When you’re pregnant, you may hear lots of different advice and mixed reviews on exercising, especially what you can and can’t do. There are a lot of people out there who still have an old-school way of thinking, in that you shouldn’t do anything strenuous or overly active when pregnant, but what we now know is that actually that just isn’t true. Most doctors recommend that, as long as you are not a high risk pregnancy, you maintain an active lifestyle. Of course, modifications will need to be made, but in general, a normal fitness routine that doesn’t pose a risk of any trauma to the abdomen is ok to continue. Please remember, always consult a medical professional for any questions or before starting a new exercise routine. This article is meant for entertainment and opinion based only, seek guidance from your doctor and always get their approval for any new activity.
One of my favorite ways to keep up my routine and maintain an active and fit pregnancy is hiking. It is a great full body workout, you get low impact cardio in, and don’t have the same stress on your joints that running can cause. Hiking is also great for just getting outdoors and freeing your mind, connecting with nature, and enjoying some fresh air! I hiked throughout my entire pregnancy, though of course towards the end, I chose less challenging routes, or easier terrain to help avoid the risk of falling as my stomach grew and changed my balance, as well as easy my level of fatigue.
My top tip for hiking during pregnancy is to make sure you stay hydrated, and bring snacks! You are working for two, meaning you are going through more water than usual and also burning more calories. While normally you should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, during pregnancy, doctors recommend at least 10, and if you’re exercising, like hiking, that number only increases. Drops in blood sugar and not enough calories can cause you to get dizzy, feel faint or lose energy quickly and become fatigued. To avoid this, have a nice hardy breakfast before you go hiking, and pack plenty of snacks and foods to keep you fueled throughout the hike. Water and food are more important than ever when you are taking care of a growing baby, and yourself!
Another important thing to remember is that you are sharing your cardio-vascular system with your growing baby, so you should be prepared to take more breaks and catch your breath. Just because you stopped 5 minutes ago, doesn’t mean you don’t need another break. Listen to your body, and respect what it needs. Don’t push yourself or let your ego get in the way if your body is saying it needs more oxygen and time to recover. Your body is doing something incredible, so if you are pushing it when hiking during pregnancy, be prepared for a little more recovery time to catch up. Prepare for this by adding time to your hike, don’t rush to the top, and get an earlier start so you have plenty of time to take breaks and rest at the top, while still reaching your destination.
Those giant peaks and difficult trails will be there for you on the other side of pregnancy, so don’t worry about setting records right now. Hiking during pregnancy is a great way to keep your body moving and get out into nature, not about racing to the top. Enjoy this moment, it’s not forever, so set your big plans on the back burner and just enjoy what you are able to do at this moment in time!