1) Medical experts recommend that all pregnant women should aim for at least 150 minutes exercise every week to benefit you and your baby– if you’re not used to exercise, brisk walking is the perfect activity to get you started.
2) Whatever your level of fitness, walking is accessible, easy and free. It doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
3) Walking strengthens your legs, including your quadriceps, hip flexors and hamstrings. Your stronger legs will help support your growing baby bump.
4) A brisk daily walk will improve your circulation, elevating your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. And that means improving the flow of oxygen and nutrition to your baby too.
5) Walking during pregnancy can help you to manage a healthy pregnancy weight gain – walking is a great fat burner.
6) Improved blood flow has a positive impact on the levels of oxygen to the brain – walking, can improve your mental well-being, boosting endorphins, easing stress and tension and helping to combat the effects of baby brain.
7) Sunshine is the easiest source of essential Vitamin D – being outside in the fresh air will give you a healthy exposure to sunlight. Avoid walking during the hottest part of the day and be aware of the need to balance protection from the sun with a ‘healthy exposure’ to sunlight.
8) Walking can reduce your chances of catching colds and flus. Your faster breathing forces bacteria and viruses from your lungs, your increased blood flow will improve you’re the circulation of antibodies around your system and raising your core temperature will prevent the growth of microbes.
9) Walking helps build bone mass, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Babies need a lot of calcium as they develop and can deplete your resources, potentially to the detriment of your bones, teeth and hair! It’s important to keep your bones strong during pregnancy with increased calcium in your diet and regular, bone strengthening exercise.
10) Brisk walking engages your core muscles as well. Each long stride works all the muscles that support your stomach, back and pelvis.
And finally a few tips!
– Wear supportive clothes to lift and hold the weight of your bump
– Choose comfortable, well-fitting shoes
– Remember the talk test – don’t walk so fast or so long that you can’t hold a conversation
Enjoy! Walking is a great, safe and sociable way to stay active during pregnancy.