You may know me as “Mom on the Run,” but I think my title should temporarily be changed to “Prego on the Run.” These days, pregnancy has controlled my running schedule much more than my 6 year-old. I was at mile 7 in half marathon training when I learned that I was expecting. I knew then and there that the half marathon would have to be put on hold. HOWEVER, contrary to popular belief… my running days were not over! I ran/walked a 5k 2 weeks ago at 24 weeks pregnant and finished in 44 minutes! I took it easy, but I still did better than I thought I would, and I placed 2nd out of all registered “walkers.” Most women think they can’t run during pregnancy for safety reasons, but as long as you were running before pregnancy you can keep on keepin’ on.
Here’s the general consensus on running during pregnancy:
If you ran before you were pregnant it is safe to continue running during pregnancy. However, now is not the time to begin running or go for a PR. Some cautions:
- Don’t train for any new races. If you’re a frequent flyer at local 5ks that’s fine, but don’t train to run in one if it’s not already part of your regular routine. Cardio increases your core body temperature. Pushing too hard or for too long can be dangerous for the baby and stimulate contractions.
- Run on flat pavement to avoid falls. If you do fall, try to fall on your side or butt. Avoid falling on your abdomen.
- Wear supportive shoes. Pregnant women have looser joints, so we are more prone to injury. Running can be hard on your knees already – the right shoes are crucial.
- Slow down the further along you get. Some doctors/experts recommend walking only after the 3rd trimester. Allow yourself to slow down as you feel the need to.
I know, I know – you’re reading all of that and thinking it sounds awful, but running has its benefits for pregnancy too! Running is a quick way to increase your heart rate, which gives you a mental and physical boost when you’re tired. Running is great cardio, which also helps keep off the extra fat that can lead to so many common pregnancy health concerns like gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. There are ZERO reasons to be sedentary during pregnancy unless told to do so by your doctor. More reasons to be active during pregnancy here.
Bottom line: Consult with your doctor about your level of physical activity during pregnancy. As long as he gives you a thumbs up, you’re safe to run as long as you feel comfortable!
Photo Credit: http://web.orange.co.uk