A lot of women assume that being pregnant means automatically stopping all forms of exercise at once. However, that couldn’t be further away from the truth – in fact, it’s recommended that they do at least 150 moderate-intensity exercises on a weekly basis. Basically, according to health professionals – if you’re healthy and the pregnancy is progressing normally, it’s completely okay for you to exercise.
With that said, for many people, it’s hard to determine what “moderate exercise” entails – is it simply walking around, maybe attending a pilates or yoga class? Or does it mean that you can continue running, jumping, and cycling? Thankfully, as we don’t want you to keep on wondering, we decided to answer these questions and more in the paragraphs below.
So, if you’re interested, then keep on reading.
Should You Be Running During Pregnancy?
If you were a runner before you got pregnant and you’re used to the movement, then by all means, you can continue logging the miles, even when you’re already carrying a child. If you’re facing any discomfort, purchasing a running belt for pregnancy might help you deal with it, as it provides support for your belly, back, and pelvis. With that said, there are some conditions that may make it unsafe for you to do so, and they include severe anemia, placenta problems, preeclampsia, and some types of lung and heart diseases. Additionally, if you’re facing other issues and you’re at risk of preterm labor, then any kind of exercise is typically not recommended by doctors, with some even vetoing it altogether. That’s why, before you start or continue any further training, it’s vital to consult with your healthcare professional in order to be certain that you’re avoiding all possible risks for you and the baby.
However, if you weren’t in the habit of running before you got pregnant, then doctors generally don’t recommend starting when you’re already carrying a child, as your body has not adapted to the movement. As an alternative, you can incorporate a program that combines walking with small running intervals.
What are the Risks of Running While Pregnant?
Now, we already mentioned that some doctors forbid exercise for their patients who are facing possible preterm labor and in other more severe cases as well. In those situations, it’s clear why rigorous movement is not recommended, as it can potentially endanger both the mother and the child. However, we also talked about the fact that if you weren’t a runner before, it’s not a good idea to try to become one immediately after finding out you’re pregnant, and that’s because there are several risks associated with running while carrying a child. Let’s talk about what they are.
When you’re pregnant, especially as you get further along, you start to carry quite a bit of extra weight in front of your body. That leads to a change of center of gravity, so it’s advised to be extra careful when walking on steep surfaces or rough terrain or when running, as you become more prone to injuries.
More Ligament Pain
Pregnant women tend to feel pain around their abdomen or pelvis, and that’s typically referred to as round ligament pain. It’s because it affects the ligaments surrounding the uterus, which are generally round and have a primary role of supporting it.
What You Can Do To Ensure Safety When Running During Pregnancy
If you are keen on running during your pregnancy, there are several things you can do to ensure you’re doing it in the safest way possible.
Make Sure You Have Supportive Shoes
As we mentioned, when you’re pregnant, the risk of injury increases, especially in the joints of your ankles and feet, which is why it’s key to have shoes that are specifically made for running and are supportive enough. A good tip here is that you might need to get a bigger number if your feet have flattened or are swollen.
Get More Support
Along with the belt we already mentioned, you should also consider getting sports bras that fit better and offer increased support. You will likely need to go up a size from your normal bras as you gain a bit of extra weight.
Don’t Forget Hydration
Because of the increased need to take bathroom breaks, some women decide to skip the water when running. However, that’s definitely not recommended, and it’s not a great idea, as typically, you need around 8 to 12 cups per day to stay on top of your hydration when pregnant.
If you’re already a runner, your pregnancy is going normally, and you don’t have any health concerns, then going for a run is completely safe and even recommended. With that said, it’s still a good idea to consult with your doctor before taking up any exercise, as there are things about your pregnancy that you may not know about or that need to be checked before you get cleared for regular exercise.