Is Running Safe During Pregnancy?
It’s not recommended that you take up marathon running during pregnancy – especially if you’ve never done it before. But, provided that you’re fit and healthy, there’s no evidence to suggest you should give up an existing running routine just because you’re pregnant. Read on for facts and advice on running during pregnancy.
Advice for Runners:
If you’re already a runner, there’s no reason to reduce your level of activity when you’re pregnant. In fact, a sudden drop in activity can be more dangerous to you and Baby than keeping up with your regular running routine. If you’re still worried about running while pregnant, talk it over with your doctor at a pre-pregnancy checkup or your first prenatal visit. The most important thing is to listen to your body. These simple rules should help keep you safe:
- Don’t push yourself beyond uncomfortable levels – elevating your heart rate too high is not advisable.
- Make sure you always keep hydrated – both you and Baby need plenty of water.
- Give your body the fuel it needs to maintain high energy expenditure while also growing a baby. Eat often and nutritiously – you may need a higher protein intake than non-runners do when they’re pregnant.
- Invest in a decent pair of supportive running shoes – you don’t want to exacerbate ankle, muscle, or back pain.
When to Stop Running During Pregnancy:
Basically, you can run until it becomes painful or uncomfortable, or until you receive medical advice that it’s time to stop. Every woman is different and you know your body better than anyone else does. It is inevitable that, at some point, your graceful gait will probably become more of a waddle! If you’re ever worried about symptoms, take a break from running and discuss it with your midwife or obstetrician.
Advice for Non-Runners:
If your body is not used to running, it’s not a good idea to take it up while you’re pregnant. You could put unnecessary pressure on your joints and through your heart rate into overdrive! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be adding a little exercise to your routine. Try and be active for at least 30 minutes a day – this will decrease uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, improve blood pressure, and build stamina for labor and childbirth. Here are a few simple ways you can increase your activity levels:
- Park an extra block from work and add a 10-minute stroll to each end of your work day.
- Take an evening walk with your partner or husband – an excellent way to catch up, plan, and bond at the end of the day.
- Join a gym or yoga class (many places offered specialized pregnancy exercise classes.
- Jump in the pool and do some laps a couple of times a week – the weightless feeling will be heavenly.
More Articles and Advice for a Healthy Pregnancy:
Want to mix up your pregnancy workouts? Here are a few excellent ideas for effective pregnancy exercises.
Regular, high energy snacks are important for an active pregnancy. Check out some great pregnancy snack recipes here.
If you do have to drop running during your final trimester, it shouldn’t mean that you have to stop being active all together! Check out our lower impact third trimester workouts here.