Before becoming pregnant I was an avid runner – I considered it free therapy. I loved running and having “me time” to think. I was actually 2 weeks pregnant during a half marathon I ran with my husband. Once we knew about the pregnancy, I was determined to stay active and run throughout the pregnancy. I read all the articles stating the benefits from remaining active while pregnant:
- Helps maintain a healthy weight gain
- Labor may be easier, shorter, and less painful
- Reduce pregnancy symptoms: Backaches, Fatigue, Swelling, Heartburn, Constipation, Preeclampsia, and Diabetes
- Less likely to develop stretch marks due to toned muscles
- Bone bounce-back and body recovery after baby will be quicker
- Less likely to have post-baby blues
Unfortunately, running every day came to a quick halt when the Morning (all day) Sickness hit me like a ton of bricks. I did not feel the best during the first 5-6 months of my pregnancy. Exercising caused me to feel more nauseous and quite dizzy, so I basically stopped working out. I would try to be active at least on the weekends but it was all dependent on how I felt on that particular day or how the activity made me feel.
Luckily, the past month I have finally started to feel better so I immediately threw on my running shoes and hopped outside to get a great run in. The first run was a humbling experience – my pace had definitely slowed due to the lack of exercise and from the extra pounds I was carrying. Also, the urge to pee and some discomfort did not make it an easier. But, despite every competitive urge in my mind and body, I slowed down my pace and just enjoyed a slower-paced run. I am also blessed to have an amazing husband who will slow down his pace to run with me, motivate me, and cheer me on.
During the past month I have learned a few lessons to help my runs:
- Bring Water– Even if you are only going for a 1 mile run it is IMPORTANT to stay hydrated while pregnant
- Stick to your Route– Try and run on paths your body is used to running and you know well…. I also recommend any path you run on has a restroom, this will be a necessity in the 3rd Trimester
- Slower Can Be Better– If you are competitive like myself it can be infuriating to run slow but listen to your body. Remember you are “Pregnant” and still running which is an accomplishment in itself
- Walk– Take breaks and walk, this will also bring your heart rate down and give you time to recover and hydrate
- Stretch Before & After… and Ice After– Not only is stretching good for you body in general during pregnancy but it will help loosen your muscles before your run and help them recover after. I recommend icing any areas that might feel tender (lower back, calves, etc)….. this will make tomorrow’s run more enjoyable
- Apparel- Workout apparel might be getting uncomfortable at this point so INVEST in at least one pair of workout bottoms and top that you think will last throughout your pregnancy (Lucy brand has a high-waisted non-maternity pant that I love which seem to work great.. so far). When in doubt, wear your husband’s t-shirt or any big t-shirt you have.
Someone also recommend I try a maternity support belt during my runs, have any of you used one? What did you think?
Now with Spring finally here, get outside and have a fabulous Run/Walk!