To Run or Not to Run?
Running during pregnancy? It may not be as crazy as it sounds!
Is it possible to keep running while pregnant? Years ago it was thought that pregnant women should limit their physical activity as much as possible to reduce injury or complications, but recently there have been many articles published on the topic of running during pregnancy.
Times have changed significantly; many doctors are urging healthy moms-to-be to continue exercising throughout pregnancy as long as there are no complications. Running may become difficult later in pregnancy, but it is now considered safe under the right circumstances.
“Each woman and each pregnancy is different, but if there are no complications, runners can keep running," said Kathryn Peck Rutenberg, M.D. in an interview with Runner’s World.
The amount of running you will be able to do while pregnant will depend on a number of factors, such as your fitness levels before pregnancy, your doctor’s guidelines and recommendations and your personal comfort levels. Throughout my entire first trimester and most of my second, I continued run but I found it increasingly uncomfortable and I was forced to shorten the length of time I was running.
I never expected to feel some of the discomfort the way I did, but everyone is different and it is important to know when to stop or slow down. Going into my third trimester, I switched to taking long walks rather than running because I found it much more enjoyable and a lot less painful.
Pregnancy is not the time to push the envelope, even if you were very fit beforehand. If you feel pain while running, stop and take it easy. I had a difficult time cutting myself a break at first, but with all of the changes going on with my body I realized that I needed to modify my routine and that it was perfectly acceptable to do so.
Maintaining a running routine can have many benefits like helping you to get a better night’s sleep, preventing excessive weight gain, or maintaining a positive mood. With your doctor’s blessing and the right attitude, you can continue to run as long as you feel comfortable and remain free of any complications. The most important thing is to keep the right mindset; don’t be upset or feel guilty if you can’t run like you used to. Just remember, pregnancy doesn’t last forever and many women are able to bounce back after having a baby!