August 5, 2010

Benefits of Walking During Pregnancy

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Walking and pregnancy go hand in hand. In fact, walking is one of the best exercises for a pregnant woman. It’s an excellent way for you to tone your muscles, maintain your fitness levels and ensures that your labor is fast and easy. While walking and labor are positively related, walking does not necessarily assure that you have a quick labor, but it definitely improves your endurance levels and accelerates your recovery. If you are pregnant, it is important that you get g exercise regularly. Walking and pregnancy is great idea, however make sure that you do not unnecessarily exert yourself and go for a number of short walks during the day instead of one long walk that may tire you.

The next question that might come to your mind is how often, and how far, should you walk. To begin with, you can start by walking for about 20-30 minutes a day, at least thrice a week. You can then increase this to about 35-65 minutes daily. You can start walking during your first trimester, continue walking during the third trimester and keep at it right until delivery time.

Make that you don’t stress yourself while walking and maintain a moderate pace. Over-exertion is not good for the fetus, neither is the raised body temperature during exercise or chemical products. You need to take care that your pulse rate does not go higher than 140 beats while walking. The “talk test” can also be taken to make sure that you are not stressing yourself too much. If your pulse rate is greater than 100 beats/min five minutes after you have started working, then it indicates that you have been walking too fast. Ensure that you drink plenty of water both before and after your walk. This helps in the regulation of your core body temperature. Restrict your walking workout during times of extreme weather. If it’s too hot, you could try walking in a place where temperature is regulated, like a mall.

It is important that you maintain a good posture while walking, or you may end up with a back ache. Some women wear a maternity belt which not only corrects bad posture, but also contributes towards improving posture and relieving back pain. Wearing shoes that are comfortable is important as they provide you the much needed support and ensure that you don’t turn your feet outward and inward too much.

Walking and pregnancy are a great option. You however have to take care and call your physician if you notice pain while walking during pregnancy or any of these symptoms: lightheadedness or dizziness, vaginal bleeding, pain chest pain uterine contractions rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath. It is also important to call your doctor if some fluid leaks from your vagina, you find swelling in your face, hands or ankles, if there is no fetal movement of if you feel colder than normal.

Once the baby is born too, you can continue walking. This will help you get back in shape. Walking for babies and kids is great, and also helps them get into the exercise habit.