Five things every pregnant hiker needs

12 October 2018

Walking is one of the best pregnancy exercises you can do. Not only does it give you a low-impact, cardiovascular workout that releases all those happy endorphins, but you also get the benefit of being outdoors and in nature. Did you know that it has now been scientifically proven that spending time in nature improves your mood?

Add to that the fact that walking is free, and you can take your other children and/or dogs with you, and you really are onto a winner. And with the beautiful National Parks to explore, it is an opportunity to experience fabulous scenery.

However, hiking with a growing bump does mean you need to take a few things into consideration. It may feel mad to spend money on maternity outdoor-wear, but being comfortable will make the difference between you sticking with your outdoor exercise, and getting all the physical and mental benefits, or giving up because it is just too uncomfortable.

The good news is that our list only features kit you can use after, as well as during, pregnancy.

  1. Hiking boots: This tops our list as it is a question of safety as well as comfort. As your centre of gravity changes with your bump, you may find you are a little clumsy on your feet.
  2. Water bottle: Dehydration is a big no-no during pregnancy so make sure you have a good, insulated water bottle.
  3. A Really Good Maternity Sports Bra: Do I really need one? I hear you ask. The answer is yes!
  4. Layers The great British weather’s ability to go from summer to winter in the space of an hour, means you really need layers when hiking anyway, but add fluctuating body temperatures due to pregnancy, and they become a necessity.
  5. Walking poles: They will give you extra support when you are going uphill, while on the way down they will not only steady you, but also reduce the amount of jarring you do to your knees and hips.

Samantha Jenkins of Mother & Nature

One for the road:

Remember your skin is much more sensitive during pregnancy, so don’t forget to put a hat and SPF on if you are hiking in the summer.

Routes in the Lake District

The Lake District is just over an hours drive from me, and somewhere I’ve enjoyed walking for years, pre, during & post pregnancy!

A couple of my favourite walks in the Lake District would be:

Ullswater – I usually start at Glenriding and catch the Ullswater Steamer to Howtown, and start from the pier.  This is a fantastic low level walk taking in the breathtaking views of the lake.  It is about 7 miles in total, so not a quick walk. There are plenty of great places to stop along the shoreline to stop off for a picnic too!

Glenridding is also such a quaint little village, with shops, pubs and some lovely B&B’s. Such a lovely place to relax after a day in the hills.

Conniston Old Man from Conniston village is another great walk, but completely different from Ullswater.  It is isn’t a particularly long route, but it is challenging with an ascent of over 600 metres.  The area around Conniston used to be a mass of industry, with mining for slate and copper, that you can still see while out walking.  There are fantastic views from the top, and Conniston Old Man is such an iconc place.  Coniston village is also a favourite spot, it is a small village, but there are plenty of shops, cafes and pubs to immerse yourself in when you get down from the mountains.

Check out Mother & Nature for fantastic products for the very best outdoor maternity wear