Movement is so important for promoting health and wellness in pregnancy and yet busy lives means that many of us have difficulty meeting our exercise goals. Thankfully there are many movements that can be incorporated into our daily lives. Such as walking!
Walking is often overlooked as a form of physical activity. It strengthens your legs, back and pelvis and improves your alignment and flexibility. These can help relieve prenatal aches and discomfort and prepare your body. It’s great during labour too! A 2013 Cochrane Review showed that upright positions, such as walking, lead to greater comfort for the birthing person and a shorter length of the first stage of labour.
Walking for thirty to sixty minutes each day or several times a week is great option for meeting movement goals. As it gets colder and the days shorter, we often tend to become less active and its harder to find the time or space for movement. Luckily, there are many options for walking within the city even on the coldest days:
1. Art Gallery of Ontario
It’s easy to walk for an hour or more while enjoying exhibits from classics to contemporary canadian art. There are four levels all accessible by elevator, but if you’re looking to increase your activity use the winding ramp to move through the gallery.
Every Wednesday from 6-9 pm the AGO collection galleries are free for the public!
2. Allan Gardens Conservatory
One of our favourite winter activities is visiting Allan Gardens, a greenhouse conservatory in Cabbagetown. It is a perfect way to escape the cold, grey winter days into the warm, tropical plant gardens.
Every December, the conservatory hosts their Christmas Flower Show with hundreds of flowers and holiday plant displays. On weekend evenings the conservatory can be enjoyed by candlelight.
3. Holiday Markets and Pop Up Shops
All throughout December, there are holiday markets and pop shops that let you shop while being active. These markets are great for finding unique gifts and crafts, many of which are made locally, and your favourite holiday drinks and treats!
A full list of holiday markets is available here
4. Brave the Cold
We can understand why so many chose to stay indoors during these winter months, but bundling up and heading outdoors has its benefits. We love the freshness in winter air and the beauty of the sun shining through bare trees and grey skies.
Green spaces, such as High Park or Evergreen Brickworks, are great options for outdoor walks. On those cold days, we opt for routes where we can stop in shops and cafes along the way, such as the Distillery District, Queen Street West, or Roncesvalle Avenue.
** Walking is one activity that many can incorporate to their daily activities or holiday plans, however we acknowledge it and the above suggestions will not accessible for all. Of the ideas listed above, Allan Gardens and Art Gallery of Ontario are accessible for those requiring mobility assistance.
The Spectrum Doula Team