Running in Pregnancy – Is Running While Pregnant Safe?

It’s important to know what the impact of running in pregnancy can have on your body. I have a great podcast below with our Women’s Health Physical Therapist about running in pregnancy as well as after childbirth.

What is your level of fitness?

Pregnancy is not the time to increase the level of activity to such a high intensity; so if you did not run before pregnancy, it is now not the time to start. Instead, I would recommend walking which is low impact.

Seek Medical Advice Prior to Running when Pregnant

You will just need to take your doctor’s advice as to the intensity and duration at which you run as well as any warning signs your body is sending out. You must know when to stop or pull-back. It is advisable to avoid hot weather, running on hard surfaces and pay attention to your breathing.

If you are quickly getting out of breath then you may be pushing yourself too hard.

Make sure you are wearing some lose-fitting clothing and quality running shoes as running is a high-impact activity and you do to want to develop any injuries.

When pregnant, get pregnancy workouts at home

Do you have a health care professional?

It could be a good idea to work with a women’s health physiotherapist if you have been given clearance by your doctor to ensure your your muscles (including pelvic floor) are in balance. And you are not doing damage to your body with the affects of gravity and pressure.

When to Stop Running in Pregnancy?

There is no answer to this question as there is no magical ‘week’ to stop running. You need to tune in to your body, and this can’t be expressed enough. Listing to your body is the most important thing to do in your pregnancy.

While some women run all the way up until childbirth, I recommend you not run in your third trimester due to your belly grows.

Did You Know?

An upper level of safe exercise intensity has not been established, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Essentially, there are risks associated with pushing yourself to exertion. Not enough is yet known to ensure your safety when running at high levels of intensity.

According to ACOG, if you previously exercised prior to getting pregnant, and you are experiencing an uncomplicated pregnancy, then you should be able to engage in running with no adverse effects.

Impact on Pelvic Floor

It may not have a negative impact on your pelvic floor in post-birth recovery, but it could.

The affect on your pelvic floor is one branch to consider about the when deciding to incorporate running into your routine. The hormones in your body and weight gain are also things that can have an impact on your experience.

Pregnancy hormones impact the pelvic floor in a negative and positive way. The force of gravity has an impact on your pelvic floor downwards, compared to swimming, Pilates or yoga.

We know that if there is an excessive downward force on the ligaments that support your pelvic floor muscles can have an negative impact.

Working Out Too Hard in Pregnancy

Be mindful of how hard you are working out in pregnancy and the impact that will have post-birth. Staying fit and healthy is important, but putting too much pressure is not helpful and potentially could make your recovery harder post-pregnancy.

Is it safe to run in pregnancy?

The main problem with running is the high impact on your body, training at an intensity too high and potentially raiding your body temperature to a high level when pregnant.

Running is generally safe during pregnancy as long as you take all the required precautions.

Running won’t cause a miscarriage or harm your baby. So if you were running before pregnancy, continuing your routine is fine. That said, listen to your body and don’t try to set any new personal bests. Ideally you should aim to run at a slower pace or modify how often you run.

Running in Pregnancy

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What if you weren’t a runner before pregnancy?

If you didn’t exercise before pregnancy, you can still start an approved prenatal exercise program when you do become pregnant. However, pregnancy is not the time to start running.

When pregnant, you are experiencing many body changes and your body is already working harder and going through a lot of changes. Running can be an intense workout, so starting an intense workout will only add more physical stress, which isn’t ideal.

A better option? Why not try a prenatal yoga or Pilates class. Walking is another great option. You must accept that your body is undergoing some weird, wonderful and dramatic changes as it carries a baby and prepares for birth.

During pregnancy, your body produces the hormone relaxin which loosens your joints.

Start here and Gain Trust in Your Body!

“You deserve to enjoy a healthy and empowering pregnancy. My online workouts will give you the control and confidence in how your body looks, works, and feels. By doing the right pelvic floor exercise now you can prevent embarrassing leaks or discomfort. You deserve better and you can have it with PregActive for Pregnancy – the medically endorsed online program. Get Pregnancy FIT – Start with a FREE Trial >

As a result, this can make you more prone to injury.

If you haven’t really run before, this isn’t the time to start pushing your limits. Instead, focus on other pregnancy-safe exercises.

Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of women who stay fit from running. It’s just that running is high impact. And it can cause a lot of injuries.

Your belly gets bigger.

And with looser joints and this extra pregnancy weight, running can be hard on your knees. Pregnancy back pain starts to become an issue. High impact running on hard surfaces will not be kind to an already sore back.

You raise your body temperature to high levels when you run and getting over-heated must be avoided.

The extra weight gain impacts on all your joints. This is why yoga during pregnancy is recommended as it is non-impact.

Pregnancy is an ideal time to focus on lower-impact activities. And a great place to start is by committing to your PregActive pregnancy workouts!

Is Walking Good for Me if I cannot Run?

Absolutely! You will need to pay attention to any warning signs but walking is a great form of low-impact exercise and is even more enjoyable if you can walk with friends.

Along with your walking, be sure to include some of my prenatal at home workouts into your weekly plan. If you would like to try a pregnancy workout for free, click here >

10 Best Online Pregnancy Yoga Exercises

Tips for Running in Pregnancy

1. Wear a sports bra designed for pregnant women.

Running becomes more uncomfortable when pregnant as your breasts may increase in size during pregnancy. Invest in a good, supportive sports bra to prevent breast pain while running.

2. Keep Hydrated and Drink Water.

Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your running sessions to avoid dehydration and overheating.

3. Buy a good pair running shoes.

Buy a quality paid of shoes. Your running shoes should fit well and support your ankles and arches. This keeps your feet stable and prevents falls and injuries.

4. Listen to your body.

As you know, exercise is recommended during pregnancy, but the key is to not overdo it. If you feel overexerted or overly tired, then it is maybe a better option to go for a walk or join a prenatal yoga class.

5. Include strength-training.

My workouts will help you to stay strong when pregnant. This increased strength will help you with your running. Since you’re prone to muscle and joint injury, incorporate strength-training exercises to strengthen your muscles and joints. These exercises include lunges, squats, and light weightlifting.

When to Stop Running

Running during pregnancy is safe as long as you adhere to all safety guidelines.

As with any exercise, if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms stop running. And call you health care professional.

1. Dizziness

2. Headache

3. Vaginal bleeding

4. Shortness of breath before exertion

5. Any signs of preterm labor

6. Chest pain

7. Muscle weakness

8. Calf pain or swelling

Start here and Gain Trust in Your Body!

“You deserve to enjoy a healthy and empowering pregnancy. My online workouts will give you the control and confidence in how your body looks, works, and feels. By doing the right pelvic floor exercise now you can prevent embarrassing leaks or discomfort. You deserve better and you can have it with PregActive for Pregnancy – the medically endorsed online program. Get Pregnancy FIT – Start with a FREE Trial >