Your pregnancy test is positive, and you are ecstatic. Although it is a wonderful time for the mom, growing a little human inside brings nausea, excursion, mood swings, and many other challenges.
It is common for pregnant women to feel conscious of their health. They want to continue practicing a healthy routine that includes exercise, but they are afraid of harming their unborn child.
Many newly pregnant ladies wonder if running during pregnancy is safe or not? If you are also confused, you will be surprised to read that experts say running during pregnancy is quite safe. They encourage running while expecting as it does not harm your baby in any way.
However, every pregnancy is unique, and moms-to-be should consult their physicians for a healthy and safe exercise routine. Here are a few tips from our experts:
What Does Science Say?
In research conducted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, if a lady exercised before she got pregnant and she has a pregnancy with zero complications, she should engage in high-intensity exercise programs that include running and aerobics that has no adverse effects.
But if a lady has never run before, pregnancy is not the ideal time to pick up the habit. Instead, she should pick up other exercises that are safe for pregnancy. Erin Dawson Chalat, who is an M.D., and an OB-GYN in Maine, says that if a woman is not a runner before pregnancy can be a challenging time for them to start. The change in body shape and the lack of center of gravity are the major turn downs.
Now that you are pregnant and thinking if you should run or not, think about your actual position. If you were a great runner before pregnancy, there is no need to go on a complete bed rest unless and until you have some complications.
You can continue your running until your OBGYN instructs that it is not safe to do so anymore. In most cases, you can slow down your speed as you near birth and change your run into brisk or slow walks. For experienced runners running during pregnancy is a great way to keep them fit. But if you are considering it for the first time, leave the option once you get free.
How Can Running Help During Pregnancy?
Now that it is running does not harm your pregnancy, you should now know how running can help you in pregnancy. Running 20 to 30 minutes a day minimizes the risk of gestational diabetes, premature birth, pre-eclampsia, and the need for a C –section operation.
Running throughout pregnancy also manages the weight of the baby and improves the development of the baby’s brain. The cherry on the top reduces the level of anxiety and depression that comes along with pregnancy.
Besides, Dawson, says that running will save a woman from a long and painful labor. It helps to get through it. She says women who exercise on a daily basis throughout the pregnancy not only have easier but faster labors too. They also have a better postpartum and a quick recovery.
Another report published by the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal in 2020 reveals that engaging in physical exercises while expecting minimizes the chances of developing depression by 65 percent and also minimizes the severity of symptoms related to depression and anxiety.
I am sure most of the women reading the article can relate to the feelings of depression or anxiety that comes along with the good news of pregnancy. Next, let us discuss what kind of running you can do while expecting. Below are the following ways you shall start with:
Prepare For Running
Although you were already a great runner in pregnancy, running is a bit different. You should be more careful now. Before going out for running, wear loose clothes, a well-fitting sports bra, and take a comfortable pair of shoes.
The running shoes should support your feet and also have a rubber sole to protect you from falling, and running is easy on all kinds of terrains. If required, invest in bump bands that are specifically designed to support your belly tummy during an exercise.
Next, make sure you warm up properly before a run, and after you come back, cooling down is important. If you are feeling low or sick, avoid going out for a running on that day. Listen to your body and do not push yourself for anything hard.
Thanks to the latest technology. You can wear a smartwatch to keep track of miles covered but also tracks the movement of the baby and receive tips for a healthy pregnancy. Remember, do not run for a long time-thirty minutes is enough.
Some other tips are:
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is important while running. You are advised to drink water before, during, and even after running. What you should do is take a water bottle and take small sips from it as you run. As you know that pregnancy comes with immense pressure on the bladder; therefore, select a route where you find restrooms and places to stop and pee.
2. Ease Off After Third Trimester
You could see that running in the first three trimesters of pregnancy is easy, but later it becomes difficult. Running becomes uncomfortable with the growing bump that normally happens after the third trimester. When running becomes uncomfortable, shift to walk.
A thirty minutes walk in a day can also keep you keep your perfect and also minimizes the level of post-pregnancy depression. Besides running and a walk, you can also opt for household chores, including dishwashing, laundry, carpet cleaning, or gardening. Contributing to these chores can also let you stay active and brings no harm.
At the onset of pregnancy, many women think that complete bed rest is the best way for a less complicated pregnancy and easy labor. This is not the truth. Gynae doctors suggest that women are encouraged to take part in household chores and other activities, including walk and other pregnancy-safe exercises. The expert also encourages running during pregnancy if you were a runner before. However, do not opt for running if you have never tried it before.