Running While Pregnant

Hit the Road: Guide to Running While Pregnant

If you love to hit the open road, the track, or the treadmill, there’s a good chance you can continue to run during your pregnancy. Running is an efficient, heart-healthy way to stay fit and clear your mind at the same time. Whether you’re new to running or an experienced pro, pick up some tips on what to consider and how to stay safe when running pregnant.

What to Know Before You Go

Novice or pro, the first thing you’ll want to do is discuss your exercise plans with your healthcare provider. Running during pregnancy can be safe for many women, but there are a few dos and don’ts your provider will want you to know.

Do

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Dress in loose-fitting layers.
  • Always warm up and stretch first.
  • Run in a safe, well-lit, and populated area. You’ll want others around in the unlikely case you need help.
  • Carry your phone at all times.
  • Talk to your doctor about your unique calorie needs. Running burns a lot of calories, and because you’re eating for two, you may need to compensate.

Don’t

  • Jog in heat or humidity.
  • Push yourself too far, or to the point of breathlessness.
  • Continue if you have joint pain, chest pain, or dizziness.
  • Overeat — keep meals small and frequent.

Running During the Trimesters of Pregnancy

First trimester:

Make sure you have high-quality, shock-absorbing running shoes that fit your ankles and arches well. You'll also want a sports bra with good support and the possibility to adjust as your breasts grow. Remember to hydrate before, during, and after your run.

Second trimester:

As your body changes, so does your center of gravity and sense of balance. Try to avoid running on trails, which may present tripping hazards, and instead, stick to tracks and paved roads. Since your growing baby puts more pressure on your bladder, you may also want to consider the restroom situation on your route. Many women find supportive belly bands useful for jogging while pregnant.

Third trimester:

Now is the time to really listen to your body. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop. You may want to consider downgrading to a brisk walk at this point, as it’s less stress on joints and circulation.

For a lower-impact form of exercise, consider prenatal yoga. To help prepare your body for childbirth, try Kegel exercises. And, since we know you’ve got plenty to think about in between workouts, why not take a look at our Baby Name Generator? We think you’ll find just the inspiration you’re looking for.

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