Many people are overwhelmed when it comes to working out during pregnancy. “What is safe?” “What should I avoid?” These are commonly asked questions, and doctors don’t always give straightforward answers. But working out during pregnancy doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, one of the best exercises you can do that is safe, free, and available everywhere is….walking!
If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through Pronatal fitness. I am a mom of one, and became interested in pre + postnatal fitness as I was going through my own pregnancy journey!
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program.
*Vibrant Mama Wellness, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, or link to any product or service from this website.
Let me start off by saying every single pregnancy is different. Even if this is your third or fourth pregnancy, it is different from the ones before it! So what works for one person (or one pregnancy in the past) may not work for you now, and that’s okay! It is important to always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program and to let them know of any concerns or aches and pains you may have.
Okay so let’s dive into some of the benefits of walking during pregnancy!
It is generally safe for everyone! The risk level for brisk walking is very low for healthy pregnant people. This type of exercise does not increase the risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, or pregnancy loss. It is also low risk for injury, as it is easy on the joints and muscles.
It’s free! You can walk pretty much anywhere, all you need are some sneakers. It’s definitely important, especially during pregnancy, to make sure you have sturdy walking shoes that offer support. As your pregnancy progresses, balance can be off, so having shoes that support your arches and ankles is key.
It boosts your mood! Physical exercise is great to release stress and anxiety, which can be pretty common among pregnant people. If you’re able to walk outside, the fresh air and sunshine can give you an automatic mood lift (just don’t forget your sunscreen! I love this one).
Great for cardiovascular health! Walking regularly helps strengthen your heart, blood vessels, and lungs. This is so beneficial during pregnancy when your heart is working hard to pump extra blood throughout your body.
Can help ease constipation! One unpleasant side effect of pregnancy is constipation. And walking is actually a great way to help you keep you regular, and keep your bowels moving!
May reduce risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and intervention during birth (dependent on the individual and not guaranteed).
Okay so we went over some of the benefits, but when should you avoid walking during pregnancy?
According to ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology), if you have any of the following you should talk to your doctor about what is safe for you. Exercise can be contra-indicated in these circumstances:
heart or lung diseases
risk for preterm labor with multiples
placenta previa after 26 weeks
preeclampsia or high blood pressure
And of course, if you notice any pain, bleeding, dizziness, shortness of breath or contractions when you walk, you should always contact your doctor!
So there you have it! Walking is so vital to our health, not only during pregnancy but throughout the life cycle. It is such an underrated exercise in my opinion, and something I recommend everyone adds into their routines.
Stay tuned and I’ll share the benefits to walking postpartum as well!
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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.
Vibrant Mama Wellness, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, or link to any product or service from this website.
Exercise during pregnancy. (2022). acog.org/womens-health/faqs/exercise-during-pregnancy
Healthy pregnant or postpartum women. (2021). cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pregnancy/index.htm