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Running During Pregnancy

If you were already logging km’s, you don’t have to stop running during pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe.

Invest In New Running Shoes

Keep in mind that certain pregnancy hormones increase the laxity of your ligaments, which can leave you more prone to sprains and strains if you do slip or stumble. And with looser joints and the extra pregnancy weight, running can be hard on your knees. That means well-fitted sneakers are extra important to ensure you get the extra support you need around your arches and ankles. If you’re not sure what’s best for you, get fitted at a specialty running store.

Don’t Forget to Strengthen

You’re more prone to injury and carrying more weight when you’re expecting — so make sure to regularly fit in pregnancy-safe abdominal exercises and lower-body strengthening moves (squats, lunges, pelvic lifts/tilts). Strong muscles help protect your joints.

Fuel Up

Beginning with the second trimester, you’ll need about 300 extra calories per day to fuel your pregnancy – regardless of your workouts. And if you’re exercising, you’ll need even more! With this in mind, ask your doctor about specific caloric needs for your weight and activity level.

Be Aware Of Your Body

Watch for pelvic or abdominal discomfort. As you progress to the second and third trimester, running can be hard on the muscles in your pelvic floor, your core and your ab’s. And as your body adapts to a growing baby, it becomes more vulnerable to injury and other complications. On that note, if you do begin to feel pelvic pressure from the weight of your belly while you’re running, a maternity support belt or an abdominal splint/abdominal binder can help alleviate discomfort, prevent (or limit) the widening of diastasis recti, help keep your body in neutral alignment and take the pressure off of the abdominal connective tissue. The downside: The extra material could cause you to heat up more quickly than usual — in which case, slow down to cool down.

Be Kind to Yourself

Remember, too, that you may tire more easily than you did before you started running for two. During the first trimester, fatigue, morning sickness, nausea, constipation or frequent urination could interfere with your regular running habits. And in the second and third trimesters, weight gain and physical discomforts come into play. So don’t get discouraged if you need to adjust the length of your workouts, incorporate walking intervals or scale back on long-distance runs.

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