Amber Miller made her way across the Chicago Marathon finish line before giving birth. Most women don’t dream of running a marathon while pregnant but what about running? For many running is much more than their cardio of choice, so they cannot imagine giving it up for nine plus months!
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist research on exercise while pregnant states it is safe to run while pregnant; however, all moms should consult with their obstetrician. If you ran before you became pregnant, are in good health and not caring multiples generally you can keep running while pregnant.
Expect instant changes
You will notice that your speed declines and your shoes feel like bricks- this is normal. The heart beats harder to deliver oxygen to you and your baby, but do not get discouraged because you are building aerobic fitness. Those who run during pregnancy experience increase in speed and endurance post pregnancy.
Think time not miles
Exercise at lower intensities for a long period of time burns fat as fuel. A pregnant body is working hard to increase fat stores to support pregnancy and growth of the baby. Going for long and slow distances competes with this process. It is recommended to run or walk for one hour or less three to five times per week.
It is imperative each run begins and ends well nourished. A nutrient-rich snack such as flavored milk, fruit or yogurt should be consumed one hour before exercise. Drink water every 10-15 minutes during a workout and refuel with a balanced snack immediately after. Try an apple yogurt smoothie or cheese and crackers. Milk, cheese and yogurt are nutrient-rich and contribute significant nutrition to both mother and baby. Rehydrate until urine is clear.
Rebecca A. Turner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD