discomfort, weakness or breathlessness
- Avoid walking during the night time or in extremely hot weather. If it is hot, try walking on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym or opt walking in the house
- Take breaks if required while walking. Do not strain your body. Walk slowly and with ease. Do not be in a rush. Watch out your steps carefully.
Pregnancy Exercises are encouraged, and walking is considered to be the best exercise for expecting mothers. You should be able to walk normally during your first two trimesters of your pregnancy and continue in your third trimester as long as your body allows. This does not mean that expecting mothers need to sweat out and follow a strict regime. Walking is encouraged so that the mother stays active, and her stamina gets stronger so that even after birth, the mother stays active and fit. Make sure you do not go breathless while walking, or else the body takes up the oxygen that should be going to the baby. Stop when you feel body pain, swelling, or uneasiness. Always consult your doctor about the continuation of the walk. For staying fit, always make sure you have a safe walk.