When it comes to exercising during pregnancy there are lots of types of activity that you can do. Any type of exercise can be good. Obviously, contact sports are discouraged, but other activities like running, swimming, aerobics, etc are all great options. I specifically wanted to focus on running when pregnant. I should also say that any type of activity you were doing prior to being pregnant you can continue while you are pregnant. If you never ran before in your life, maybe don’t start running right away while you are pregnant. Ease into that and start with walking or using the elliptical at the gym first and work up to that more strenuous activity. If you run in the past, that is totally something that you can continue while you are pregnant. Being active during your pregnancy is good for you as the mom and good for baby. Exercise has also been shown to help with blood sugar control and blood pressure control as well. Both as wins during pregnancy because you do not want to develop gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia.
What does running look like when you are pregnant? Well every time you lace up your shoes and head out will be a different adventure. That is the thing about being pregnant, your body changes every day and that makes any activity different and more challenging as the months go by. With my first child, I ran all the way up through about 37 weeks gestation. I got too uncomfortable at the very end to try to run. I went to the gym and used the elliptical and that worked out well. I still got in some aerobic activity, but didn’t have stress on my belly and joints that comes from running. I would encourage you to keep running if you did that prior to becoming pregnant, if you weren't a runner, then I would recommend start with something like walking before you start running.
What does running look like with a 1 1/2 year old? Well I would say running with one child is a lot different than running with no children while pregnant. I have always taken William running with me and now that I am pregnant for the second time that isn't changing. He does well in the stroller and I think it is good for him to be out and about. Now I just push a stroller in front of me while running. This is a definitely a work out. It builds arm strength to be out there pushing a stroller with a 27 pound child in it, but it is good exercise. I am definitely not breaking any speed records, but getting out and working hard is definitely important.
I really enjoy having this time and ability to work out and maintain my health and the health of my future child. Any form of exercise while pregnant is so important to help with blood sugar control, fluid management and weight control. It has definitely been proven to be make for a better labor process and of course health outcomes for mother and baby. Finding some form of activity is key. I also really enjoyed prenatal yoga when I was pregnant the first time round. Cost is definitely more of a factor this time and I haven't been able to go on a weekly basis. I need to work hard to do some of the stretches and poses at home, but we know how tough that can be to actually follow through with at home. Finding different forms of physical activity can help ensure that you stay healthy throughout this entire pregnancy process.
Tricks to keep running through your pregnancy:
- Go at your own pace. Don't try to set any speed records. Your body is already working hard carrying yourself and a baby.
- Don't push yourself super hard. Ease into the run and work up on intensity based on how you feel.
- Stay hydrated and plan potty breaks. It is key to keep fluids handy when exercising and then also know where close restrooms are, because those might be needed more too as time goes on.
- Keep your energy up by eating before and after. Throughout pregnancy good nutrition is key and having a small snack before and after you exercise can be helpful. Again make this a healthy option and include some protein to help with recovery after you finish your work out.