It is well-known that walking is one of the best exercises possible. It helps to keep you healthy and fit. There are no reasons to be different during pregnancy. If your doctor gives you the ‘green signal’, walking in pregnancy will be beneficial for your health.
Your primary goal during pregnancy is to preserve your level of fitness. It is indeed not time to try to improve upon it. You can walk as much as you like but you need to respect some basic rules. Avoid walking in exceptionally hot weather, take enough fluids, and listen to your body. It’s not the time to test your limits. When your body asks for a break, do it.
Table of Contents
- A Pregnant Woman Walking
- How Much Should You Walk While Pregnant?
- Pregnancy Walking Plan
- Walking During Pregnancy – During First 13 Weeks (the First Trimester)
- Walking During Pregnancy – From 13 to 25 Weeks (the Second Trimester)
- Walking During Pregnancy – from 26 to 40 Weeks (the Third Trimester)
A Pregnant Woman Walking
Walking will keep a pregnant woman fit and healthy, and there will be a lot of benefits for both the future mother and her baby. Take advantage of probably the best cardiovascular exercise and be fit without any particular equipment or additional cost. The most important, if your doctor decides that your health condition is good, you can walk during the pregnancy as long as you feel comfortable. Plus, walking is the easy way to start exercising if you are not ‘a sports type’ and haven’t been active ever before.
There are numerous benefits for you and your baby of walking during your pregnancy, and I will show you some of the most important.
1 – It is safe for most women – There is no significant chance of danger for both your baby and you while leisurely walking.
3 – It will reduce stress – Unfortunately, thanks to hormonal changes, many pregnant women experience some tension during pregnancy. The result can be unpleasant mood swings and even depression. Walking exercise will help you to lift your mood and get rid of stress.
4 – It will increase your chances to have normal delivery – Walking will help you to strengthen hip muscles and improve their flexibility. All of that will help to increase your chances to have an easy and regular delivery.
5 – It will keep you physically fit – Walking is not too difficult kind of exercise. You
should be active, maintain your health improved, and keep your muscles toned and firm. All of this will make your last months of pregnancy more comfortable as well as a delivery itself. Plus, you won’t get too many pounds during pregnancy.
6 – It will keep your heart safe – Your body produces more blood during pregnancy. Walking is the best cardiovascular exercise you can choose.
7 – It will reduce the risk of preeclampsia – An extra present of proteins in urine and high level of blood pressure can cause preeclampsia. Walking can be an ideal way of prevention. It will keep your blood pressure under control and your cholesterol on the lower level. Enjoy walking exercise during your pregnancy and reduce chances of preeclampsia and premature delivery.
8 – It will provide relief from discomfort and various pains – Every pregnant woman experiences some discomfort or various kinds of pains and aches during different phases of her pregnancy. Walking is a fantastic and comfortable solution for these problems. While you are walking, you help yourself to get relief from pain and discomfort.
9 – It will lower the possibility of diabetes occurrence – Walking will reduce your chances of getting initiating gestational diabetes. There is a high possibility that a pregnant woman receives a high level of blood sugar. It can increase premature delivery risk and many other complications. It’s incredible that you can prevent many of these problems by simply walking.
There are also many other benefits of walking. It is an excellent way to skip tiredness, sleeplessness, constipation, varicose veins, nausea, and so on.
How Much Should You Walk While Pregnant?
From the beginning, the question ‘How many miles should a pregnant woman walk a day’ arises. There are no strict rules about that, and it depends on how physically active you have regularly been. If you walked periodically pre-pregnancy and you have exercised for years, then there is no reason not to continue with your practicing doing so during pregnancy.
Avoid too long walking in the very beginning. Around 15 to 30 minutes will be enough for a start. You should try to walk three times a week and stretch it to an hour a day after a while if possible. You can walk as long as you find it comfortable. Some pregnant women walk to the end of pregnancy without any complications.
But, be careful and moderate. In some cases, too much walking can be dangerous during pregnancy. Some experts recommend up to 150 minutes easy walk for a healthy pregnant woman a week. Be careful if you have high blood pressure, abnormal bleeding, or early contractions. In such cases, walking too much can be unsafe for you.
Pregnancy Walking Plan
When you decide to start with walking, you should determine your fitness level which will
fit you first. If you have never exercised before, you are a novice. If you have been active from time to time and practiced exercise sporadically, you are intermediate. In the end, if you are fit and have been exercising regularly, you are advanced.
Anyway, you should talk to your doctor before you start. After he concludes that walking is safe for you, you can begin. The level of your walking will depend or the level of your previous exercise and the trimester of your pregnancy.Here is the video about walking during pregnancy.
Walking During Pregnancy – During First 13 Weeks (the First Trimester)
Don’t push yourself too hard during this period. Start slowly and increase your walk-in accordance with how you feel. Make sure that you wear comfortable trainers or good walking shoes. Your feet will need all the support you can offer. Try placing your heels on the path first during walking. Then roll on to your toes. Avoid putting your feet flat on the road.
1 – Novice
For a start, focus on sticking with a suggested program of exercises and gradually increase the intensity of your walking. Don’t worry. Duration of your walk that makes you feel good will extend over the time. When you start, it will be enough to walk three days a week. Don’t walk more than 10-15 minutes a day in the very beginning and always take a day off between two walking-days. During the time, you can add one more day of walking when you feel ready. You can also slowly increase each walk by five minutes.
Don’t force yourself too much. Add the fifth day of walking after a few weeks. Your primary goal should be to reach five walking-days a week toward the end of the trimester. Duration of your walking in this period shouldn’t be more than 10-20 minutes a day.
2 – Intermediate
If you are in good shape, you can start to walk up to six days a week. It is probably a good
idea to begin with four days a week and walk about 20 minutes a day. After four to five weeks, when you feel ready, you can add one more day.
In the end, you can increase the length of your walk by a few minutes every single day. The primary goal for you is to try to walk six days a week and the average length of your walk toward the end of the first trimester should be up to 40 minutes a day.
3 – Advanced
If you are in advanced ‘group’, you are already a faithful exerciser and entirely in shape. You need to continue staying active, but you should change to a lower-impact walking program than this one you used to. The plan is to feel good, not to overload.
You can easily start by walking 20-30 minutes a day. In the beginning, walk five days a week, but you can add the sixth day as soon as you feel ready. Each day you should increase the length of your walk by a few minutes.
You can also add walking stairs or the hills, but don’t push too much. The reasonable goal is to walk 30-60 minutes a day toward the end of the first trimester. You can walk up to six days a week if you are not tired too much.
Walking During Pregnancy – From 13 to 25 Weeks (the Second Trimester)
During this trimester, you will probably be able to increase the distance a little bit. It is likely that you don’t suffer nausea anymore and this period can be the perfect time to exercise because you feel more energetic after the first trimester has passed. Keep a good posture and hold the back straight when you walk. If needed, use both arms to aid balance. Your ankles may start to ache if you overdo things and you should avoid walking to the extreme exhaustion. Consider walking for shorter periods, take your time, and slow down.
1 – Novice
If you are a beginner and you decide to start to walk in your second trimester, you can begin by walking about 10 minutes a day. You can walk four to five days a week if you feel comfortable enough.
Over time you can pick two ‘longer-walk’ days and walk 15 to 30 minutes. You can also add one more day of walking. You aim to walk six days a week for 5-30 minutes a day toward the end of the second trimester.
2 – Intermediate
If you are in the ‘intermediate’ group, you are ready to lengthen your walks slowly. It will make you comfortable and fit, but you should keep in mind that pushing too hard when you feel tired is counterproductive. Don’t let yourself to get overheated too.
Begin with 20 minutes easy walk a day, four days a week, and increase the number of days to six a week when you feel ready. It is excellent if you can walk 25-40 minutes a day and slowly expand your speed during at least two walks a week. Add minutes gradually until you reach approximately 30-40 minutes a day. You can walk five to six days a week toward the end of the trimester if you feel good.
3 – Advanced
If you are ‘advanced’ and want to start to walk during the second trimester, you should begin by walking five to six days a week, approximately 30-40 minutes a day. You should continue with increasing the length of your walks only if you feel comfortable. You can walk uphill and up the stairs too.
Choose at least one day when you will walk up to 50 minutes. Your goal should be to lengthen every walk until you walk 40-50 minutes every of six walking days during the week. When you feel ready, you can begin to walk up to one hour at least one day a week.
Walking During Pregnancy – from 26 to 40 Weeks (the Third Trimester)
It is a period when you can walk up to six days a week, and to keep up your walking plan as long as you can. Your belly will get bigger every single day, and it’s a good idea to start with wearing a belly support band. Also, you should be prepared to slow down gradually and to reduce your speed and total distance.
The goal is to keep walking whenever you feel you can, but you should avoid steeps, hiking trails, or uneven paths. If you feel any back or pelvic pain during walking, talk to your doctor. Also, after 35 weeks of pregnancy, you should consider walking on a track.
1 – Novice
If you decide to begin to walk in the third trimester, you can start by walking only 10
minutes a day, but you can walk four to six days a week. The number of days of walking should depend on how you feel. Decrease the length of your walks if you don’t have enough energy or merely break your walk down into a few shorter sessions.
The point is to continue the same total walking minutes per week, but you should be aware that the distance you can cross will decrease with approaching childbirth. Try walking at least 15-30 minutes a day during six days a week toward the end of the third trimester.
2 – Intermediate
If you are intermediate fit and decide to begin with walking in the third trimester, you should start by walking up to 20 minutes a day. You will probably need to shorter distance and reduce the speed of your walks during the time. Begin with walking four to six days a week, but as your pregnancy progresses, you should want to drop a day or two if you feel it is too hard for you keeping pace.
The proper solution is to take a rest more often. Try walking 20-45 minutes a day but break your longer walks up into sessions. If you feel comfortable, your goal should be to walk five to six days a week toward the end of the trimester.
3 – Advanced
Even you are advanced and exercise regularly, during this period keep the focus on pure activities and let it be comfortable. If you plan to start with walking during your third trimester, begin by walking four to six days a week.
In average, you can easily walk about 20-50 minutes a day, but, please, forget about long distance and speed. If you find it more comfortable, divide your walks into shorter sessions. Don’t try walking more than 50 minutes a day. Your main goal toward the end of this trimester is to walk slowly five to six days a week.
Walking during the 37-week of pregnancy or later can be contraindicated because there is a higher possibility of premature birth if you have any kind of bad habits, problems with weight, diabetes, uterine infection, or high blood pressure. Also, you should be careful if you suffer preeclampsia, carry twins, or you are 35-aged or older pregnant woman.
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