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Running While Pregnant: Tips to Run Safely During Pregnancy

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Can you run during pregnancy? This is one of the hundred questions that run in a pregnant woman’s mind! We all know running has tons of benefits and when you are running while pregnant, it proves to be an effective way to work your body and your heart. You actually prepare your body for labour. This would give you a physical and a mental boost whenever you feel tired. Running during pregnancy improves your sleep pattern, back pain, keeps weight in check and much more. And the great thing about running is that you can do it anywhere and so it is very easy to fit into your schedule.

Most pregnant women often think that it isn’t safe to indulge in any kind of workout. But, that isn’t true. If you are in good health and your pregnancy is uncomplicated, then you can actually run. Few women do have certain complications and are advised not to run by their doctors. Before you begin, consult your doctor. If the doctor says yes, listen to your body and don’t push yourself more than you can. We have mentioned a few tips that would help you stay fit during the first, second and third trimester. 

Know more here:

  • Running Tips for First and Second Trimester
  • Running Tips for Third Trimester 
  • Signs That You are Pushing Yourself Too Hard 
  • Summing Up 

Running Tips for First and Second Trimester 

A lot of women often wonder as to how to stay fit while pregnant. This might seem like challenging task especially when you know that there’s a life developing inside you. However, with smart planning and by following a few tips to stay fit during pregnancy, you can achieve favourable results.

Tip #1 Start Small if You are New Runner

Let’s say that when you weren’t pregnant, you never really indulged much in exercises and other kinds of activities which are aimed at keeping you fit. Now when you are pregnant, you decide to go for running during the first trimester so as to keep yourself and the baby healthy. If you have never indulged in physical fitness activities, it would be best to start small. 

Starting with an intense training program is a bad idea, however, adding activity is essential. Instead of stressing about running during pregnancy, you should start with walking. If you feel good about it and want to go for a gentle run, go ahead. 

pregnant woman running
New runners- take baby steps

Tip #2 Don’t Race, Simply Run at a Slow Pace

You might think if it is ok to run when pregnant. Well, first, consult your doctor and if you get the green flag then start slow! Running while pregnant would make you feel good about yourself. Slowly, you might feel that you can push yourself to achieve a quicker time. But, this is not the best time to do that especially if you aren’t an expert runner who can run fast without getting out of breath. This is because if you feel your heart rate rising, your baby’s heart rate is spiking too. Run at a slow pace and do not put unnecessary stress on your baby. 

Tip #3 Work on Building Core Strength 

Have you ever wondered as to why runners focus primarily on building core strength?  

Well, it is because it is the core strength which helps athletes' top remains free of pain and injuries. When you are running while pregnant, your changing centre of gravity means that you are going to need all the stability in order to avoid hurting yourself or lose your balance tripping and falling is something that you do not want happening. Moreover, the relaxin hormone can actually loosen your joints during pregnancy and this, therefore, makes pregnant ladies more prone to injuries.  

So, how can you build your core strength?

Try bird-dog! Get on all fours with your knees under your hips and your wrists directly under the elbows. Engage your core as you are beginning to lift your arm and then continue lifting your left leg until both of them are exactly parallel to the floor. Hold this position briefly and then return back to the starting position and switch sides. Perform about 1-2 sets of 10-12 reps each. 

exercise while pregnant
Bird Dog pose for pregnant women (source)

Tip #4 Remain Hydrated 

If you want to know how to stay fit while pregnancy, then ladies, stay hydrated! This golden rule applies to all the runners. You need to drink lots of water while you are running, during your run and after you are done with your run. You must monitor your hydration by weighing yourself before and after your run. Any kind of weight loss is generally fluid and it must be replaced immediately by drinking enough water to get the weight back up to the original form by your next workout. 

Another great way to monitor your hydration is by checking the colour of the urine from time to time. If it is dark yellowish, you need to drink more water. Urine must be pale yellowish to somewhere nearly clear. But, what should you drink? Plain water is the best way to keep yourself hydrated but if you prefer sports drink, dilute it with water to cut down the sugar content.

running while pregnant
Stay hydrated to stay fit (source)

Tip #5 Wear Appropriate Shoes 

The importance of proper running shoes cannot be denied. This becomes especially important when running during pregnancy. The right shoes would give your feet the support that it needs especially around the arches and the ankles. Purchase running shoes which have extra cushioning for absorbing the shock and are also flexible at the foot’s ball area. 

A shoe that fits well is bound to make you feel comfortable while you are running. Remember that when you are pregnant, you might need to buy shoes a size or two bigger. The liner also might also need to be swapped with a gel liner. This would give you comparatively better shock absorption. 

Tip #6 Support for your Growing Belly 

When you are running while pregnant, the bouncing motion can start to seem uncomfortable especially if you are in your second or third trimester. To support your belly, try wearing a belly support band. This would offer ample support to pregnant running women’s belly and ensure that they can enjoy a comfortable run. 

Running Tips for Third Trimester 

Running in early pregnancy ain’t as challenging as running in third trimesters! During the third trimester, you need to be as cautious as you were during the first two trimesters. Pregnant running during the third trimester can seem like a tiring task. Therefore, it is important to remember that if you are feeling too tired and do not really want to go for a run, listen to your body. 

Pushing your body beyond its capabilities is not recommended especially during this time. Take a break and relax. Pushing yourself way too hard can be harmful. A lot of runners feel that their pace tends to become slower when they are in their third trimester. As your due date approaches, a fast or a slow walk would be a much better option. 

Signs That You are Pushing Yourself Too Hard 

So, can pregnant women run? Well, of course, they can. But, you should never run to the point where you feel that you are out of breath or are exhausted. When you push yourself too hard, your body is forced to divert oxygen to you while it should be going to your baby. If you notice any of the below-listed signs, you must definitely ease up. 

  • Instead of feeling energized you feel exhausted after each run
  • During or after the run, you experience pain in your ligaments and joints and your muscles feel extremely weak, sore or shaky after exercising 
  • In the morning, your resting heart rate is more than ten beats higher than usual. This is a sign that your body is overworked and hence needs adequate rest 
  • You experience contractions, chest pain or feel dizzy

If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should stop immediately and consult your doctor. 

symptoms of tired pregnant runner
Don't push yourself too hard (source)

Summing Up 

Other than all of the tips mentioned above, when running while pregnant, consume a diet that is rich in Vitamin B, Iron, Calcium, Fiber and Vitamin D. Fluids are also essential for you and the baby. Whatever you do, remember that you a life growing inside you. If you feel anything wrong, consider consulting your doctor immediately. 

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