Fitness walking during pregnancy: how and until when?

Are you pregnant, blooming, and looking for a sport you can do during your pregnancy? Opt for a gentle, stamina-building sport, such as fitness walking: perfect for adapting to the changes in your body! Here are some tips on walking during pregnancy…


Fitness walking - a gentle activity for pregnant women

Fitness walking can be practised at your own pace, and therefore lets the mother-to-be exercise in accordance with her body while protecting her baby. If you listen to your body, fitness walking presents no risk of miscarriage or foetal suffering.

Please note however: "During a normal pregnancy, the average weight gain is 12 kg," explains Dr Bacquaert, sports and sports health consultant. "This change can lead to loss of balance due to the increased abdominal volume and exaggerated arching of the back. It is important to pay particular attention to your posture and avoid excessive impacts."


The benefits of active walking for pregnant women

When you walk, you will enjoy the exercise and get plenty of fresh air. But that's not all! Without even noticing it, you will reduce the sensation of heavy legs, as fitness walking stimulates blood flow in the lower body.

Walking fast also improves your abdominal core strength: ideal for preparing you for the birth! You can use your walking sessions for practising your breathing. Clear your mind and practise short breathing exercises that tone your pelvic floor.

Practise in 30-minute sessions — split into 2 X 15 minutes — do not forget to hydrate yourself.

Fitness walking, a great way for new mothers to get back in shape

After the birth of your baby, you can return to fitness walking. This is one of the best post-partum sports that you can practise four to six weeks after the birth, upon medical advice.

You can combine fitness walking and breastfeeding, but sometimes engorged breasts can be a source of discomfort as you walk.

Practical advice from Julie, who has worked for Newfeel for four years and… is a new mum!

"The most important thing for me is to have the correct bust support with a comfortable sports bra. To avoid your thighs chafing, wear close-fitting clothes that are breathable, and elastic-waisted so that your abdomen is not compressed. Finally, flexible, lightweight shoes that enable you to roll out your foot correctly, and which are comfortable enough for walking with baby!"


The correct posture for practising sport during pregnancy

To practise fitness walking safely during pregnancy, here are a few simple precautions to take:

• Wear comfortable shoes suitable for fitness walking,

• Protect your back by walking without a bag and on flat, soft ground, such as a woodland trail or a grassy footpath,

• Control your breathing: you should be able to sing without getting out of breath,

• Limit the intensity and the duration of your sessions, because your baby also needs your oxygen!


Until when can I practise fitness walking during my pregnancy?

"Provided you are not suffering from raised blood pressure, fitness walking can be practised up to a few days before the birth." Dr Bacquaert adds however that "the cervix should not be dilated, and there shouldn't be an excess weight gain or abdominal girth."

Please see your doctor if you have any doubts.