Get Outside This Winter
Baby, it’s cold outside. But don’t let a little chill stop you from enjoying some time outdoors during your pregnancy! The cold weather can seem like the perfect excuse for staying indoors – it gets dark earlier in the evening, and it’s so tempting to snuggle up indoors and relax.
Rest is just as important, (we love relaxing too!) but getting some fresh air is so important for you and your baby. Need a little motivation? We have some tips to help you get outside this winter.
Being outside is good for your health.
Getting fresh air – AKA oxygen – is important in keeping your entire body functioning properly. Benefits of fresh air include improving blood pressure and heart rate, having more energy, and boosting your body’s immune system.
These factors are especially important during pregnancy when your blood pressure may be higher and your energy lower than usual. If you already struggle with high blood pressure, you might add in some low-impact exercise while you’re outside. Staying active can help lower your blood pressure naturally.
It’s also good for your brain.
Many women experience depression or anxiety during and after pregnancy. Getting fresh air can help to combat these feelings, meaning you stay mentally healthy for yourself and your baby.
Sitting on the couch too much can lull you into a routine that isn’t good for your mental health. You may be surprised by how clear your mind feels after being outside, even just for a short time. Having a positive sense of well-being will greatly improve your mood, especially if you are consistent with your routine.
Be purposeful in your planning.
Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. Take a look at your schedule and intentionally carve out time to be outside – even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes at a time.
This is an important tip if you work in an office setting and have limited breaks or an overwhelming workload. Go as far as reserving time on your calendar if it helps to have a reminder. After all, time can get away quickly, and before you know it the day is over.
Check the weather.
This will help you plan around storms and temperatures. For example, if you live in a colder region you might want to get outside midday when the temperatures are warmest; or if it’s going to rain in the afternoon, you may want to get outside before the storm.
Get started with these ideas.
Go for a walk around the block. Several shorter walks can provide the same health benefits as one long walk. Visit local parks for a change of scenery if you get bored with walking in the same areas around your home or work.
Not feeling up for a walk? Relax on a bench and people-watch. All of your outdoor time doesn’t have to be activity-related. Sometimes decompressing and relaxing is just what the doctor ordered.
Park your car in the back of the parking lot when you go shopping. Spending an extra minute or two outside as you walk into a store will add up over time. Just think, if you were outside two extra minutes every day, that would add up to nearly ten extra hours of fresh air over the course of your pregnancy.
If you have a day that you don’t feel like getting outside, but the weather is nice, open a window! Getting some fresh airflow in your home is important, too. This can help circulate out some of the cold and flu germs that accumulate, leading to better health for you and your family!
Have older children? Get them outside with you to play catch or explore. The time will pass faster and bonus – they will be in a better mood too! Have a dog? Include him on a walk around the block. This is a great opportunity to build healthy habits for the whole family.
Additional cold-weather tips:
- It goes without saying, but bundle up! Take a hat, scarf, and gloves. Layering will allow you to adjust if you feel cooler or warmer than you expected.
- Wear good shoes. This is not the time to be fashionable. Choose the most safety-conscious, comfortable pair of shoes you own – especially if you live where the sidewalks may be icy.
- Take a bottle of water and stay hydrated if you’re walking or doing other activities.
- Drink hot chocolate or coffee to stay warm on particularly cold days.
- If you’re planning to be outside for a while, pack a snack in case you get hungry. After all, you’re eating for two!
Sure, it’s easy to put on your comfy PJs and snuggle up on the couch, but there will be time for that later! For now, prioritize your health – both physical and mental – and get outdoors for some fresh air.