Slow and steady wins the race. This is as much a truth on the track as it is in the game of life. Whether you're a marathon runner or a mom-to-be, the key to success is pacing. Of course, if your both, this fact is especially true.
Pregnancy, however, doesn't have to put a stop to your running habits. By making few alterations to your regular exercise habits, you can still maintain a healthy running routine while carrying child.
We've put together five key tips for running while pregnant and listed them below. First and foremost, always consult your doctor prior to starting any fitness routine while pregnant. Only your doctor will know of any special considerations you should take in regards to exercising while pregnant.
These tips are only general guidelines. Every woman must do what's best for her personal situation and health.
Once you've been given the green light by your doctor, you're ready to lace up those sneakers and head for the track. The key is taking it very slow and always pay attention to your body. When in doubt, err on the side of caution for the health of both you and your little one.
Generally speaking, those women who ran regularly before getting pregnant find they can continue their exercise routines easier than those who haven't. Even if, however, you want to introduce a running regimen in your pregnancy without prior experience, don't be discouraged. Start off with a gentle warm-up of stretching and walking, an easy jog for about ten minutes, and a light cool-down for another five or ten minutes.
Try this out for a few weeks and, if your joints, muscles, and cardiovascular system allow, slowly begin to increase mileage and speed. Each week assess your mental and physical well-being and adjust accordingly.
The goal here is not to break any world records for fastest mile run while pregnant, but to just get your body moving. General guidelines recommend 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-level intensity exercise at least three to five days per week.
The conditions you run in are as important as the duration and intensity of your workouts. If you're running outdoors, then try to avoid exercising in hot or humid temperatures. Pregnant women are much more prone to overheating and as such, must pay close attention to weather conditions while working out.
Likewise, adequate hydration is a must. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts. One helpful tip is to weigh yourself before and after your runs. The lower number on the scale post-workout is a result of water loss and should be replaced accordingly.
Monitoring the color of your urine is another a good indicator of hydration levels. Aim for urine that's pale yellow to clear in color. Anything is a sign that you are dehydrated.
Like any athlete, it's important to pay attention to any red flags that may arise. This is true while working out and in the times when you're not on the track. If you encounter any of these, stop and consult your doctor before continuing your exercise program.
As with any exercise program, and especially during your pregnancy, consult with your doctor prior to beginning and regularly throughout your practice. If anything feels amiss, then stop immediately. It's critical you listen to your body and take extra care in all forms of exercise done while pregnant. Your health and the health of your child depend on it.