Being pregnant may probably be the hardest thing you have done in your life, and maybe you think that running while pregnant is not really a good idea. But you’re mistaken. When pregnant, a woman’s diet, habits, and lifestyle are under a microscope, and for the right reasons. All your habits, good or bad, can affect the health of your baby. But finding the right information about what can be healthy and what is not can be really hard, because there are bookshelves packed with books about these topics, and opinions are sometimes conflicting. But no two pregnancies are alike, especially if you are a runner. Maybe you are not willing to give up on your jogs and sprints for nine months, so let’s discuss everything you need to know if you want to continue your exercise while you are pregnant.
Consult a doctor
Before doing anything that you may think can affect your baby, talk to a specialist. Consult your doctor about your exercise plans, and make sure to have plenty of frequent check-ups. Pregnancy may (and probably will) affect every area of your life, so even if you are a long-time runner, if you do not feel like going to the gym or the park and jogging for an hour, then don’t. Be in tune with your body; sometimes, working out may not necessarily be the best idea. Running through discomfort is medically not the smartest idea for you and your baby.
What are the benefits?
If you enjoy running, a simple jog can make your day. Understandably, pregnancy may make you feel not in tune with your body, but running can help you ease your mind and finally feel like you are the master of your body. It is a time when you are alone in your thoughts, and it can help you calm your anxiety and stress.
An active lifestyle is welcome with soon-to-be moms because regular exercise can help to decrease the risk of pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery. It also easies pregnancy symptoms like back pain, constipation, and fatigue, and it encourages healthy weight gain, stronger heart. Even your child may benefit from your exercises. Regular, moderate, 20-minute workouts can make your baby have a stronger heart, have lower fat mass, and help with their behavioral and neurological maturing.
But what about challenges?
Running through pregnancy is difficult. You are undergoing all the hormonal changes, and, understandably, you may lack motivation and feel more tired than usual. Sometimes you will feel angry and depressed because you are losing your stamina and your fit body. You may find that you are losing breath very quickly and that your endurance and mileage is dropping, which can be downright demoralizing. But as your pregnancy progresses, exercising will become easier. By your third trimester, you will find that your energy levels are slowly getting back to normal.
Invest in new equipment. At some point, your body will be drastically changed. Your belly, of course, but also your breasts and legs will grow. There is nothing quite as bad as continuing to hold onto your tight workout clothes. Not having the room to breathe is not healthy, and you should never put pressure on your belly. Invest in a comfortable bra, insoles for running, and proper shoes. You will be thankful.
There are plenty of myths about pregnancy. One myth that you may be familiar with is the myth about running and early labor. This idea has deep roots in the old belief that pregnant women should stay off their feet and engage in as little activities as possible. But in times of modern medicine, it is well known that exercise is essential both to the mother and to the baby. But keep in mind that full-contact sports like football and boxing are discouraged because a blow to the belly may be harmful.
Also, another point to make is that running and exercising in late pregnancy while carrying twins may increase risks for early labor, but exercising while still early in pregnancy is welcomed.
Make sure you are staying hydrated and make your diet as healthy as possible, and you will experience only the benefits of the relaxed and anxiety-free body.
Noah Markin is an extremely boring person, according to his mates. He likes writing and lifting heavy things all day long. He’s the editor of Runnerclick.com.