Walking is highly recommended during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimester when the chances of miscarriage have lowered down dramatically. Walking during the first trimester too shows no harm on the mom or the fetal development. But if you have gone through the miscarriage earlier, you can avoid walking during the first trimester and take it up slowly from the second trimester onwards.
Walking is a helpful workout that helps soon-to-be moms to get rid of the discomforts during pregnancy. It offers energy and vitality to handle a busy day at work while you are pregnant.
Most of the gynecologists suggest starting a mild walk from the first trimester itself. It is good to start with 15-20 minutes a day and that can be increased to an hour of mild walk. You can check with your gynecologist or midwife if you are doubtful about walking while being pregnant.
So let’s discuss a few aspects of walking while being an expectant mother.
7 Benefits of Walking During Pregnancy
1. Helps You Maintain Fitness
Walking regularly helps you be fit during pregnancy. It avoids excessive weight gain and lets you have a lean body even after the delivery. It also helps you to stay away from Gestational Diabetes by maintaining the blood sugar levels.
2. Keeps The Baby Healthy
Walking regularly and at an ideal pace helps you keep the fetus healthy and manages an appropriate growth of the baby. It keeps the baby away from the health ailments.
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3. Relieves Stress
Pregnant woman face Stress issues commonly. Hormones play a vital role in those sudden mood swings. She goes through a lot of feelings like joy, stress, sorrows, anxiety and depression. Walking helps to release endorphins, the optimistic and positive chemical in the body. It works as a great stress-buster and uplifts your mood particularly when you are feeling tremendously low.
4. Helps You In Having A Natural Delivery
Walking during this period upsurges flexibility and tones up the hip muscles. That is an outstanding way for quicker and painless labor. Morning walk is extra helpful for a natural delivery.
5. Helps To Get The Baby In Upside Down Position
Walking regularly with appropriate pace and techniques helps the baby to be upside down during the second half of the pregnancy. And this avoids the breach position where it becomes difficult to bring out the baby through vaginal delivery. Upside down position of the baby is the best thing for having a natural childbirth.
6. Helps Relieve Constipation
Pregnant women face constipation during pregnancy due to several changes happening in the body and digestive system. Walking helps you relieve constipation and regulates bowel movements.
7. Induces Sleep
Regular walking helps to burn excess energy and lets the body get tired for a sound and uninterrupted sleep. It helps you feel fresh in the morning after a good night’s sleep.
When should I start walking during pregnancy?
Walking is known to be the safest workout while being pregnant. You can adjust the speed of walking as per your convenience. And you can start walking as soon as you get the good news about becoming a mama. Make sure that your walking speed is moderate and that is not giving you any kind of discomforts like pain, shortness of breath, cramps or sprain.
Do not go overboard with any kind of workout and it will be extremely beneficial for you and the unborn baby too. And if you have faced the unfortunate circumstances like miscarriage or stillbirth, please consult with the gynecologist for your walking schedules.
Walking During the First Trimester (1-12 weeks)
- As you are a beginner, you can start with 15-20 minutes of walking three times a week.
- You can go up to the daily walking schedule after a week or two.
- And can increase the duration by five minutes week after week.
- By the end of the first trimester, you can be at 20-30 minutes walk five to six times a week.
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Walking During The Second Trimester (13-25 weeks)
- You can begin with 20-30 minutes walk every day for four to six days a week.
- When you feel confident, stretch your walk to one more day and add a few more days for two days.
- By the end of the second trimester, your walking can be 20-30 minutes per day for five to seven days a week.
- Do Not overstretch your walk and be within your healthy and convenient limits.
Your belly starts growing during the second trimester and you may face some discomforts while walking. Make sure that your steps are going well and not hurting the posture of your body. You can prefer walking in the day time rather than during the dark hours as you might stumble upon something and can have a fall.
Walking During The Third Trimester (26-40 weeks)
- Your belly is growing at a double pace during the third trimester. Make sure you walk every day while keeping up to your comfort levels.
- You can break the walking period in two parts that is morning and evening.
- Slowly add a few minutes to your walking period when you split your walk.
- Your walking capacity will increase by this time and you may be able to walk for 45-50 minutes a day.
Precautions while walking During Pregnancy
- Do not overstretch or don’t go overboard with any workout including walking.
- Avoid walking on uneven roads or walking tracks that can hurt you while walking and you might fall on such paths.
- If you experience any kind of pain, sprain or discomfort during walking, consult your gynecologist or midwife and may take help of a physiotherapist.
Walking is one of the frequently suggested ways to encourage natural delivery. During walks, the baby travels downwards towards the cervix. It also puts on recurrent gravity and it encourages the body to release oxytocin hormones that may trigger contractions. A widened cervix and appropriately placed fetus are the foremost causes of labor and birth, hence, walking helps you have a natural delivery.