There are conflicting camps when it comes to being active during pregnancy, but what it really boils down to is keeping your activity light and not starting a new exercise program after you find out that you have a bun in the oven—but it’s always best to keep moving. Doctors will recommend things like swimming, prenatal yoga and walking, so one of the best ways for a traveling mama to get out and enjoy family time while pregnant is to hike.
Hiking is ideal for any traveler who truly adores the outdoors; it’s all about landscapes. It wouldn’t be hard to get your hour of walking in while strolling around the big city, but there is just something special about spending your time among the rocks, rivers, trees and canyons. Hiking can be a light physical activity that families—especially those with young children—can delight in together, and it is ideal for a pregnant woman trying to get in her daily dose of exercise.
Picking your trail
Not all paths are created equal so it is important to understand what you are up against. If you are traveling or do not have previous experience with a trail, do your research and find out the rating so you can determine if it will be within your ability level. Try out trails that don’t have a great deal of climbing, but don’t be afraid of a little elevation. Tackling the hills will get your heart pumping, which is all very safe and healthy for your little one.
This goes without saying, no? During pregnancy, the amount of blood in a woman’s body more than doubles which can lead to excessive swelling—especially during the hot summer months. Drinking what may feel like an excessive amount of water is one of the best ways to keep swelling down and keep your body in top shape while you are expecting.
Normally, it would be second nature to pack a water bottle when you head out to any physical or outdoor activity, but it is especially important to stay hydrated when you are pregnant, so plan on doubling or tripling whatever you had planned on taking with you. Using a Camelbak or bringing one large jug of water to fill your regular bottle with is the best way to stay hydrated on your hike. Every time you drain the small bottle, make a note of how much water is left in your big container and plan on taking more frequent water breaks to empty the entire thing before the hike is over.
Time for family
Each trimester has its challenges: most moms-to-be are sick during their first, energetic during their second, and utterly exhausted for their third. Of course, conditions vary from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. Feeling like garbage isn’t always conducive to great family time, and mamas who already have kiddos will love hiking because it gives them extra time to bond with their children before welcoming a new family member in a way that is fun and entertaining for all members of the brood.
So many times during the 40 weeks that we carry our babies inside of us, it’s easy to find ourselves down and out. We can be incredibly nauseous and ravenously hungry at the same time—a lose-lose situation. As we get larger, it can be more difficult to feel as beautiful as everyone is telling us that we are. Most days, that pregnancy “glow” that everyone is raving about is usually just sweat. However, hiking is a way to get outside of ourselves both mentally and physically in a way that may leave our bodies tired, but our spirits refreshed.
Being outdoors and getting a change of scenery is always lovely, and hiking can be a fun challenge. This leaves pregnant mums with a sense of strength and accomplishment in the months leading up to one of the biggest challenges and accomplishments they’ll ever experience—bringing a child into the world.