Before you head out the door to walk (or jog or run), be sure you have got all of these safety points checked off:
- Carry a cell phone programmed with emergency numbers. The chances are remote that you'll need it, but it's good to have just in case.
- Carry identification.
- Watch your footing. Because pregnancy affects your balance, you may trip more easily on an uneven path or sidewalk.
- If you trip and fall and feel you may have hurt yourself, don't try to hobble home. Call someone to pick you up or, if you think you may be badly hurt, call an ambulance. If you hit your belly, call your health care provider.
- Whenever possible walk on sidewalks, paths, and trails rather than roads.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water before (8 ounces), during (8 ounces for every 15-20 minutes of exercise), and after (8-16 ounces) your walk.
- Stay cool by dressing in layers. Check the temperature before you go out and dress as if it's 10 degrees cooler. Take off (or add) layers as you warm up and cool down.
- If you must walk on a road, walk on the left side, facing traffic.
- Use caution with a personal stereo. Listening to music or a radio program while you walk can help the time fly by, but it can also limit your ability to hear what's going on around you. Keep the volume low or put the headset over one ear only so you can still hear what's happening in your environment. Even if you're on a safe sidewalk, bicyclists or runners may come up from behind and startle you if you can't hear them.
- Choose safe routes. Now is not the time to be exploring desolate parks or unknown
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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