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Safe Running While Pregnant 

If you’re a runner who is expecting, you probably have a lot of questions. While doctors once advised pregnant women to take it easy, now, they emphasize the importance of staying active. Still, you want to protect your child.

Guide to a Safe Running Routine While Pregnant

Fortunately, you can continue your workout throughout each stage of pregnancy, although your routine might change. You can make specific modifications to ensure the exercise doesn’t hurt your fetus. You can also invest in upgraded equipment to make logging your miles more comfortable.

1. Consult with Your Doctor 

Your first stop on your pregnancy running journey is your obstetrician. Why? Certain conditions can make physical exertion unsafe for you and your unborn child. For example, if you have some heart and lung conditions, including pregnancy-related high blood pressure, running could unduly stress these organs.

Your doctor will perform an exam to make sure you’re healthy enough for physical activity. They’ll also evaluate your current level of fitness and make suggestions on getting started safely. If they determine running isn’t for you, they can recommend other activities during gestation.

2. Stretch Frequently

Stretching is vital to preventing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in all runners. However, during pregnancy, incorporating regular flexibility training is even more crucial. While you might not gain much weight during your first trimester, eventually, it will put additional stress on your joints. Stretching helps lubricate them and keeps the ligaments and tendons around your knees and hips pliable.

During your first trimester, you can safely perform asanas like ‘happy baby’ — you can later share this stretch with your newborn. However, during your second and third trimesters, you should avoid poses that involve lying on your back. This position puts pressure on your vena cava, which carries blood from your lower body back to your heart. As your uterus grows, the pressure on this vessel can cause considerable trouble.

3. Consider Your Trimester 

During your first trimester, you probably won’t have many limitations on your activities. However, you might feel exhausted. Plus, if you have severe morning sickness, you might lack sufficient nutrients to fuel a grueling workout. You should honor your body’s needs during this time.

When you reach your second semester, your morning sickness should abate. However, your tummy will experience a growth spurt. You may need to adjust your stride to compensate for your new center of balance. Take your time and consider using a run-walk-run method until you feel comfortable with the extra weight in front.

4. Slow It Down 

Now is not the time to train for an ultra or try to beat your 5k time. You might have days when you feel terrific, and others when you don’t quite have the same pep you once did. If you do interval training, make your intensity bursts shorter and less vigorous.

Remember, you don’t have to run at all. It’s perfectly OK to slow it down to a walk to decrease the intensity, especially as your stomach grows more. The excess weight can strain your back and knees.

5. Watch Where You’re Going

According to recent research, pregnant women are as likely to fall as women aged 70. Why? Your body changes physiologically during this time. Your center of gravity shifts, and your spine forms a more exaggerated curve.

It’s more crucial than ever that you watch your step. Try to avoid running on uneven surfaces like grass. Although it’s softer on your joints, it can conceal rocks and other hazards, like landscaping sprinklers, that threaten to trip you.

6. Upgrade Your Shoes

When you weigh more, you wear out your shoes more quickly. Plus, your feet might swell as your pregnancy progresses. Invest in quality running shoes. These help to absorb impact, minimizing the stress on your back, hips and knees.

7. Consider a Monitor Strap

Today, fitness trackers can do much more than measure your heart rate and keep track of weight changes. Some models continually monitor your vitals and can alert you when you’re entering the danger zone. Plus, these devices provide you with concrete evidence of the way your body changes as you get closer to giving birth. Your stats serve as a scrapbook of sorts of your activities while expecting.

Enjoy a Healthy Running Routine Throughout Pregnancy

You don’t need to give up your running routine because you’re pregnant. Staying active benefits the health of you and your unborn child — as long as you follow a few safety tips!

Please note: The above article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before running during pregnancy and postpartum.

article by Kate Harveston

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