When I tell people I’m an archaeologist, most people’s eyes light up and they associate it with their childhood dreams of digging in the dirt and finding treasures. For most archaeologists that is only one small part of the job description. Many of us spend most of our time hiking the landscape looking for archaeological sites. I have always joked that I’m basically a professional hiker.
Workout Buddy Tank via Pierced N Pretty
When I first got pregnant my energy was completely zapped. It took every ounce I could muster to get through the work day and I would return home to put on pajamas and spend the remainder of the evening lounging on the couch or in bed. Basically I knew I had to get up the next day and do it all over again. I was so excited when the second trimester came and I got a zap of energy! This meant I could start doing the things I love again like hiking and enjoying nature.
I didn’t realize just how much I missed hiking these past few months until my husband and I completed our first hike since I got pregnant. We chose the Cerro San Luis Trail (Madonna Mountain), which is where he proposed to me. While there are a few steeper sections, overall this hike has a good gradual climb that we thought would be a great place to start. Here are some tips and things to consider when hiking while pregnant.
I state this first, because it’s so important. I’ve been consistently hiking for about the past 10 years. My body is very used to hiking. Even so, I checked with my doctor and she cleared it. She said it was a wonderful way to get some exercise while pregnant. Everyone’s activity level is so different pre-pregnancy that it is so important to clear any exercise plan with your doctor first.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
This was a huge reality check to me. In the past I never had to stop and take breaks while climbing to the top. Things are different now. I weight more. My hips and center of gravity have shifted. Pregnancy has activated my asthma more making it harder to breath. There are a lot of additional factors to consider. It’s important not to over-exert yourself and trust me, I took plenty of breaks! It’s okay to take a break every 10 minutes if you need to. Let your body be your guide and stop and rest when you need to.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Everyone is different, but when I got pregnant one of my first symptoms was an insatiable thirst. I drink so much more water than I did before I got pregnant. Not knowing how much I would need for the hike, I filled up three water bottles full. Did I drink it all? Nope! It was there if I needed it though.
Workout Buddy Tank via Pierced N Pretty
BRING THOSE SNACKS
Electrolytes are just as important as water. When you are pregnant you never know when the hunger cravings are going to hit. You’re burning off calories as you hike and sometimes you might need a little snack to help refuel that energy. Some great snacks to pack are energy bars, dried fruit, and nuts.
GET READY TO PEE BEHIND A BUSH
I can’t tell you how many bushes I’ve peed behind during my career. I’m used to it and it doesn’t bother me. This is a good heads up for those of you who may not be as used to this. Bathrooms aren’t usually common on hiking trails. Sometimes there will be one at the trail head, but even that isn’t always the case. There is a really high chance you are going to have to pee at some point during your hike, especially if the baby is right up against your bladder.
SOME GEAR OPTIONS
I’ve never used trekking poles before and didn’t need them for this hike. The terrain was not that difficult and I didn’t feel the need for the extra support. As your balance changes throughout your pregnancy and depending on the terrain, trekking poles might be a perfect addition to your hike. I would also recommend looking into a small hiking backpack. It’s perfect for carrying water, snacks, toilet paper, and anything else you think you might need.
Overall our first pregnancy hike was a huge success and I was so happy I made it to the top. I may have had to take a few breaks, but it was completely worth it. Since many have been asking about this fun top I purchased, I wanted to share some cute workout tops for you fitness mamas out there!
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