One of the most common pregnancy exercise questions is “Can I continue to run during my pregnancy?”. The answer is – it depends. Pregnancy is not really the time to begin running on a regular basis. Even if you are not pregnant, running will place a great amount of stress on your knees and other joints. You would possibly be better off sticking to a form of exercise which places less stress on your body, such as walking or swimming.
If you had been a runner on a regular basis prior to your pregnancy, then there is a good chance that you can continue to run during your pregnancy, as long as you take some precautions.
Are there benefits of running during pregnancy?
Running is the quickest and easiest way to give your heart and mind a rejuvenating workout. It will leave you feeling full of energy, all while giving your body a good workout. It is easy to fit in a quick 15 minute jog – without the need for any additional equipment, just a good pair of shoes and some open road.
Running in the first trimester
As with most exercise during the first trimester, ensure that you monitor your heart rate, drink lots of water before, during and after your exercise. It is vitally important that you do not dehydrate.
For running it is extremely important that the shoes you wear are a good quality running shoe – this will reduce the amount of pressure and strain which you place on your knees and other joints. The more support the shoes can offer the better, especially later on during your pregnancy.
Running in the second trimester
As your pregnancy progresses into the second trimester your center of gravity will begin to shift. You may often feel unstable at the best of times during this trimester and you may be left feeling as if you could fall over or slip at any moment. So, if you are running during your pregnancy make sure that the surface you are running on is as level as possible to minimize any chance of you falling.
If you do feel that you are falling, try and land on your side or bottom rather than placing any unnecessary trauma on your abdomen.
Running in the third trimester
If you have been as careful as you can be in the first two trimesters now is an even more important time to be extra careful.
During this trimester listen to your body. If you feel too tired or to sore to run, then don’t. Be sure not to push yourself too much as this can often be more dangerous and may cause more problems than doing no exercise at all.
As your pregnancy nears it’s end, it may be a good idea to tone down the amount of running you are doing. In fact your healthcare provider may even recommend that you look at reducing your running all together to a fast paced walk instead.
Warning signs when running
- Never run or jog to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness
- Vaginal bleeding
- Blurred vision