Walking is a wonderful way to get outside and breathe in some fresh air. It is great for a woman’s fitness, especially when you are pregnant. It is a good exercise, without feeling like you are working your body too hard. Many women are able to walk through most of their pregnancy, so it’s an easy and low impact way to keep exercising when other options just aren’t feasible. Some women even walk during the restless part of labor, in fact. Others worry about exercising, especially with exercise equipment, because they fear injury or over exertion. But you don’t have to be lifting weights or running through circuit training to reap some benefits of exercise, walking can be an easy, enjoyable and relaxing alternative. Even though you’re not trying to drop weight, it’s still important to keep active.
So what are some of the benefits of walking during pregnancy?
- It is good cardiovascular exercise, helping improve blood flow. Anyone can benefit from a strong cardiovascular system, but the benefits are amplified when you’re expecting.
- Walking is relatively safe, even if you did not exercise prior to pregnancy. A lot of exercises can be difficult to perform or even impossible. We all know how to walk though, and there’s no special technique to it. Even though it’s fairly hard to injure yourself or mess up going for a walk, it will still do a lot of good for you and your little one.
- Most women are able to sleep better when they exercise regularly. Restless nights are an unfortunate part of pregnancy for a lot of women, but walking every day to keep up with your exercise can help burn up excess energy, give you a reflective time to release stress, among the other benefits of regular exercise we are all familiar with.
- Walking relieves some of the discomfort that comes with pregnancy. Some aches and pains can develop simply from not being as active as you used to be. Stretching your legs with a walk can actually help get rid of some of those aches. “Taking it easy” is certainly important, as your doctor will likely tell you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shake up your days a bit. You might find that your legs are aching because you’re just not working them out enough.
- Walking will give women a boost of energy. Feeling sluggish and worn out come hand in hand with being pregnant. If there’s a woman on Earth who doesn’t feel tired during her pregnancy, she’s probably some sort of Super Woman. For the rest of us, though, a walk can quickly get the heart pumping and inject some pep in our step.
- Women who are in better shape feel like they are better prepared for childbirth. Even if you weren’t a die-hard gym rat before, it’s worth getting out for some exercise. You’re paying a lot more attention to your body during this time, and the signals it is sending you. Feeling as strong and in shape as possible can help you feel more confident going in, not to mention it can be a nice confidence boost to have your cardiovascular strength up to get back into regular exercise after the baby comes.
- Walking is a good stress relief. It can be a mental workout as much as a physical one, complete with it’s own lasting perks. You’ve got a lot on your mind, and it can be overwhelming sometimes, right? Don’t neglect to take some time for yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to go alone! Obviously taking your partner or someone with you is another good idea, good conversation and quality time are always good for stress. Without many distractions you’ll have a chance to gather your thoughts and let your mind wander, which believe it or not can be a huge help. Maybe take the time to fantasize about your beautiful new future with the baby
- Women in shape throughout their pregnancy often lose their baby weight faster. If you’re worried about losing baby weight, it’s a good idea to fit some walks into your schedule so exercising doesn’t feel like a terrible chore when you’re ready to get back into it. A bit of cardio will help you avoid getting back in the gym and hitting the wall early, which can be discouraging and, let’s be honest, a little depressing. Most mothers will agree, losing baby weight isn’t easy, so avoid those mental pitfalls if you can! Keeping a regular exercise schedule can be attributed to good habits. It’s a mental game, more often than not, to hit the gym every week. Consider scheduling walks like you were with more intense workouts before you got pregnant. This will keep you in “exercise mode” and when you’re ready to try and lose some weight, just switch those sessions back to the gym!
There are so many reasons to walk, especially when you are pregnant. Though you might not feel like it, it is important for your longer term fitness and can help you feel better both physically and mentally. It could even help you have a better pregnancy, labor, and delivery. We hope these points help you stay active during your pregnancy!