Hiking during pregnancy!
It is no secret that I LOVE to hike! It relaxes me, makes me feel more connected with nature and myself and keeps me active without feeling like I have exerted too much.
In fact the biggest question I get asked is how I maintain hiking throughout my pregnancy. In the early trimesters it was far easier with a few modifications but deeper into the third trimester it is a bit more challenging.
With pregnancy your body goes through some major physiological changes.. from a shift in balance, added blood volume, loser muscles and joints, general aches and pains attributed to a rapidly changing body. But you don't have to stop doing the things you love just because you are pregnant.
I have adapted my hiking routine and been able to maintain a healthy active pregnancy! Here are some tips as to how:
1. Drink lots of water - you should be drinking half an once of water per pound you weigh each day; for me I weigh 180lbs which equivalates to 2.6L of water daily. With activity this number should go up to compensate for sweat loss.
2. Use hiking poles and microspikes in winter months! These will assist with balance and help you feel more in control on your hikes!
3. LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS! I am not summiting mountains or doing long distance hikes because I know my limits. My average hike these days is 1-4kms on flat elevation. I travel slowly and take lots of breaks as needed. Trust your body and know when it is time to scale back or rest.
4. Maintain activity outside of hikes too, for me this looks like a walk around the block each day. I am experienced with weight lifting and have maintained this as well to a certain degree. Try prenatal yoga, daily walks or join a prenatal fitness class at your local gym! Activity may be the last thing you want to do but can help dramatically with labour and delivery.
5. Protein filled snacks! Snacks are important for all hikers but especially so for pregnant hikers! No one wants to encounter a Hangry mama on the trail! Opt for protein bars, granola balls, trail mix, jerky and other easy to munch on protein filled snacks!
Ultimately prepare yourself for success and you will be successful. Scale back your expectations and distance and know that if you were hiking before pregnancy you can maintain hiking throughout your pregnancy!