We live in an UBER fit society, where so many sports and fitness regimes are on offer to us, from kettle bells, to yoga, to zumba and pole-dancing! One of the simplest, most affordable and most enjoyable ways to exercise is to head out for a run.
Unfortunately, our fitness forward society still somehow manages to view pregnancy as a “condition” and hence expectant mums feel lost and intimidated by the gym floor, the studio and the road.
The good news is that you most definitely can run when you are pregnant! There are a few things to consider though. Pregnancy is not the time to start a running regime, but if you have been a regular marathoner, or even just an “around-the-blocker”, you can carry on doing what you love. Here are a few things to consider before you lace up:
- Be sure that your pregnancy is risk free – always consult your gynae/midwife
- Tread extra carefully when carrying multiples, think it is probably best to stick to power walking 😉
- Wear a heart rate monitor. Most research says your heart rate shouldn’t rise above 140 bt/min. Most runners know that keeping it this low is pretty difficult. So wearing a monitor will help you stay within your recommended comfort zone. My general rule of thumb, is if I can keep a conversation going, my heart rate is low enough.
- Have a good pair of running trainers – perhaps go for higher mileage shoes as you will be starting to carry extra weight and may need the cushioning.
- Wear a comfortable and strong support sports bra. Your boobs will (if not already) be getting larger and more sensitive in preparation for feeding, so protect your assets!!!
- Hydration is essential. I find it a little bothersome running with a water bottle, so I will usually log a route that has some “water tables” along the way – petrol station, or friend’s house. Great plan for staying hydrated and having a little rest to get your heart rate down. Always make sure you have a bottle of water waiting for you in your car to drain post-run.
Overheating is probably the greatest health risk to your baby, so avoid running in very hot weather for extended periods of time.
After every run, it is a good idea to have a good stretch, especially your glutes (bum) and ITB (ilio-tibial band). See picture below:
Another good idea is to some KEGEL exercises post run. This just helps to maintain strength in this area, particularly after the added pressure of a run.
I ran very comfortably during my first pregnancy up until about 32 weeks, and until 26 weeks and 25 weeks with my 2nd and 3rd. I let my body lead me, I ran until I began to feel uncomfortable. As much as I am missing my running now (am going on 29 weeks), I know that I have the rest of my life to run and be fit, now is the time to do what is best for this pregnancy and this baby… I have traded my shoes for goggles and am enjoying the laps.
Good luck, be safe and sensible when running and enjoy adding vitality to your pregnancy…