Walking is great pregnancy exercise option! Even if you can only find half an hour a day you can build up a pace or even include weights for a super fit pregnancy
Walking during pregnancy is a great way to maintain your active pregnancy, tone your muscles, promote healthy sleep and enjoy plenty of beneficial fresh air and Vitamin D. Aim for a good, positive pace to increase your heart rate and improve your circulation, improving the strength in your legs (so important during labour) and engaging your abs.
Regular walking is a sociable activity that’s ideal for all ages and can accommodate all levels of fitness. Once your baby is born regular walking can help you lose weight after pregnancy too ….pushing your buggy or carrying baby in a sling. Best of all it’s free!
If you’re not already a regular walker, start with a comfortable stroll and build up to faster walking sessions. Aim for 20-30 minutes three times a week to begin with and ideally build up to 30-60 minutes every day to really see the benefits. Alternate brisk walking with a slower pace and exercise your upper body as well by swinging your arms as you walk.
Be aware of your posture, keep your back straight and your head and chin level. Try and position your feet when you walk so they don’t turn outwards – which not only lends itself to a ‘pregnancy waddle’ it also contributes to pulling your pelvis forward, putting extra stress on your spine. As you walk, try and place your heel on the ground first and then roll onto your toes as this is less likely to jar your knees and ankles than placing your feet flat on the ground. Regular walking helps you maintain your balance and adjust to the changes in your centre of gravity as your baby develops
Few things to think about:
- Your centre of gravity changes during pregnancy – it’s a good idea to wear sensible well fitting trainers or walking shoes. For ‘off road’ walking, boots with ankle support are a good idea – choose something well-fitting and light-weight.
- Wearing a supportive maternity activewear top will lift and hold the weight of your bump, making walking more comfortable
- Keep the pace at a level that still allows you carry on a conversation
- Don’t overdo it! It’s easy to carry on walking until you’ve had enough…..and then realise you have to walk back as well
- Keep hydrated – carry a bottle of water and take regular sips
- Stay fuelled, don’t walk on an empty stomach and pack a few healthy snacks
- This may seem obvious but when your bump is too big for you to easily see where you are putting your feet – take it easy and avoid steep and uneven paths