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Should You Keep Running When Pregnant?

There are many dedicated female runners who become pregnant and are faced with the decision of taking the next 9 months off from running or continuing to run while pregnant. There are varying opinions out there about how much exercise a woman should or should not do during pregnancy.

This can be confusing for a woman who is looking for a clear cut answer. The reason for the ambiguity is that there is no absolute "yes or no" answer to if a women should continue to run during pregnancy. The answer depends on the health, level of running a women usually does, and difficulty of pregnancy of the women.

One thing that most experts on this subject agree on is that women should stay active during their pregnancy as long as they do not overexert themselves. If you are a long distance runner, then you are going to need to tone down your training schedule because any stress or strain you put on yourself will also be put on your child. Be careful not to let yourself become overheated. When you overheat, so does your baby. Those who live in hotter climates, such as Houston, must consider moving indoors for your runs. Runners do love, and even depend on, their routine. Pregnancy, however, requires some of your routines to change.

There are also many side effects of pregnancy that may limit a woman from running certain speeds, distances, or even running at all. Women often have morning sickness during the first trimester, which may cause those who are used to morning runs to have to adjust their running routine. Swollen feet in the second and third trimesters can also become an issue which can prevent women from running. Women should not attempt to run away the swelling in their feet because this may overwork the heart as it attempts to pump the excess fluid against gravity while also keeping up with the stress of running.
Running is a very important part of many women's lives. It is important for pregnant women to know the facts about running while pregnant in order to keep their body and their baby's body safe. It is also important to communicate with your doctor and podiatrist about running during pregnancy so that they are well informed of your physical activity during pregnancy so they can best inform you of any side effects you may experience.