How To keep Fit in Pregnancy – Running

Exercise in Pregnancy Series

Running

Running is great aerobic exercise and can help you to have a fit and healthy pregnancy. If you were a runner or regular jogger before you became pregnant and you are well, you can carry on running for as long as you feel comfortable.

However, if you’ve never run or jogged before, or it’s been a while since you have, then it’s best not to start running in pregnancy.  This is because your joints won’t be used to the impact of running and may end up causing you discomfort and aches.

Try out other forms of exercise, there are lots of low impact exercises you can do, which we also cover in our blog posts such as walking briskly, stationary cycling or swimming.

There are lots of benefits to keeping up running in pregnancy, such as an excellent workout for your heart and lungs and great for your mental well-being too.

You should aim to keep your current level of fitness in pregnancy, rather than training to get a personal best in a race – steady running is preferable to high intensity interval training and be careful not to get overheated.

If you have a trainer or coach, be sure to talk to them about adapting your exercise routines for pregnancy.

Whilst running is a great way of staying active, it can be tough on your joints – even when you’re not pregnant. During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin means your joints start to loosen. And this means there’s a greater chance of injury.

Similarly, you may find that your balance may be affected as your bump grows due to a change in your centre of gravity.  Keep safe by running on even ground to reduce the risk of falling, such as using a running track or a treadmill in the gym for keeping fit in pregnancy.

Another concern mums-to-be have is if by running baby is being bumped up and down – worry not, they are very secure within your womb, and may even find the motion comforting.

It’s important to listen to your body – judge what feels right and adjust your exercise accordingly. In the third trimester you will probably find that your pace slows down naturally as your bump gets bigger. Avoid pushing yourself too hard and bear in mind that you’ll need to ease up as your bump grows.

Make sure you eat well and drink plenty of fluids and avoid overheating. It’s important to avoid running in the heat during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks, because overheating could potentially harm your baby.

Stop straight away if you have any pain or discomfort or if you develop any unusual symptoms. 

Tips for safe pregnancy running:

  1. Wear supportive running shoes
  2. Wear a proper running bra
  3. Focus on really good technique rather than a fast pace
  4. Look where you’re going so you avoid falling or colliding with anything
  5. Don’t run yourself to exhaustion
  6. Drink plenty of water.