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Passionate Runners should not abandon their beloved sport when they get pregnant. Contrary to past myths that running could decrease blood flow and oxygen to the uterus which could have damaging effects on the fetus, many studies have revealed the undeniable benefits of running during pregnancy for both the mother and her child.
Yes, you will have to take some precautions but you definitely don’t have to toss away your running shoes for a whole 9 months! Come on! Some women ran 3 marathons while pregnant.
If your body allows it, why wouldn’t you?
Running Rewards for the Pregnant Women and their Children
Many recent studies have revealed that running while pregnancy helps women feel better overall, gain less weight, experience much less labor pains plus they are less prone to postpartum depression.
A very interesting study revealed that children of mothers who were doing vigorous exercising activities during pregnancy (including running) , scored higher on intelligence tests, language skills and coordination tests compared to other children of non-active mothers. So, you will be doing your child a huge favor if you maintained your running routine during pregnancy.
Jane Hahn, senior editor for Runner’s World Magazine, sums it up beautifully : “Every woman and every pregnancy is different. If you were running regularly before you were pregnant, chances are your doctor will give you his or her blessing. But even then, you have to listen to your body much more closely when you are pregnant. There’s no “gutting out” pain when you’re pregnant. When something doesn’t feel right, you need to stop.”
Proven Pregnancy Running Tips and Advices
- Do NOT scale back unless your body says so! If so, ABSOLUTELY scale back!
Some women decrease their running intensity once they find out they are pregnant. In most cases, you can run under your normal rate during your first trimesters and reduce it gradually as you get bigger. Let your doctor and your body determine your running routine. You might be surprised that you may not need to make drastic changes in your running throughout most of your pregnancy.
- Run on even surfaces
Yes, we encourage you to keep running while pregnant but we definitely wouldn’t recommend hill running during that time! Maintaining balance is essential when you run while pregnant and that’s why; you must run on even surfaces. That’s out of the question.
- Drink the right amount of water
As much as you need to avoid getting dehydrated, you also shouldn’t drink too much. Urine checking is the best indicator while pregnancy. If you are consuming the right amount of liquid, your urine will be pale yellowish. But if it’s very dark, it means you are dehydrated and conversely if it is too clear, it shows you are getting too much fluid.Generally speaking, you can also measure your sweating rate weighing yourself nude before running. Then, run without drinking and weigh yourself nude afterwards. The weight loss difference represents your sweat rate and tells you the amount fluids you need to consume in order to replace it.
Dehydration is a critical issue for all runners and it gets even more alarming when pregnant. Make sure to check out our comprehensive proper hydration tips article.
- Beware of the two dreadful H’s: Heat & Humidity!
Again, heat and humidity can take their toll on all runners and when you are pregnant, you should avoid them at all costs. You definitely don’t want to deal with dizziness or heat stroke on top of what you are already going through as a mother-to-be
- Deal with muscles elasticity by wearing stable running shoes
Relaxin, the pregnancy hormone, may cause Muscles elasticity. That’s why; wearing stable running shoes is essential for injury prevention. Barefoot running shoes and shoes with a rocker in the bottom are not recommended during pregnancy
Helpful advises and experiences from other pregnant runners
Sometimes you can get the best advice from ordinary people with similar experiences. However as you read through the below advises, please remember that each woman is unique so don’t take everything you read below for granted and be selective.
- It helps to have supportive people around. Seek out other pregnant women who are exercise-oriented.
- If you choose to run through a pregnancy, you are going to have some pain. Be willing to accept that and set a limit on the amount of pain you will tolerate. Running until the last moment is only for those of us who find running to be very important.
- Buy a good jog bra and a pair of running shorts that are two sizes too big and a little longer than usual. Be ready to destroy them later!
- Drink, drink. Stay hydrated and keep plugging along at whatever level or speed feels good.
- If you’re uncomfortable, don’t run. There are many other ways of keeping in shape that are less stressful to the body. Don’t do it because you feel you have to run. You’ll be back to running before you know it.
If the above statements reveal anything, they clearly prove that we are not the same. Consult your doctor and listen to your own body signals and you will have a very enjoyable pregnancy running experience.
Good luck and don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.