Can You Run During Pregnancy?

Dr Vignan

Can you run during pregnancy?

This is a common question doctors get asked. If you can exercise, you can exercise and even run. The suggested amount is about 150 mins a week. And if you were already a regular runner before pregnancy it would be even easier. 

What are the benefits of running for pregnant women? 

  • Women tend to gain less weight and fat. 
  • It becomes relatively easier to conceive as the muscle tone is maintained.
  • It helps to reduce stress and post-delivery baby blues as well. During pregnancy it is important for the woman to stay physically and mentally fit. 
  • The baby is born healthier due to release of good hormones and maintains the hormones released from women.
  • Women will fight off obesity and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Running is not advised for women at risk (preterm labor, or small for age babies) after the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Consider consulting with your gynaecologist to confirm. 
  • Less complications in delivery and labor

Is running safe during pregnancy?

Here are some tips for running for pregnant women to ensure safety of you and your baby -

  • Wear a bit looser shoes. There is more blood circulation in the body which can cause the feet to swell and hence, you may need slightly bigger shoes.
  • Run on even surfaces to avoid risk of falling. 
  • Take it easy. Just keep the aim of staying fit and not aim for crazy new goals or try to push your limits.
  • Focus on running form and technique rather than your pace. 
  • Drink lots of water. Remember, you are drinking for two people now. 
  • During the first trimester, hormones may be all over the place and you can do easy walking. Increase in 2nd and 3rd trimester. Close to delivery date, stop workouts if there are labour pains. (You can do easy workouts near labor or due date)

Vinita Singh, CEO of Sugar Cosmetics, a fitness addict, ran a half marathon at 6 months of pregnancy.

Watch out for any new and alarming symptoms - 

  • Weakness/ feeling faint or dizzy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches and chest pain

In case you experience any of the above symptoms, stop running and consult your doctor immediately. 

In short, running is considered beneficial, of course, while taking care of other factors like nutrition, diet, exercise intensity. It is always advisable to run under the guidance of a doctor and an experienced coach. Running is an easy form of exercise of which the benefits are mentioned above but one must pay attention to any sort of new symptoms. 

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