Pregnancy and running

Are you pregnant and a runner?
If you were running before becoming pregnant, you don’t need to stop just because you’re expecting. A healthy, low-risk pregnancy enables you to continue your exercise routine without dramatic changes. Of course, if you were never a runner, pregnancy is not the time to start a strenuous new exercise regimen.
A runner since the age of 15, Amy Fox of Virginia continued to run into her seventh month with her first pregnancy and into her fifth month with her second and third. Concerning herself less with mileage once she was pregnant, Fox just ran as long as she could, usually around 25 minutes taking breaks as needed. Postpartum, she was back on the trail
when her first baby was only a few weeks old. there is no specific time for women to start running again if they’ve delivered vaginally—a week to two weeks is fine. Every woman needs to listen to her healthcare provider and
own body when it comes to postpartum exercise, as some women may be ready sooner than others.
When shouldn’t you run?
Being at risk for certain medical conditions can halt even seasoned runners from running during pregnancy. Always consult your physician before embarking on an exercise program while you’re expecting.
Problems can include placenta previa, preterm labor, short cervix, preeclampsia, or a growth restricted baby. If you suffer from any of these conditions, it’s going to be time-out for you until your baby arrives. There are also risk factors to look for during your run. “If pregnant runners see that their heart is beating very fast, if there is shortness of breath or any bleeding, they should stop,” says Dr. Perez-Delboy. Since the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists no longer has exact guidelines on heart rate monitoring during exercise, you should try to run
comfortably without feeling out of breath or overextended. staying below 150 beats per minute is still optimal.
if you notice tightening in your abdomen (contractions), leakage of fluid, fatigue, or dizziness, it’s time to stop. “You really need to be in tune with your body and know when enough is enough and not to push yourself,
So you’re going to keep running, belly and all. What is the safest place for you as a pregnant runner?
Your centre of gravity changes later on in pregnancy, your abdomen gets bigger so you’re at a greater risk for falls. Running indoors on a treadmill during the second and third trimesters is recommended. A controlled environment is safer for you and your unborn child. Karena Tapsak, mother to four children, started running after having her second child. During her third pregnancy, she enjoyed running outdoors during the warmer months— pushing a double jogging stroller no less! During the colder winter months, she ran indoors on the treadmill to prevent falls on the slippery pavement.
What should you wear?
Before pregnancy you might have been smaller in the bust area; now here you are swollen and possibly tender, wear a supportive sports bra or one with adjustable straps that offers good control. Don’t forget to support your feet, too. With pregnancy hormones loosening up joints, even your ankles are at risk. Make sure you have a supportive shoe around the ankle with good cushioning and shock absorption. Remember that controlling your body temperature is more important than ever, and you don’t want to overheat. Wearing comfortable, breathable clothing can help keep the sweat from adhering directly to your skin and retaining heat. A number of online stores, such as www.lucy.com and www.fitmaternity.com carry maternity fitness wear if you need bigger sizes.
How much should you drink?
Staying hydrated is another way to make sure that your body doesn’t overheat and helps to maintain the requirements your body needs to transport nutrients through the blood, decrease the risk of hypertension due to an increased blood volume, and reduce preterm labor.
Try to drink before, during, and after your run. A total of eight glasses of water should be consumed daily at a minimum. Remember, keep drinking water even if you don’t feel thirsty—once you are, you’re already dehydrated.
When should you call it quits?
It can be hard to stop doing something you love. If running is your passion and you’ve done it for years, it may be difficult to hang up your shoes and turn to walking, swimming, or stationary biking. Some women can run up until the last weeks of pregnancy, while others need to stop before then. How will you know when it’s time? Your body will probably send you a memo. “Most women stop running altogether because of extra weight and abdominal pressure by the last few weeks of pregnancy, the majority of patients accept the fact that they will be walking by the third trimester.
Tapsak ran until a few weeks before her due date with her third pregnancy and then did power walking. With her fourth, she ran until seven months and then was too uncomfortable. “The strain on my low back and tail bone was a little too much to run up until the very end,” she says. Running is a great way to maintain your fitness levels during pregnancy—just remember that pregnancy is not the time to try new things or reach for your personal best. When running for two you’ve got more weight to carry, less ability to breathe deeply, and more than yourself to think about. Stay hydrated and cool, listen to your body, and let it tell you how far you should go and when you should stop. Now get running!

Information courtesy of Cole’s therapy & injury clinic

 

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