For most pregnant women, some daily exercise like walking is important. Of course, all pregnant women should consult their doctor to discuss their exercise routines and fitness requirements. Women who are not at risk for preterm labor are generally encouraged to walk as this activity allows them to maintain their muscle tone, which is beneficial during labor and delivery. The following reasons are just a few why pregnant women should incorporate walking into their fitness routines.
Walking is good for your heart whether you're pregnant or not. The aerobic benefits associated with walking support heart health. Not only does aerobic exercise make the heart stronger, it can even help reduce unhealthy levels of blood cholesterol. In fact, walking just thirty minutes a day will support heart health. Some studies even suggest that walking regularly helps promote longevity.
When you exercise during pregnancy, you can achieve a fit pregnancy figure. You'll be less prone to aches and pains associated with pregnancy when your body is primed for fitness. You'll also increase your flexibility when you walk on a regular basis. In addition, your body's systems, like your digestive tract, will function better.
Ward Off Serious Pregnancy-Related Conditions
Because walking promotes fitness, it can help pregnant women ward off conditions like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. When it comes to gestational diabetes, studies suggest that women can reduce their risk by as much as 27% when they make walking part of their fitness routine.
Boost Your Energy Levels
Like other forms of exercise, walking can boost your energy levels so you feel less fatigue. Many women suffer from pregnancy-related fatigue that saps energy and makes you crave naps. While adequate rest is essential, walking can make you feel less tired throughout your day. Moreover, the increased energy you feel during pregnancy can carry over to your labor and delivery when you can really use that extra pep.
Reduce Excess Weight Gain
While it's important to gain an adequate amount of weight for your growing baby, no woman wants to gain much beyond that. Not only can excess weight gain compromise a woman's health, it can be difficult to lose after the birth of the child. By walking, you can burn calories each day and maintain your healthy pregnancy weight.
Tips for Walking while Pregnant
After obtaining your doctor's consent, you can begin your walking routine. Wear comfortable athletic shoes that provide you with optimum support. You may also wish to wear a pregnancy band so that you reduce the 'bounce' of your baby bump and provide it with comfortable support. If you can't manage to walk for thirty minutes, just do ten. Start small, but be sure to walk each day to build up your endurance. It's also important to stretch before you set out on your walk so that you don't pull a muscle while exercising.
If your doctor approves, it's important to adopt a fitness plan during pregnancy. Walking is a great exercise that you can also continue after your baby is born. You'll find that walking can also reduce stress and help you achieve a calm state of mind while enhancing your physical health.