For years, many believe that doing workouts is not advisable for pregnant women. Contrary to this, recent studies and research show that aerobic exercises are not only allowed, but can even be a lot of help during pregnancy.
One of the aerobic exercises suitable for pregnant women is running. Running can be excellent for the cardiovascular system of both the runner and the baby. If you’re not a regular runner before you got pregnant, running may not be for you, though. Lower impact aerobic exercises such as swimming and brisk walking are better for pregnant women who are not used to running before pregnancy. Even seasoned runners ought to ask for professional advice first before running.
Aside from being an excellent way to stay fit, running is also a great means of relieving stress. Since pregnant women may experience a lot of stress and mood swings, running can be a huge help in staying stress-free. Staying happy and positive is vital to your baby’s development.
All pregnant women who intend to run still need to have some precautionary measures to bear in mind before and during running. While running may be healthy, it’s always better to be safe than sorry—especially when it comes to your baby’s well-being.
Consider the weather. Yes, one of the aims of running is to sweat; but pregnant women must avoid too much heat. Being overheated can lead to miscarriage. Only run when the weather’s not too humid or hot. On the other hand, you must also watch out for rainy weather or winter months. During these times roads can be slippery and can be dangerous.
During pregnancy, your balance may be affected due to the baby’s weight you are carrying. Your center of gravity will shift so it’s better to keep running in a slower pace to avoid falling and prevent injuries. Since pregnancy affects your balance, it’s more advisable to run on treadmills. If you still insist on running outdoors, choose to run on flat surfaces and avoid running uphill.
Be wary of the signs your body is telling you while running. If your heart is beating abnormally fast or if you experience shortness of breath, you should stop. Remember that you and your baby share the oxygen you take in so if you’re out of breath, chances are, your baby is, too. If you feel abdominal pains and/or vaginal bleeding while you run, you should call it quits and see your doctor.
Maintaining a lower body temperature is important so you should wear breathable clothing and stay hydrated at all times. In addition to proper clothing, you must wear a pair of running shoes that protects your feet. During pregnancy, joints are loosened due to pregnancy hormones so make sure you wear comfortable shoes when you run.
Although there are some pregnant women who have joined and completed marathons, it’s better to keep running to a moderate level because you’re not only risking your own health but your baby’s as well.
“Exercise is not a process that needs be eschewed or prevented during pregnancy,” says Dr. John Botti, (Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine) from Penn State Geisinger Health System. Running during pregnancy can make your baby healthier. Just don’t forget to listen to your body and understand what you’re still capable of doing.