Exercise During Pregnancy
Hiking might sound intimidating if you’re attempting it for the first time, however, there isn’t much to it. You don’t require any special skills. It’s an excellent way to immerse yourself in outdoor activities and nature. Transported by your feet at a comfortable pace and backpacking just the daily requirements, you can discover the splendor of nature. Hiking is associated with numerous health benefits, ranging from the physical gains gotten when out on the trail, to the mental or emotional relief that comes from the natural environment.
Hiking is among the best ways to exercise. Regardless of what type of trail you are on, hiking is an excellent whole-body workout—from the head to the toes and everything in between. Some of the physical benefits of hiking include:
- Improving your sense of balance
- Building stronger bones and muscles
- Improving your heart health
- Reducing the risk of certain respiratory challenges
Whether you are scrambling up a steep path or scaling boulders on a rocky dirt path, hiking in Australian nature is the perfect opportunity to get an ideal work out!
Physical activity is essential for mothers-to-be, with the Australian Department of Health recommending between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic workout per week to stay healthy. One of such excellent forms of aerobic exercise is hiking. However, there are certain safety measures you should adhere to when pregnant and exploring trails. Below is some advice which will ensure that hiking while pregnant is both safer and more enjoyable.
Plan with Your Doctor
This is surely vital. Always plan intended pregnancy exercises with your doctor before doing anything else. Doctors are better positioned to evaluate the safety of certain activities and what distances, temperatures and elevations you can handle.
Staying hydrated is vital for pregnant women. Pregnant women are expected to consume considerably more water and fluids than women who aren’t pregnant. (According to the Australian Department of Health, pregnant women should be drinking approximately 2.3 litres of water daily.) Pregnant women also tend to overheat quickly, therefore hydrating properly and regularly can help regulate temperatures, and control fatigue levels. It’s also recommended that expecting women bring water with added electrolytes or electrolyte supplements to prevent dizziness.
Avoid Uneven Trail
Weight fluctuations often alter the centre of gravity of pregnant women. To avoid this, choose trails that cover flat, even terrain.
Always Bring Food
Bringing snacks along when you’re on the trail is always a good practice, and this is especially important when pregnant. The caloric intake of women during pregnancy increases by up to 500 calories. Snacking will help keep your energy up and avoid fatigue, a common challenge when pregnant, and also help you meet your recommended caloric intake. Ensure you only go for healthy options, such as fruits or nuts. If you do not have an idea what to buy for a trip, try these options – they are healthy and affordable.
Source: Woolworths catalogue
Slow Your Pace
Though hiking doesn’t pose any risk to pregnant women, it’s advised that they considerably slow down their pace. According to the National Health Services, the U.K. and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women should maintain a pace that allows them to hold conservation. They also advise taking plenty and regular breaks.
Always Stay within Cell Service
Medical emergencies are common occurrences during pregnancy and can happen at any time. Ensure you stay within cell phone tower range so that emergency services can be easily contacted if they are needed.