Walking While Pregnant

More and more moms-to-be are realizing and taking advantage of the benefits of walking while pregnant. If you’re expecting and have yet to take up walking, now is the perfect time to do so. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Walking lowers the risk of pre-eclampsia. Since it helps to reduce your cholesterol, in a somewhat roundabout way, and helps maintain your weight, your chances of dealing with high blood pressure are much lower.
  • It lowers the risk of gestational diabetes. Again, because walking helps you maintain your weight when pregnant, you have much less chance of getting this temporary form of diabetes.
  • Your chances of having a healthy baby are higher. When you stay at the optimum pregnancy weight, it typically means your baby is also maintaining a healthy weight. If you’re worried about delivering a heavy baby, you might consider walking to reduce the chances of weight being a delivery-related issue.
  • Because walking strengthens your muscles and increases your flexibility, women who walk during pregnancy typically have an easier time with childbirth. This can mean less pain in a much faster delivery time.

Almost everyone knows that pregnancy causes at least some level of stress. For some women, this level is much higher than others. In addition, hormones cause moods to go from extreme happiness one minute to downright depression the next.

As mentioned above, when you walk your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are magical in a sense, because they make you feel good. So, even if your schedule only allows infrequent walks when pregnant, take advantage of each and every one of them.

Taking the steps instead of the elevator, grocery shopping, trying to walk just a little more at work or getting off the bus one stop early are all ways to add extra walking to your daily routine.

There are a couple of special safety precautions to keep in mind as a pregnant walker. Don’t let your body get too overheated. Doing so can sometimes lead to premature labor. If it’s warm outside, consider walking in the mall. In addition, because of your large belly, your center of gravity has shifted. Because of this, you always want to walk with extra caution.

When you’re pregnant, you probably don’t want to go into “power walker mode,” unless walking was part of your daily routine before you got pregnant. Never walk too fast. It’s best to walk at a comfortable pace. Try to remember to take a few sips of water every five minutes or so. You don’t want to get dehydrated. It’s bad for you and the baby!