35 Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant – by Jess Walter
5 Tips to Help You Keep Running During Pregnancy
Are you worried about keeping up with your running routine while pregnant? Even when you’re sporting an expanding belly, you can continue to exercise so that you stay healthy and marathon-fit for the season. Here are some tips to help you keep up your training routine in a way that’s safe for both you and your baby.
- Stick to your usual routine
Women who maintain an exercise routine before pregnancy generally have an easier time running or jogging than their less active counterparts. You should be careful not to overexert yourself when exercising, though. Don’t try to increase the distance or duration of your daily runs. A good rule of thumb is that if you couldn’t do something while you weren’t pregnant, don’t try it when you are pregnant. If you didn’t exercise at all before your pregnancy, don’t worry. It’s not too late to start a new low-impact running or jogging routine. Just make sure to start small and exercise in moderation. It is also advisable to seek approval from your doctor before you begin.
- Watch your running form
Pregnant or not, the wrong form during a run will make your workout less effective, and can even cause more harm than good. During pregnancy, you’ll experience a shift in your centre of gravity that can make it difficult to stay balanced. An increase in the progesterone hormone can also cause problems while running, as it loosens your joints and ligaments. Hip-strengthening exercises can help you to improve your stability and maintain proper form while running, which can significantly reduce the risk of dangerous slips or falls.
- Run on smooth, level terrain
One of the best ways you can help yourself to maintain balance and stability is by choosing a correct running route. Rough terrain and rocky outdoor trails are particularly dangerous for pregnant runners, since even minor slips may cause harm to a developing baby. Running on smooth surfaces such as roads or paved sidewalks make it easier to stay upright, even as your weight distribution starts to change.
- Wear the right gear
Running while pregnant isn’t always the most comfortable activity, but investing in the right gear can help to make your routine more enjoyable. A good maternity support belt will keep your belly from bouncing, while a supportive maternity bra can ease chest and back pain. You may also find yourself needing new, wider running shoes as your feet begin to swell. Gel shock-absorbing liners can help to prevent foot and ankle pain, which is a common complaint amongst pregnant runners.
- Keep yourself cool
With increased blood flow and a higher metabolic rate than usual, you’re bound to feel a little overheated at times during your pregnancy. Running or jogging can exacerbate this problem, leading to nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. In order to keep cool, you should avoid running in hot or humid conditions. Drinking plenty of water will also help you to lower your body temperature. After your run, it’s a good idea to do some light walking or pregnancy-friendly stretching while your body cools off and your heart rate returns to normal.