Daily Exercise is essential
When was the last time you went out for a 30min walk as a pregnant woman?
How can I get the most from walking in pregnancy?
If you walked regularly before being pregnant, keep doing it. If you’re not very fit, start with a 15-minute walk, three times a week.
Once you’ve got into the habit of walking regularly, you can build up to faster, 30-minute walking sessions, four or more times a week. If you have a high fitness level you can walk for longer than that. Just be sure to slow down or stop if you feel overtired, unwell, or feel any pain. Your body will generally be able to tell you when it’s time to stop.
If you’re short on time, incorporate walking into your daily routine. So walk short distances rather than drive, take the bus only part of the way, or use your lunch break to get outside and stretch your legs.
Wear sunscreen and a hat if you’re walking on a sunny day, and take a bottle of water with you to help prevent dehydration.
How long should I walk for?
Doctors recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week in pregnancy. Brisk walking, or walking up a hill, counts as moderate exercise. You should be able to hold a conversation, but not without a little effort. Spread out your walking sessions through the week, so you could do 30 minutes five days a week.
Try to be active every day. But if you really can’t manage that, any walking will still be of some benefit to you.
While you’re walking, you may want to try doing your pelvic floor exercises.
How should I adapt my walking throughout pregnancy?
You won’t need to stray too far from your usual walking habits. Wear walking shoes or comfortable trainers, to give your feet the support they need. When you’re walking, place your heel on the ground first, and then roll on to your toes, rather than placing your feet flat on the ground.
If it’s hot and humid outside, slow your pace. Or try another form of exercise, such as swimming.
You will probably feel more energetic now than you felt in your first trimester, and walking may seem easier. You may even be able to increase the distance that you walk. However, you may feel more unwieldy now that your bump is starting to show.
Keep your back straight, your head and chin level, and your eyes on what lies ahead. You can swing your arms to aid balance and intensify your workout, if you like. Keeping a good posture when you walk will ensure that you don’t strain your back.
You may notice that the way you walk is changing now. Your steps may be getting shorter and you may waddle slightly. This is because your body is adjusting to all the changes that are happening to you. Your hips and ankles are doing a lot of the work, so they may ache if you overdo things. Listen to your body, and don’t walk to the point of exhaustion.
If you’re struggling to carry on a conversation while you’re walking, slow down a bit, or consider walking for shorter periods.
Keep walking for as long as you can, though you may want to avoid steep or uneven paths that could put you off-balance. If you have any pelvic or back pain while walking, talk to your midwife or doctor. She may refer you to a physiotherapist.