How can I walk like a pregnant woman?

Pregnancy > Your HealthWalking During PregnancybyJennifer Kelly Geddes Medically Reviewed by James Greenberg, M.D.Medical Review PolicyAll What to Expect content that addresses

How can I walk like a pregnant woman?

Pregnancy > Your Health

Walking During Pregnancy

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byJennifer Kelly Geddes

Medically Reviewed by James Greenberg, M.D.

Medically Reviewed

Medical Review PolicyAll What to Expect content that addresses health or safety is medically reviewed by a team of vetted health professionals. OurMedicalReview Board includes OB/GYNs, pediatricians, infectious disease specialists, doulas, lactation counselors, endocrinologists, fertility specialists and more.

We believe you should always know the source of the information you're reading.Learn more aboutour editorial and medical review policies.
on November 19, 2021Stocksy

Pregnancy and Fitness

Walking is easy on the knees, ankles and back  plus its free! Heres why walking during pregnancy, even right up to your due date, is so beneficial.Back to Top

In This Article

  • Is it safe to walk during pregnancy?
  • What are the benefits of walking during pregnancy?
  • Can you walk too much during pregnancy?
  • How to walk safely during pregnancy
  • When to talk to your doctor

For most pregnant women, exercising while expecting definitely gets the green light. And one of the easiest ways to do it is to simply lace up your sneakers and head outside. Brisk walking during pregnancy is a great low-impact exercise that benefits both you and baby.

Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, but know that in general, nearly every parent-to-be can walk safely during pregnancy. Heres more about what youll gain from this activity and how to do it during each trimester.

Is it safe to walk during pregnancy?

Yes, its safe to walk during pregnancy. In fact, if your condition is considered low-risk, getting regular exercise while expecting is an excellent way to maintain overall health. As for gauging how much walking is safe in any trimester, you can use the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a good guideline:

Pregnant and postpartum women should strive to complete about 30 minutes of exercise a day for five days a week, such as brisk walking, swimming, yoga or cycling on a stationary bike. And if you were an avid runner before you conceived, you can continue to hit the road with this more intense program as long as your doctor gives you the okay.

What are the benefits of walking during pregnancy?

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are plentiful! Heres why its important to walk during pregnancy for good health, both now and in the postpartum period:

  • Reduced risk of complications. Doing regular, moderate activity can lower your risk of bothgestational diabetesandpreeclampsia.
  • A boosted mood.When you work out, your body releases feel-good endorphins, potentially easing any stress or anxiety you may feel.
  • Less back pain and constipation. Want less lower back and pelvic discomfort? Walking can help. Youll also help a case of constipation if you keep on walking (or swimming or stretching).
  • Enhanced overall fitness. A stronger heart and blood vessels, plus more stamina and better fitness, are your reward for those sweat sessions.
  • Better sleep. Working out can improve sleep quality and help you wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Healthy weight gain.Steadily adding the recommended pounds for your particular pregnancy is important  and regular exercise (like walking!) can help you do it.
  • Faster post-birth recovery. A strong, healthy body is an asset during labor, of course, and once your baby arrives you may also enjoy a quicker postpartum recovery.

Can you walk too much during pregnancy?

You can certainly overdo any physical activity during pregnancy, whether its hyper-extending your joints in a prenatal yoga class or pushing yourself too hard in the lap pool. Even walking too much in pregnancy can incur potential risks, such as shortness of breath, strain and pain.Continue Reading Below

More About Exercise During Pregnancy

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy

The Best Pregnancy Workouts You Can Do While Expecting

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy

The Best Pregnancy Workouts You Can Do While Expecting

When youre exercising, you should be able to carry on a conversation  but if you cant, then youre working too hard.Walking for hours at a time can also yield uncomfortable side effects like blisters or sore muscles.

Be sure to pace yourself and periodically gauge how you feeling. Its fine to shorten your stroll or do some light stretching in place of your regular routine  and skip a workout when your body calls for it (youre in charge!).

How to walk safely during pregnancy

No matter how far along you are, always listen to your body when you're walking for exercise in pregnancy. Heres what you need to know at each stage along the way:

First trimester

As you start walking in the first trimester, keep a water bottle handy for hydration, wear sturdy sneakers and don layers of clothing to shed as you warm up. Go slow and split your workouts into shorter ones or build up from a few minutes a day until youre ready for a full half hour.

Second trimester

Dont forget to warm up first as well as cool down, such as walking at a slower pace or trying simple stretches. But refrain from laying on your back to stretch your quads. This position puts pressure on the vena cava, an important vein that carries blood to your heart from the lower body parts.

Third trimester

When walking during your third trimester, know that your burgeoning belly can affect your balance. As your pregnancy progresses, watch for signs of dizziness and clumsiness due to any overexertion or fatigue and ease up on your walking workout as needed.

When to talk to your doctor

Seek immediate help if you experience anyuterine contractions or you feel fluid leaking from your vagina. But dont ignore other warning signs that youre working too hard. Symptoms that require a call to the doctor include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faint
  • Pain in your chest
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Calf pain or swellingAs workouts go, walking is a great exercise when youre pregnant. You can pop outside any time, whether youre taking a break from home life or getting some fresh air during your lunch break at work. Start off slow if youre new to exercise, and then work up to longer outings. And don't hesitate to check in with your doctor if something feels off or you have a question about exercising while pregnant.

From the What to Expect editorial team andHeidi Murkoff,author ofWhat to Expect When You're Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading ourmedical review and editorial policy.View Sources

  • What to Expect When Youre Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
  • WhatToExpect.com, The Best Pregnancy Workouts and Exercise You Can Do While Expecting, July 2021.
  • WhatToExpect.com, Clumsiness During Pregnancy, October 2020.
  • WhatToExpect.com, Dizziness During Pregnancy, October 2020
  • WhatToExpect.com, Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy, November 2021.
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Exercise During Pregnancy, July 2019.
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period, April 2020.
  • Mayo Clinic, Pregnancy and Exercise: Baby, Lets Move!, March 2021.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Physical Activity: Healthy Pregnant or Postpartum Women, September 2021.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Weight Gain During Pregnancy, May 2021.
  • National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, Walking for Health During Pregnancy: A Literature Review and Considerations for Future Research, September 2019.Related TopicsYour HealthPregnancyPregnancy GroupsThird TrimesterFirst TrimesterSecond Trimester

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