Running in pregnancy

Pregnant women are advised to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. So, in general, if you are healthy and your pregnancy is going well you can not but even should exercise. Specifically, doctors say that women who already ran regularly before pregnancy can continue to do so during pregnancy. But there are a few things you should keep in mind before putting your running shoes on your feet. First, when you are pregnant, it is always better to talk to your doctor before doing any physical exercise, if only to have some indication on how to adapt physical activity to the period of pregnancy you are experiencing, and we will also talk about this in this article. Secondly, never push yourself to your limits, athletically speaking.

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy

In general, exercise during pregnancy is a good thing for your mental and physical health, it can help shorten the duration of labor, reduce the risk of having a cesarean section, prevent gestational diabetes, and can help prevent postpartum depression.

Running in particular has great health benefits. Running during pregnancy:

  • can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen the heart, blood vessels and lungs
  • reduces back pain, constipation, swelling and swelling
  • improves sleep, mood and energy
  • strengthens the heart and blood vessels
  • promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy and post-pregnancy weight loss
  • improves endurance, muscle tone and overall fitness

Although it’s safe for many pregnant women, you’ll still want to learn the correct ways to incorporate running into your pregnancy exercise routine, depending on how far away you are. Here are some suggestions:

Running during the first trimester of pregnancy

In addition to the generic recommendations (hydration, sunscreen, etc.):

  • Wear appropriate shoes, with good cushioning and the right size. Pregnancy can increase the size of the feet. Do not hesitate to buy shoes of one size that fits you perfectly in this phase of your life.
  • Wear a supportive sports bra, which can fit and expand with your growing breasts.

Running during the second trimester of pregnancy

  • Always carry your phone with you when you go out for a run.
  • Your center of gravity is shifting as your belly grows, leaving you more vulnerable to slipping and falling. Avoid running on steep paths, rocks, tree roots, and other natural obstacles that could test your balance.
  • Avoid running on routes that add too much stress to your knees. Pay attention to how your knees are after the race and adjust your routes accordingly
  • If the bounce movement of the run becomes uncomfortable, try wearing a belly support band.

Running during the third trimester of pregnancy

  • If you feel too tired to go for a run or if running becomes uncomfortable, switch to walking or take a break. As always, listen to your body and don’t overdo it. Most women report that the pace of running slows down considerably during the third trimester, and this is normal due to the significant changes going on for your body at this time. A little light jogging or brisk walking might be a better solution as the date of delivery approaches.
  • If you feel contractions while running, stop, hydrate and refresh. If the contractions continue call your doctor.

How much to run in pregnancy

Women who ran regularly before becoming pregnant can usually continue to run at the normal pace and distance as long as they feel comfortable. As your pregnancy progresses, expect to run slower and much less due to normal changes in your body. Your baby is growing and gaining the weight you are carrying, which in turn increases the workload of your exercise. You’ll need to adjust your workout as your pregnancy progresses to keep exercise intensity within safe and comfortable limits. Be sure to pay attention to how you feel while exercising and slow down or take breaks as often as necessary.

How to find out if you’re running too much

You’re running too (or too hard) if:

  • You feel pain in your joints and ligaments during or after a workout.
  • You feel exhausted after a workout.
  • Your muscles feel extremely sore, weak, or shaky for 2-3 days after exercise.
  • Your resting heart rate in the morning is more than 10 beats higher than normal, a sign that your body is overworked and needs more rest.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *