Spring is upon us and the weather is getting nice outside. There are so many fun and active things to do in nature, but are they safe when you’re pregnant? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released a report in 2015 that says: “Pregnancy should not be looked at as a state of confinement. In fact, it is an ideal time for lifestyle modification. That is because more than any other time in her life, a pregnant woman has the most available access to medical care and supervision.”
If you are already active, it’s safe to stay active. If you have been wanting to get into better shape, now is actually a great time to start as long as you ease into it. As always, check with your doctor first to see if exercising is safe for you. There are some conditions in pregnancy that require more caution.
Even if you are an elite athlete you are probably going to need to take a break from running marathons. The ACOG says pregnant women should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. To take advantage of the sunny days and nice temperatures walking and hiking are two of the best all around exercises. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and keep on track.
Get Plenty Of Water
All exertion will take more out of you than usual. While exercising, and especially while outside, make sure you have plenty of water with you at all times. Keeping a small protein-based snack on hand is also a great idea because your blood sugar is more sensitive right now and might experience dips.
Overheating is a serious problem when you’re pregnant. It’s hard on you and it’s hard on your baby. If you’re outdoors, aim for walking and hiking in the mornings or evenings. Use a treadmill or another exercise machine if it’s too hot outside. You can use some of your water to help cool you down but remember your goal right now is to get moderate exercise, not to sweat. You should be able to carry on a conversation while you’re exercising.
Watch Out For Falls
Walking and hiking are generally considered safe while pregnant but one of the risks involved is taking a spill. With walking, aim for level ground and paths such as around your neighborhood, in a park, or somewhere like a botanical garden or a zoo. If you hike and are experiencing changes in elevation, trekking poles are a great accessory to have on hand. Your center of gravity is constantly shifting and your balance is more tenuous than usual. The poles can help you keep your balance while hiking. A waist belt can also help support your abdomen.
Take It Slow
Stick with a pace where you feel comfortable. It will probably be slower than you usually walk or hike and that’s okay. Take as many breaks as you need. Even if you took one already five minutes ago, take another if you need it.
Bring A Partner
The buddy system is nice but especially when you’re pregnant. Have someone come with you who is willing to match your pace. Know where the nearest hospital is and how long it will take to get there if you need it. It’s always best to be prepared.
Check Your Shoes
Using the right footwear is vital for any walking or hiking, but when you’re pregnant you’re more likely to get swollen ankles. Make sure your shoes or boots aren’t already too snug before you start.
Protect Your Skin
Being out in the sun feels nice but it’s hard on your skin. Use large brimmed hats, coverups, and pregnancy safe sunscreen on any exposed skin. Your skin is especially sensitive during pregnancy and needs all the protection it can get. Always remember to use your TriLASTIN cream in the morning and evening as well!