Exercise Not Your Thing? Try Walking

Kimberly Seals Allers

Flickr photo by jonty.fisher

I admit, I was never the exercising-while-pregnant type. I just figured my body was already doing plenty of work without me adding some huffing and puffing to the mix. But I also wanted to be in a fairly decent physical shape so I could successfully handle labor and delivery.

Having said that, I was always a huge fan of walking. I must admit, I really started because to say that  I was walking every day didn't make me sound like the lazy bump I often wanted to be.  But I really got hooked and when I learned of all the amazing pregnancy benefits, I was definitely all in.

For example, did you know that walking is a great way to tone muscles, get a solid cardiovascualar workout, and help keep your body regular.  It's really a great  way to start for the not-that-active-types like myself. Plus, I found it to be a great stress reliever.

To start, go for a slow walk and then build your way up to brisk stride for about 20 to30 minutes.  After you get your doctor's okay, you can walk everyday if you'd like.

But there a few things to remember, like maintaining correct posture. The recommended adivce is to stand up straight, avoid leaning forward or back, keep your chin up and parallel to the ground,  suck in your stomach and tuck in your bottom. If you rotate your hips slightly forward as you tuck this will help keep you from arching your back.

Just remember, like with any exercise,don't overdo it.  Overexertion and a raised body temperature is not good for your growing baby. So remember to walk in moderation. Many prenatal exercise experts recommend using the "talk test",  that is, if you are having difficulty talking in full sentences and can only huff and huff out a few short phrases then it is time to slow down.

Oh yes, and don't forget to drink plenty of water to keep yourself properly hydrated before and after excercise.

Happy trails. Have you started walking recently? Tell us about your routine.

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