Walking is a great way to improve your fitness, de-stress and keep active. If, like me, you love a good hike, there’s no need to stop once you become pregnant. However, you might find that you need to make a few allowances to make sure that you stay safe and carry on enjoying a good walk.
Know your limits
I like to stay active, but even I know not to push myself too far. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, ease back and cut short your route. I also find that I have to go a little slower these days and take more breaks, which is actually quite enjoyable as you notice so much more than when you’re rushing along.
I especially find myself short of breath when pregnant so I tend to avoid hilly routes. Likewise, I avoid any walks that have lots of stiles, boggy or uneven ground or other hazards to negotiate. Low level walks, for example along canal towpaths, around lakes and sticking to valley floors can be just as interesting as more challenging hikes.
It’s important to stay hydrated at any time, but it’s especially vital when pregnant. Your temperature can be higher than normal due to an increased metabolism, making dehydration a real risk. When being active make sure you are taking enough fluid on board. Keeping a flask of water with you at all times is essential when walking. A steady supply of high energy snacks is also good for keeping energy levels up.
As I mentioned above, your body temperature increases when pregnant so keeping cool can be a challenge. Wearing several thin layers helps regulate your temperature as you can add or remove them as you get hotter or colder. A hat is also a good idea if it’s sunny and try to avoid the warmest part of the day (usually between 12-3pm).
Having a bump throws your centre of gravity forward, making it a challenge to maintain good posture. To avoid (even more) aches and pains it’s a good idea to think about your alignment when walking. If you use a rucksack, make sure it is correctly fitted (ask at an outdoor shop if you’re unsure) and don’t try to carry too much weight. Also, it might be a good idea to use walking poles as these can help you keep a more upright position and stay balanced.
Thanks to Lauren the Helpful Hiker for this guest blog.
You can follow the Helpful Hiker for camping advice, walks and family days out, she has ideas and inspiration to help everyone enjoy the great outdoors.
You can also read Lauren the Helpful Hikers review of the Mother & Nature range.