Running while pregnant is easy and a great way to enjoy a fit pregnancy, read our advice on safe prenatal running!
Running while pregnant is fantastic cardiovascular exercise that’s easy and inexpensive. Pregnancy is not the time to embark on a intensive programme of marathon training – but if you are a regular runner before you became pregnant there’s no reason not to carry on running just as long as it feels comfortable to do so. Expect to scale back as your pregnancy progresses but for anyone asking the question ‘can I run pregnant?’ the answer is ‘yes!’ ‘Scaling back’ is relative to your pre-pregnancy distances and fitness, listen to your body and enjoy the exercise level that feels right for you.
For most healthy women there’s no reason not to continue to enjoy running while pregnant!
Accept the fact that you might not run quite so often, quite so far or quite as fast as your heart is already working that extra bit harder to supply blood to your baby.
Make sure you warm up and cool down effectively. A good warm up dilates your blood vessels ensuring your muscles are well supplied with oxygen whilst at the same time raising the temperature of your muscles for optimum flexibility and increasing your heart rate to minimize stress on your heart. Warming up is even more essential when you exercise during pregnancy and you’re looking after your baby’s heartbeat as well as your own. Cooling down and stretching out allows your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature to gently get back to normal – avoiding the light headedness than can happen if you simply stop.
FittaMamma tips for pregnant runners:
- Warm up before your run and cool down afterwards
- Don’t push yourself too hard – you should be able to hold a conversation whilst exercising during pregnancy and if you find you can’t talk, ease up, slow down or stop
- Your breasts will get bigger so make sure your wear a well-fitting maternity sports bra –
- Supportive maternity fitnesswear will keep your bump secure and lift and hold the weight, helping to avoid too much pressure on your pelvic floor as you run. The FittaMamma High Support Pregnancy Exercise Top and the Ultimate range are designed with runners in mind.
- A good pair of running shoes is advisable as you don’t want to slip, with cushioned socks for comfort – and when you reach the stage that you can’t see your feet it might be time to switch to another form of pregnancy exercise!
- Be aware that the hormone relaxin causes your ligaments to soften in preparation for the birth and the risk of injury slightly increases as your joints loosen up. It’s worth including regular strength training in your weekly routine to keep your muscles strong to avoid injury
- Very intense exercise can affect your baby’s heart rate but your body and your baby will both respond well if regular exercise is part of your normal routine. Pay attention to your baby’s movements after a run – baby should still be active too!
- Avoid over-heating – don’t run in very high temperatures and wear breathable or wicking materials to keep your body temperature below 102 degrees F
- If you are new to running or anxious about continuing to run when pregnant have a chat with your doctor or midwife before you start
- Make sure you stay hydrated (carry a water bottle) and don’t run on an empty stomach