Table of Contents
- What are the benefits of walking during pregnancy
- Pregnancy Walking Rules
- Length of walks.
- How to walk properly
- Controlling your well-being
- Features of walking by trimester
- The importance of walking in the third trimester
- Pain when walking: why do they occur?
- When walking is contraindicated
- When you should not walk.
Walking during pregnancy is useful or harmful, how long and how quickly you can walk in this position – all these questions bother women who are preparing to become a mother in the near future. The most important thing they should realize is that pregnancy is not an illness, but a temporary condition of the body. And so you should not give up the habits that were in the woman’s “past life.
Moreover, you should not give up physical activity. But now you need to do everything carefully and cautiously, “without fanaticism”, with prior advice from your doctor, who conducts pregnancy. Walking during pregnancy is the best option for physical activity. Daily walks in the fresh air on foot have a minimum number of contraindications and bring great benefits to expectant mothers.
What are the benefits of walking during pregnancy
Walking during pregnancy is not just useful, but also necessary. During walking in the fresh air, the body is saturated with oxygen, all the muscles of the body are kept in tone. In addition:
- due to active blood circulation, the cardiovascular system is exercised, contributing to the prevention of varicose veins;
- There is a normalization of blood pressure due to the saturation of blood with oxygen;
- the work of the gastrointestinal tract is normalized – walking during pregnancy accelerates the movement of food through the intestines, prevents the stagnation of bile, toxins are removed from the body in a timely manner;
- The immunity improves, especially when walking in any weather. Excluding ice and heat;
- In the early stages, the emotional state is stabilized;
- The woman’s body prepares for the forthcoming birth, breathing is trained, which is important for childbirth, allowing to avoid hypoxia in the baby and reducing the labor pain.
Pregnancy Walking Rules
To get the most out of walking during pregnancy, it is worth following certain rules. You must:
- Choose clothes comfortable and according to the weather – loose, of soft fabric, shoes – sneakers;
- Choose squares, parks, alleys as a place to walk;
- have gas-free water, drink often and in small sips;
- walk correctly – keep your back straight, first stepping on the heel, then on the toe;
- rest during the walk, slow down, sit on a bench in the park;
- monitor your heart rate – with a heart rate monitor or smart watch, or by measuring your pulse on your wrist;
- bend your arms at the elbows and move them vigorously to increase exertion;
- avoid walking too long during pregnancy;
- choose a pace, starting with half-hour walks.
Length of walks.
Walks with walking in pregnancy should be daily. For unprepared women who have previously shown little physical activity, 20 minutes to half an hour is sufficient to begin with. Gradually, the duration of walks should be increased to 1-1.5 hours per day. In the early stages and in good weather the duration may be longer. When a woman doubts whether she does not harm a long walk during pregnancy, or it is just hard to walk a long time in late pregnancy, walk can be divided into 2-3 stages. For example, go to her in the morning and evening. Especially useful will be a walk before going to bed for a good, restful sleep.
If the expectant mother works, you should try to use the road to and from work for walking. For example, get off the bus earlier for a stop and walk the remaining distance. Along a road jammed with traffic, you should not move.
How to walk properly
Before you go for a walk, it’s worth doing a short warm-up, including exercises for the hands, some light footwork, kneading the feet. No matter what the level of fitness of the expectant mother, walking during pregnancy should be correct to be effective and bring maximum benefit.
- keep your back straight, do not lower your shoulders and do not slouch;
- Direct your eyes into the distance, forward for a few steps, so as to save the neck from stress;
- follow the breath – it must be even and deep;
- try to keep the chosen pace, defining the optimum speed of movement;
- Do not strive for speedy walking during pregnancy and overcoming long distances – most importantly, to admire nature, to talk with the future child;
- It is quite acceptable to wear headphones – listening to pleasant music has a positive effect on the psyche of the pregnant woman and her baby.
Controlling your well-being
Among the rules that should be observed when walking during pregnancy – constant control of well-being and an adequate response to its changes.
Today, there are many devices that can analyze a person’s condition in the truest sense of the word. A compact heart monitor monitors heart rate and pulse status, advises on the duration of a pregnant woman’s walk and the right pace. For additional control you can use a pedometer.
However, you can not use newfangled devices. It’s simple – if during the walk a woman is able to talk without panting, and do not feel discomfort, then the pace is right. You should also periodically count heart rate beats.
At the first sign of fatigue – slow down the pace, walk slowly, stand or if possible – sit down. If this does not help, you need to finish the walk and slowly return home.
The effectiveness and benefits of walking during pregnancy increases with proper rest after its completion. It is most advisable to rest after walking, especially if it was finished because of fatigue or signs of discomfort. In the beginning – on a bench in the park, and immediately after coming home it is worth lying down,
with your feet on a pillow to avoid swelling.
Relaxing effect will have a relaxing warm (not hot) foot bath, for example, with sea salt, essential oil, herbal extracts. Its duration should not exceed 10-15 minutes. After a bath you can lie down, putting a roller under your feet for about half an hour. Such a pose, when the legs are slightly raised, is an excellent prevention of varicose veins and edema.
Features of walking by trimester
The choice of duration and pace of walking during pregnancy depends on its term. In the early term, you can walk quickly, for a long time and actively, if you feel well and there is no discomfort. However, with the onset of the second trimester you should slow down a little, if the woman is predisposed to the development of varicose veins. In this period it is necessary to rest after the walk and preventive measures for its prevention.
It is also necessary in case of the appearance of swelling of the lower extremities.
The load should be minimal in the late terms – in the 3rd trimester. During this period, the intensity and duration of walking should be significantly reduced, but you should not stop them at all in the absence of contraindications.
The importance of walking in the third trimester
In the third trimester many future moms get symphysitis – a painful condition that accompanies inflammation of the pelvic articulation. Symphysis is the cartilage in the area of the pubic joint that connects the bones of the pelvis. In late pregnancy, at the end of the fetus, the pelvic bones diverge due to the stretching of the soft tissue of the symphysis. This is due to the need to pass the baby’s head during childbirth.
For many women, the divergence of the pelvic bones is a painful process. If the expectant mother was involved in walking during pregnancy and does not stop in the third trimester, the bones separate painlessly and gently. During this period, walking strengthens the walls of the peritoneum, which will facilitate labor and delivery. It is better not to walk long and far at this time. In the late term should not walk alone – it is better to choose the company of a loved one.
Pain when walking: why do they occur?
During active walking, huge changes occur in the body of a pregnant woman, which can cause painful sensations. These include:
- pinching of the sciatic nerve – the growing uterus can pinch the nerve, the pain is felt only on one side;
- Calcium deficiency – feeling pain in certain joints, you may need a vitamin complex for expectant mothers or a calcium supplement;
- Pregnancy flatfoot – can develop as weight gain and swelling occurs, and is manifested by rapid fatigue and pain in the legs;
- symphysitis – there is a sharp, stabbing pain in the pubis due to softening of the pubic joint;
- overstretching of the ligaments that hold the uterus – there is pain on the sides of the abdomen, which can be relieved by a properly fitted bandage;
- Varicose veins – legs swell, hurt, buzzing, heavy, especially – at the end of the day, antivaricose stockings can alleviate the condition.
When walking is contraindicated
There are several taboos for active walking during pregnancy. Walking during pregnancy is absolutely prohibited, if a woman is ill with flu, acute respiratory viral infections, if she has acute gastritis – in these cases, walking will cause harm. Especially if there is a fever, weakness, headache.
If a woman has uterine hypertonicity, also no walking is out of the question. In such a condition, it is necessary to observe complete rest, and in the most serious cases, immediate hospitalization is required to save the fetus. We are talking about situations where the abdomen stiffens and tenses, cramps or pulling pains appeared, tensions in the perineum. And it is even more necessary to call an ambulance immediately, if there was blood on the pad – these symptoms indicate the threat of miscarriage.
When you should not walk.
Dissecting the question of what are the benefits and harms of walking during pregnancy, we can conclude that, of course, there are more positives than negatives. It is only necessary to adhere to the rules and do not neglect the contraindications. For example, do not hike if a pregnant woman has protein in her urine, repeated vomiting, high blood pressure, edema of the extremities appeared.
In such a situation, especially in the late term, this is a signal of serious kidney dysfunction. No physical activity in such cases is allowed and requires urgent treatment by a doctor to correct the condition. Also a contraindication is an unfavorable medical history, if a woman’s pregnancy has previously ended in a miscarriage. Such a pregnant woman is in the risk zone, so short walks at a slow pace will be enough for her.