Benefits of Walking During Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 31, 2012

Pregnant women are usually recommended to keep themselves active during pregnancy as this will ensure that they do not gain excess weight and will also improve the blood circulation to different parts of the body. Walking during pregnancy is considered to be one of the most simplest and effective ways for pregnant women to experience a fast and easy labor and to also maintain healthy fitness levels. Walking during pregnancy is known to improve the endurance levels in women and is hence the most recommended form of exercise by doctors during pregnancy. While walking during pregnancy, pregnant women should not...

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...keep their shoulders slumped as they may aggravate their back pain. Instead they should relax their abdomen, and pull their shoulders and abdomen back and walk tall and relatively briskly. Pregnant women should also ensure that while walking they are wearing comfortable maternity wear that allows them to move freely.

Women should also avoid looking at the ground while walking during pregnancy and should instead look ahead as this will promote a good posture and also prevent them from accidentally bumping into something. Pregnant women should also not overexert themselves or walk too quickly as they will increase their heart beat rate excessively which may put added stress on the baby. Before embarking on a walk during pregnancy, women should ensure that they stretch their limbs as during pregnancy the ligaments and muscles tend to get more relaxed than usual on account of a hormone that helps the body prepare for labor and finally delivery. Stretching should also be done by women after returning from their walk so that they don't experience any soreness on account of this physical activity.

Walking regularly is also known to facilitate labor as it helps strengthen the hip and abdominal muscles. Women who are mostly idle during pregnancy are known to suffer more from swollen feet and backaches as the muscles harden and lose their elasticity on account of the inactivity. Walking also has emotional benefits in women as its tends to help rejuvenate their mind and also lifts any sagging spirits. Additionally research has shown that walking during pregnancy is also known to reduce the risk of two highly dangerous diseases associated with pregnancy namely pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. Walking and any other form of light exercising during pregnancy also helps women sleep better and results in fewer or lesser medical interventions at the time of delivery.

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