Pregnancy is misconceived by many as the time to binge on cravings, and use your 'new' body to laze around, do as little as possible, and basically vegetate for nine months till the whirlwind called motherhood comes and hits you in the face! Though it is important to relax during these months, it is also absolutely essential that you stay fit and strengthen your body for the changes it will face.
Running is a quick and effective way to provide the right kind of workout to your heart and body, keeping you mentally and physically fit during your pregnancy. It's easy to fit into your schedule, and unlike other exercise routines, doesn't demand too much of your time.
If you haven't been a runner prior to getting pregnant, it is recommended that you don't start during this period. Pregnancy also isn't the time to start training for any marathons or races, because body temperatures rise when you run, and this overheating can affect the development of the baby’s organs. Running is normally hard on the knees, and the loosening up of the joints during pregnancy makes the risk of injury higher for inexperienced runners.
Seasoned runners can continue, but there are certain precautions that HAVE to be taken:
It's best to stop running the closer you get to your delivery date. With the extra weight and pressure on your abdomen, it might almost get impossible to run towards the end of the third trimester. At those times, switch to walking, and don't forget to keep a check on your pace and effort levels.
In conclusion, running is a great way to stay fit and strong during pregnancy, but do keep in mind that this isn’t the stage to strain yourself or reach for your personal best. Concentrate on what your body tells you, and respond accordingly. But always remember that this is a crucial stage in yours and the baby’s lives, so don’t forget to consult a doctor throughout!