Myth: Running while pregnant is unsafe.
Reality: with all the research I could find, the one definitive answer is simply it depends. If you have never run before, pregnancy is not the time to start. You do not want to start training for your first 5K, a marathon or a triathlon. Your body is experiencing miraculous changes and now is not the time to add a new program to your training regimen.
If you have been running prior to getting pregnant, the first piece of advice is check with your OB. Make sure all systems are a go prior to running. You may need to cut back on your overall mileage or you may need to slow your pace. It is critical to make sure you are drinking LOTS of water so as to keep your body hydrated. During pregnancy you need more water than you typically would. I recommend looking into a very supportive sports bra for your everchanging breasts and be sure to have appropriate footwear. During your second trimester as your belly begins to grow you may notice you feel off balance as your center of gravity is changing. Stick to flat roads or even a track so as to be safe from slips and falls.
Important advice to follow while running is do not run to the point of exhaustion. Your body’s focus right now is the fetus and providing it with everything he or she may need! If you have any of the following signs immediately stop running and call your OB or midwife: vaginal bleeding, dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, contractions or swelling of the feet/ankles.
Remember this is not the time to set your Personal Record. Use your runs to escape from stress you may be feeling, energize a fatigued body and to MOVE. Many women enjoy running into their 7th and/or 8th month, but be smart. It’s not just about crossing the finish line, it’s enjoying the entire journey.