Walking the outdoors is one of the perfect exercises that one can safely do throughout your pregnancy and forever after, beginning with pushing Baby in a buggy!
Here are a few helpful tips:
Begin your walking programme well before you get pregnant
Although walking has to be just about the most natural and safest exercise you can do during pregnancy, there is a general rule of thumb that you don't start doing unfamiliar exercise AFTER becoming pregnant. So, get your waling shoes on today and start walking.
Reduce the intensity as you get bigger
Your heart and circulation are having to provide for two people - You and a growing baby inside. In addition, you are getting heavier by the day. A handy idea is to get a chest heart rate monitor and watch, work out what is your comfortable heart rate while walking (This might be about 130 beats per minute) and use this machine to guide how fast you walk. As your pregnancy progresses to full term, you will find that your pace gets slower and slower for a heart rate of 130 beats per minute.
Plan frequent toilet stops
As you get bigger, Baby presses on the bladder. With exercise there is increasingly the urge to pee. Plan your walks so that you can make frequent toilet stops. If you are not shy, this may include handy bushes, or a route that takes you past public toilets, service stations and cafe's. You might find it better to avoid routes that involve downhills which can increase the pressure and jostling on the bladder.
Get some Nordic Walking Poles and a stable pair of shoes
As you get more and more rolly-polly, there are two problems:
- You can't see your feet so its really easy to trip and stumble!
- Your balance and agility deteriorate.
Anticipate these from the very beginning by getting a stable pair of light weight walking boots that protect the ankles from sprains and get yourself a pair of Nordic Walking Poles. These give you stability on all surfaces - four legs instead of two. Much better!
Walk with others
I know - this is obvious but it has to be said. Walk with others, especially if you are going off the beaten track.
Eat a nutrient rich diet
Everything that goes into your mouth should be rich in nutrients. Avoid foods that are "hollow" calories, such as pasta, instant noodles, cookies chips, most breads, sugar, fruit juices and so on. Before it enters the mouth ask the question: "Where are the nutrients?".
I have to give a plug here for my Super Smoothie.
This is very suitable for use before, during and after pregnancy. It is your multi-mineral and multi-vitamin and protein drink all in one.
Take one scoop daily. Best to have half a scoop in the morning and another later on in the day.
Preferably take it with 1-2 table spoons of flax oil (omega 3 brain food) plus about 1/4 can of coconut cream (medium chain fatty acids). Dilute the mixture with water to suit your taste.
Blend it with delicious blueberries or any kind of fruit that grabs your fancy.
Unless they are prescribed by your doctor there is no need for any other vitamins and mineral supplements when the Super Smoothie is coupled with a healthy diet.
Make sure you get plenty of rest
Your need for rest increases as your pregnancy progresses. Morning sickness may demand rest during the first trimester as well. Rest is sometimes the most neglected of health measure during pregnancy. Pressures on on modern expecting mothers to stay at work until the last minute, to work out and continue doing the household chores. My advice is to resist these pressures. Instead, listen to your body, eat well, exercise moderately, finish work early if you feel the need and never - ever feel guilty about putting your feet up and getting everybody else to fuss over you! Having a healthy baby is your Number One job for now.
Best to have twice a day rather than in a single serve so halve the above and have twice daily.
There is no need for any other vitamins and minerals when coupled with a healthy diet.