Is Running Safe While Pregnant?

If you have just found out you are expecting a baby, then you are probably elated. After all, what better experience could there possibly be in the world? Of course, when you are pregnant, there are lifestyle changes to be made to ensure that you have a safe and happy pregnancy and a healthy baby at the end of it. When it comes to exercise, you might be wondering if you need to make any changes, especially if you are a runner.

If running as a sport is new to you, then starting this new exercise regime when you are pregnant is not a good idea. This is true of any type of exercise. However, if you have previously been running and are in good physical shape, then there is no reason why you cannot continue running well into your pregnancy.

It is pretty much unanimous that you can continue to run during pregnancy, but you will probably find that you will run less and that your pace will be slower. This is to be expected and is also advisable. During your first trimester you will be fatigued, during your second trimester you will feel more awkward, and during your third trimester you will feel both. You will also find that by your third trimester you center of gravity will have shifted and you should be careful to maintain your balance. Running on a treadmill is a good idea at this point.

When you find out you are pregnant it is a good idea to discuss your running activity with your doctor or midwife. They will tell you if there are any risk factors and any warning signs that you should watch for. If you have any risk of premature labor, have vaginal bleeding, pain, or dizziness, or if your water breaks early, then you will have to stop running.

Dailyruns.com featured an article called “Oh Baby! Running While Pregnant“. The article told the story of Paula Radcliffe, the 2007 New York Marathon winner, who won the title only 9 months after giving birth. She ran throughout her pregnancy. With the help of her doctor and specialists, she monitored the health of her baby, rested and took days off when she needed to, and had a healthy pregnancy. You can too, if you take care of yourself.

When running while pregnant, pay close attention to your level of hydration and your heart rate. Make sure you drink lots of fluids and listen to your body. If you feel tired don’t run that day. Slow down if you need to. Don’t push yourself the way you normally would. After all, it is common for runners to push past the pain and challenge themselves, but doing so when you are carrying a baby simply isn’t wise.

As a runner, you know your body. Continuing to run while pregnant is safe as long as you listen to your body. Your level of exercise will allow you to push on after your baby is born. You will be healthier and you will lose your pregnancy weight faster than if you were sedentary during your pregnancy. Best of all, you will keep that facet of your identity in a world in which you become mother. Holding fast to something as personal as your identity as an athlete is important and will help you as you venture into the world of parenting.

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