10 thousand steps — everyone has heard this figure. It is believed that this is how much you need to go through a day to maintain a normal level of activity. According to the World Health Organization, 6 kilometers of daily promenade will help prevent the development of many diseases: osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, cardiomyopathy.
But each age has its own standards: children 5-10 years old can easily walk up to 15 thousand steps a day, adults — 5000-10000. But, of course, the figures are approximate, everyone’s health is different. And what about a pregnant woman who is used to long walks — is it possible to continue activity when weight is growing rapidly, and the cardiovascular, immune systems, musculoskeletal system are working under load? We learned from the experts.
The duration of pregnancy matters
With a normal pregnancy, there is no need to make big changes to your lifestyle, you can do the usual physical and mental work. It is advisable to organize the daily routine in such a way that the expectant mother feels comfortable. And you need to be careful during critical periods of fetal development:
in the first 8 weeks of gestation — the period of formation of fetal organs,
from 15 to 20 weeks — enhanced brain growth,
from 20 to 24 weeks — the formation of the main functional systems.
It is desirable that the working day of a pregnant woman does not exceed 6 hours with a free working mode. It is contraindicated to lift weights, stay on your feet for a long time. It is impossible to do work related to the impact of adverse factors: high and low temperatures, chemical factors, infectious agents, etc.
How many steps do pregnant women need to walk?
During pregnancy, the body works in an enhanced mode, but this does not mean that you need to give up activities. One of the most suitable types of physical activity for a pregnant woman is walking. The intensity depends on the woman’s physique and her habitual lifestyle. The pace of walking should be comfortable. We also recommend regular tireless hiking up to 1-1.5 hours.
There are no generally accepted norms for the number of steps. It is advisable to do this every day before going to bed. Given the increased need for oxygen for the expectant mother, the route for walking should be chosen where the air is clean — in parks, squares, on the banks of a river or the sea (if you are lucky enough to live near the sea).
What is the benefit of walking during pregnancy?
Helps strengthen the muscles of the legs, back, buttocks.
The blood supply improves, and this has a positive effect on the growth and development of the baby.
Normalizes metabolic processes in the body, improves intestinal motility.
The immune system is strengthened.
The state of the nervous system is improving.
You can control your weight if you follow proper nutrition.
Long walks should be abandoned if pregnancy proceeds with complications:
threat of interruption,
exacerbation of chronic diseases,
in acute forms of diseases.
In these cases, you need to do as the doctor who is leading the pregnancy advises.
In addition, some types of transport fall under the restriction: shaking is contraindicated for pregnant women. And after 28 weeks of pregnancy, any long trips are generally prohibited. At the same time, you should try not to overload the knees and ankle joint — they become vulnerable under the influence of hormones.
After long walks, a woman predisposed to varicose veins needs to lie down with her legs raised for 10-15 minutes. This will help relieve fatigue, reduce swelling and strain on the veins.
What signs should be alarming when walking?
Physical activity during pregnancy helps to improve mood, increase the level of energy and efficiency, improve sleep, and also cope with such unpleasant symptoms as:
swelling and back pain associated with muscle strain.
For walking, you need to choose the most comfortable clothes so as not to put pressure on your stomach, and shoes.
During walking or any other exercise, it is important to make sure that your breathing does not get lost. If you can’t speak properly because of shortness of breath, this is an excuse to reduce the intensity of the load.
You need to stop immediately if:
bloody discharge was found,
dizziness or headache has started,
there are problems with breathing,
there was pain in the chest,
there is pronounced muscle weakness,
uterine contraction has begun,
there were swelling, pain and a feeling of heat in the legs.