Running is probably the trendiest sport nowadays... However, if you follow this trend you may come to wonder if running while pregnant is allowed.
It's a fair question. After all, running requires doing a huge effort, and we've always heard that we need to rest during pregnancy.
Well, that's true. We need to take care of ourselves, and we need to rest, but we also need to stay active. In fact, moderate exercise while expecting is as recommended as a healthy diet, so, contrary to what we may think, running while pregnant is perfectly safe... if running safe, of course!
Yes, running while pregnant is allowed
That would be the short answer. Running in pregnancy doesn't necessarily entail risks for the mother or the baby, unless the doctor recommends otherwise. If you have certain pregnancy complication or a medical condition that prevents you from practising certain sports, probably running won't be the best option for you. However, if you have a normal pregnancy, there is absolutely no reason why you should refrain from running like the wind!
If you're interested in running when pregnant, the first thing you need to do is checking with your doctor, just to make sure that you're in good condition. After that, running during pregnancy is as good of an exercise as any, so go ahead! of course, your path will be different if you're an experienced runner than if you just started. If that's your case, start at a slower, calmer pace, combining walking with running.
Keep in mind that you need to be hydrated at all times, and to listen to your body to avoid overheating and other risks. Keep in mind that during pregnancy, women tend to overheat faster, so don't overdo it!
Here you have a few general safety tips and red flags to keep in mind if you're running while pregnant:
- If you feel pain anywhere in your body, you should stop running or exercising. Remember that the point of doing it is because being sedentary isn't healthy during pregnancy (or ever). While you're expecting a baby, keeping fit or losing weight shouldn't be your goal.
- If after running you feel exhausted or your muscles are too sore, maybe you should slow down a little bit.
- Measure your heart rate in the morning and also during your running sessions to make sure you're not doing too much of an effort.
- There are certain red flags that will tell you to stop immediately, such as feeling chest pain, contractions, feeling dizzy or suffering vaginal bleeding. If you feel any of those while running, call the doctor.
Running while pregnant: The first trimester
During the first trimester, running is hard because you will feel lots of changes in your body. You may need more support for your breasts, as they will get bigger and sore, and you will need to drink more water.
During pregnancy, you need to be especially careful with the amount of water you drink, because you need a higher amount than you normally do. A good way of making sure you're hydrating is checking the colour of your urine (it should be light yellow, and not dark).
Running while pregnant: The second trimester
During the second trimester, you will probably have adjusted to some of the changes of your body... But there are others on the way. Your belly will continue to grow, and you may find the bouncing uncomfortable. You can buy a belly support band if you want to keep running.
It's also possible that you will need new shoes, as your legs and feet will get swollen because of your pregnancy. If you want to keep running while pregnant you will need to buy new running shoes (it's more important than ever that you wear shoes that are apt for this type of exercise), but don't worry, because it is possible that you will need them after too, as sometimes your feet stay a little bit bigger for good.
Running while pregnant: The third trimester
During the third trimester of pregnancy you need to listen to your body more than ever. You're carrying a whole human being inside of you, so if you feel too tired to go running, don't go. There are other easy exercises that you can do to stay active during the last trimester, such as pregnancy yoga, swimming, or even these easy and useful pregnancy exercises.
If you still want to run, it's good advice to slower your path... Although your pregnant belly may be doing that for you!
All in all, running while pregnant is perfectly safe, as long as you listen to your body and you don't run to the verge of exhaustion. Keep hydrated, avoid overheating and accommodate your running routine to your state - as you saw in this article, as your body changes, your running will have to change too.