Is It Bad to Walk Too Much While You Are Pregnant?

It is not bad to walk too much during pregnancy. In fact, walking is one of the best ways to get exercise during pregnancy. Staying active is beneficial for you and baby. Getting started on a regular exercise program during pregnancy depends on your level of fitness before you became pregnant. Always consult with your doctor about a fitness routine before starting one.

Walking is a good form of exercise during pregnancy. (Image: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that women do at least 30 minutes of exercise like walking every day. Even those in an active profession that requires walking can benefit from the addition of a walking program for exercise. Among the physical benefits, walking can help you clear your mind and relieve stress.

Benefits

Walking while you are pregnant can greatly benefit you and your growing baby. Walking can help you gain just the right amount of weight. Gaining too much can lead to premature delivery or a large baby. Walking helps your body deal with the aches and pains of pregnancy. A fitter body is more able to carry around a growing baby with less fatigue. In addition, you'll be preparing your body for childbirth, an endurance activity by itself. Exercise can also help prevent pregnancy-related complications like gestational diabetes, which can impact the health of you and your child. Finally, walking can help reduce swelling; moving around can help reduce the fluid buildup in your legs, ankles and feet that come with pregnancy.

How to Start

Before you start an exercise program, speak with your doctor. If you were active before becoming pregnant, you probably don't need to ease into an exercise program. But if you increase your walking at the start of pregnancy, work up to a good program. Start by walking five minutes daily and slowly increase to 30 minutes or more. Jogging may even be OK for some women early in pregnancy, but this depends on your exercise regimen before becoming pregnant and your overall health. Speak with your doctor before jogging while pregnant.

Contraindications

There are certain instances in which walking too much may not be safe during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, too much exercise may not be safe. Women who experience early contractions or abnormal bleeding may also need to limit walking. If your water has broken prematurely, you should also stop exercising. Always follow your doctor's guidelines for exercising during pregnancy.

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