Running During Pregnancy

Until recently, it was believed that when a woman found out that she was pregnant, exercising was always counterproductive, but luckily, that's not true. We'll take a more detailed look at running during pregnancy below.
Running During Pregnancy

Last update: 23 September, 2018

During the nine months of pregnancy, it’s very important to maintain your exercise routine, according to your fitness level. If you practice sports, such as running and you are pregnant, you can continue your routine, as long as you follow some important advice. In this article, we’ll explore running during pregnancy and how you can do it too.

Is it possible to go running during pregnancy?

Research and studies have changed our way of thinking about running during pregnancy. They’ve shown us that exercise is essential for both the mother, and the baby.

Beyond yoga, swimming, Pilates, and long walks, many women still go running when they’re expecting a baby. Running during pregnancy is increasingly popular and it offers many benefits.

pregnant woman on treadmill looking at fitness watch

Unless you’re going through a risky pregnancy or you’ve been otherwise instructed by your physician, jogging or running during pregnancy can improve your self-esteem. It can also prevent osteoporosis and excessive weight gain, relieve swelling of the legs, and prevent pre-eclampsia. What’s more, it can make childbirth and your recovery easier.

Running is a medium to high-intensity exercise, but you can go at your own pace. If you’ve never been running before, you should start gradually, and slowly let your body become accustomed to it.

Tips for running during pregnancy

Whether you have previously been running before you became pregnant or not, you can practice this sport by following a few important tips:

1. Consult with your doctor

Even if your friends or acquaintances have started running while they were pregnant and they did not experience any issues, not all women and pregnancies are the same. You should ask your doctor if they recommend this type of activity for you. If they have reservations, ask which sports they would consider to be the most appropriate.

2. Do moderate exercise

Even if you’re an experienced runner, you should learn about the effects of exercise on you and your baby. Needless to say, it’s not advisable to run a marathon, run in high temperatures, or push your body beyond what it can handle.

If necessary, instead of running, why not try jogging or speed walking? This is especially useful in the third trimester when your belly starts to become heavier and fatigue begins to take its toll. Remember to drink enough water too and avoid going outside during the hottest times of the day.

3. Wear comfortable clothes

This tip is for all athletes in general, and not just for pregnant women who want to go running. However, for your case in particular, buy clothes that adapt to the shape of your body. In addition, make sure they aren’t too tight on the belly or around the ankle areas. Furthermore, look for sportswear that will keep you dry and absorb your sweat.

As for shoes, they should be comfortable and suitable for running on different surfaces. They should also prevent falls and injuries. Remember, pregnant women are more prone to sprains–due to looser ligaments.

4. Listen to your body

Running during pregnancy can be fun and healthy, but it can also be a high-impact sport. As such, it can affect your body. Therefore, it’s crucial, that you pay close attention to the signals that your body sends you.

If you’re very tired, if your knees hurt, or if your heart rate doesn’t lower itself once you’re finished, speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Equally, if you have any discomfort or pain, don’t hesitate to seek professional medical advice.

5. Maintain proper posture

pregnant woman back pain running during pregnancy

Your lower back comes under considerable pressure during pregnancy, this is because it supports the weight of your belly. It’s common for an expectant mother to hunch her back forward, in an attempt to reduce the pain, but this can also lead to falls. When running, keep your back straight, your head up, and your shoulders back. Doing this will help you to avoid cramps and muscle pain.

Remember, running during pregnancy should be a pleasant and fun activity, not a race or a competition. Enjoy moderate exercise and the benefits that this will bring to you and your baby.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.