Topic: Your Guide To Hiking During Pregnancy
“Make sure you don’t lift heavy things. And don’t bend over to pick anything up.”
This advice from my husband’s grandmother didn’t seem very practical. But I was a first-time mom pregnant with twins and I wanted her to at least know that I appreciated her concern. Less than 30 seconds after the counsel left her lips, I dropped my keys. We both looked down and a sly grin slowly spread across her face as a silent dare. Of course, I picked my keys up. But the timing in this moment couldn’t have been more perfect.
Many of us find ourselves confused about what is physically safe when pregnant. And it doesn’t help to be overcast with advice from everyone who knows exactly what you should do. But experiences and struggles of pregnancy vary from mom to mom, and many factors contribute to what is recommended physically. If you are used to moving about and find hiking as a great athletic outlet, how does that change when you become pregnant? Is it safe to take these long walks in the sun over various terrains, and how do these conditions affect the body differently when you’re growing a baby?
“For women who are used to being active and hiking as exercise, they can continue to hike but will need to make some adjustments to their routine,” advises Patricia Ladis a physical therapist who specializes in pregnancy and postpartum.
She and other experts weigh in, and they don’t stop at whether or not hiking is OK. They also share some of the safest ways to hike, from the best clothing to wear to what time of day is recommended.
Exercising While Pregnant
“As a general rule, women who were physically active pre-pregnancy can maintain the same level of physical activity during the pregnancy. If you weren’t physically active before the pregnancy and start exercising during pregnancy, you want to take things slow,” says Dominique Luckey, OB-GYN.
Ladis recommends continuing a daily aerobic exercise routine for at least 30 minutes, which is “the exact amount of time it takes to optimize neuroplasticity, the healthy development of new brain cells. With enhanced cellular turnover, pregnant women can reset their minds, improve mood, enhance learning, have more energy, and improve circulation, all of which benefit both you and your baby.”
“If you have a complicated pregnancy with a high-risk condition that requires limited activity, then hiking would not be recommended,” adds Luckey.
Topic Discussed: Your Guide To Hiking During Pregnancy
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