What are the Risks of Running during Pregnancy
When a woman becomes pregnant it is true that they have to change some of their everyday habits to adapt to the new situation and take into account the development of the baby. It is important to follow some basic guidelines that will help ensure a healthy pregnancy, e.g. eating and exercise habits, in order to keep your vital signs healthy. Currently, there are women who run whilst pregnant. With the correct information it's possible to run while you're pregnant, however, before considering this, it's important that you are aware of the risks that may arise from this, so you can weigh them up accordingly.
In this oneHOWTO article, we compile a comprehensive list of the risks of running during pregnancy so you know how important it is to take care of yourself at this very special moment in your life. Above all, it is imperative that you consult a gynaecologist before starting to jog as it can affect people differently: running hard can actually be fatal in some cases.
Exercise is recommended in pregnancy unless advised otherwise by the gynaecologist. Exercise should be avoided if the pregnancy is considered risky because doing so could harm the baby's development, or even cause the mother to lose the baby. However, if your pregnancy seems to be going smoothly, you should not behave as though you are suffering from a disease. On the contrary, you should continue with your life whilst taking certain precautions to keep yourself and the baby healthy.
You should only run during pregnancy if you were accustomed to doing so before you fell pregnant. If you've never ran before, choose other low-impact activities such as swimming or yoga instead of running.
Let's start with the risks of running during pregnancy. Firstly, running increases risk of falling over or tripping since the centre of gravity shifts, making it easier to lose stability and control. Furthermore, the joints are also weaker as they have to support more weight, increasing the frequency and likelihood of injury.
In this regard it is important to be properly equipped with proper clothing and footwear for your condition, as well as water and dried fruit to stay hydrated and combat low blood sugar.
Another risk has to do with the impact generated with each stride. This could cause some problems in the vagina such as bleeding or early contractions. For this reason, one of the tips for running while pregnant is to learn to listen to your body: if you're tired, stop; if you're dizzy, stop; if you notice anything unusual, stop.
Don't push yourself or try to reach fitness goals. Don't try to break new fitness grounds, just exercise for health and fitness. If you don't feel right, go to the doctor immediately and, above all, substitute running for a lower impact sport.
When exercising, your body temperature rises. When pregnant, you should exercise extra caution in this regard. If temperature rises too much, this can have a negative effect on the health of the baby. The heat you feel when you play sports will be felt even more so by the foetus, given that it is covered by the amniotic fluid which will also elevate temperature.
Therefore, if you're going to run during pregnancy avoid running at the hottest times of day, wear breathable clothing and, above all, do not push yourself. Always carry water to hydrate, and rest when you see that you're getting hot.
Another risk of jogging during this period is that your blood sugar levels may become destabilised and may even lead to what is known as gestational diabetes. In order to prevent this condition it is important to follow some specific healthy nutrition guidelines because your nutritional needs increase significantly during this period.
If you exercise, make sure you eat beforehand, e.g. fruit, cereals, nuts, and so on. Moreover you should replenish energy after exercise to prevent glucose levels from dropping and suffering low blood sugar.
When you are aware of the risks of running during pregnancy, you should also be able to differentiate between the different gestational periods. Exercising during the first trimester is not the same as doing so in the last trimester.
- Exercise during the first trimester
If you practice sport at this time, make sure you keep it at a low intensity, so that you are able to talk throughout. For this reason, jogging during early pregnancy is discouraged as you may push your cardiovascular system too much and this is also when the foetus is taking shape. Therefore, risk of miscarriage is higher.
During these months, you should opt for gentle exercise like going for a swim or yoga and always keep blood sugar high. Always carry around some dried fruit and drink enough water or juices to keep yourself hydrated and energised.
- Exercise during the second quarter
In this period you can include some aerobic activities to your routine, but always maintaining a slow and controlled speed. This is when your body will begin to change and when you'll gain more weight, increasing your likelihood of injury or falling. You must be very careful, and never push yourself. Rest when you feel your body needs to.
Running at this time is more advisable than at any other period of pregnancy because the foetus is already more developed and your body is still quite agile. However, keep in mind the consideration outlined in the article, exercising in a healthy manner. Talking to your gynaecologist is important: only proceed with exercise if you are given the go-ahead by a specialist.
- Exercise in the third trimester
When you get to the sixth month of pregnancy, as a rule, it is recommended that you stop doing cardio, including running. The reason being that the baby is beginning to get really big and your body will be less agile; therefore, you should avoid activities that are of great impact and replace them with softer, slower alternatives. This will help you stay in shape without putting yourself in danger.
If your doctor has given you the go-ahead and you've decided to continue running, it is important that you consider some recommendations that will help you exercise safely. The first thing is you have to listen to your body at all times and if you feel you cannot more, stop. Now is not the time for challenges. Be very mindful of your condition and watch for any signs that your body sends you.
It is also recommended that you control your heart rate, ensuring it does not exceed 140 or 145 beats per minute. If your heart rate increases past this point, stop running and start walking. You can monitor this with a pulsometer or activity tracker or, if you do not have one, just make sure that you are still able to talk when exercising.
And above all, never go running while pregnant if your doctor has advised against it. You can seriously jeopardise your health and your baby's. Do not mess about!
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