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Fitness Walking while Pregnant

Not only is moderate exercise safe for the baby, it has also been shown to have tremendous benefits for mom. Some pregnant women walk for exercise until the day of delivery. Runners may want to switch to a walk-run program or an all-walk routine if they find that running is just too hard on their lower back and knees. As your pregnancy progresses, avoid steep hills, which make your heart rate soar and may put more pressure on your lower back.

Be sure to get your doctor’s permission before embarking on a prenatal exercise program. Some high-risk conditions do rule out exercise during pregnancy.

Pay special attention to your walking posture:

  • Stand tall, with a natural S-curve to your back, and your shoulders back and down, not hunched.

  • Lead with your chest.

  • Keep your arms relaxed, and move them forward and back instead of swinging them across your body.

Don’t walk in very hot or humid weather, because your heart rate elevates more rapidly and your body overheats more quickly. And don’t walk when the ground is icy, because your sense of balance is not what it used to be. If the weather sends you indoors and onto a treadmill, hold on to the rails (but not with a death-grip). Treadmills require more balance than walking on the ground.

Make sure that you wear supportive walking shoes. Because you weigh more than usual, your joints are under extra stress, and they need all the shock absorption they can get. Your feet may swell to the point where you need shoes a half-size bigger than usual.

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