Can I carry on running throughout my pregnancy?


Lucie half marathon

Why should I carry on running in pregnancy?

 Running is fantastic cardiovascular exercise and will help keep your heart and lungs fit and strong. In addition to all the usual benefits from exercising during pregnancy:

  • A shorter labour, with less likelihood of complications – I had quite enjoyable pregnancies with no sick days from work, straightforward and short labours (both under 5 hours) vaginal deliveries and a very quick recovery, was active within a couple of days!
  • Less likely to suffer from nausea and morning sickness
  •  Improved core strength and stability
  • A stronger back and reduction in back pain
  • Better posture
  •  Stronger pelvic floors
  • Better circulation, less likely to suffer from varicose veins, swelling and high blood pressure
  • Stronger bones
  • Avoid excessive weight gain and easier to get back into shape after the birth
  • More energy and self-confidence – lift your mood and feel great!
  • Strengthen the muscles used in childbirth
  •  It will help you sleep
  • Improved cardio-vascular fitness and muscle tone
  • Lessen the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes

With all of those benefits, why would you not exercise?! After pregnancy you will retain a lot of these benefits, in addition to finding it easier to lose excess weight and tone up. With running having some time outdoors and time to yourself are also great feel-good benefits.

One of the most common things I hear is that it is not safe to run during pregnancy. There is no one-size-fits-all response to this. It largely depends on your pre-pregnancy fitness level and running experience. If you have never been a runner do not start during pregnancy. If you have done a little bit of running I would suggest keeping it at a moderate intensity (jogging rather than running) and no more than 30 minutes a couple of times a week. If you haven’t done any running for at least a couple of months then do something else. If it feels at all uncomfortable then do something else. If you are an experienced runner then there is no reason you cannot carry on running during your pregnancy.

I carried on running…but was always safe and sensible

 I love all kinds of exercise, especially aerobics and other fitness classes, but running really is my all time fave and I ran up to the end of the second trimester with both of my pregnancies. After that it began to feel a bit uncomfortable, but that’s just me. Every woman is different and should listen to their own body. Some women continue to run throughout their pregnancies right to the end and some just don’t feel right running from the outset. Do what feels right for you. I also did my first full marathon when my first baby was 8 months old!

 Here are some points about running safely and sensibly during pregnancy:

  •  Avoid overheating
  • Eat before and after exercise, (a snack, not a three course meal) around an hour either side should do it
  • Wear a good bra and trainers when you are working out
  • Be aware of running conditions – look after your personal safety, stick to well-lit areas and avoid rough or hilly terrain
  • Your pre-pregnancy exercise and fitness levels will determine what level you can exercise at
  • Remember your pelvic floor exercises (even if you are having a c-section) as running does put extra pressure on these muscles
  • Adapt your running plan as your pregnancy progresses, see below
  • Warm up and cool down gradually
  • Stretch the muscles you used in your workout when you get home (all the big leg muscles)
  • Try to maintain a good posture (all the time!)
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Take care not to overstretch or push yourself too hard; the hormone relaxin makes your joints more prone to injury

Advice for running throughout your pregnancy: 

running in the first trimester

 During trimester one you can carry on as usual, as long as the intensity is not very high (i.e. intervals, sprinting), the duration isn’t too long (i.e. longer than 90 minutes) and you are not working harder than what you have been used to.

running in the second trimester

During trimester two you should start decreasing your intensity and duration once it starts to feel like it is becoming harder. Remember, you should be comfortably be able to maintain a conversation when you are working out. Your body is changing and although you can carry on running (although it should be ‘jogging’ – not too fast!) you should gradually start to adapt your workouts.

 running in the third trimester

During trimester three you may be able to carry on jogging if it still feels ok, but make sure you listen to your body and move on to a lower impact activity if it doesn’t feel right. Your bump may make you feel unbalanced or you may have some pelvic aches. Cross training, power walking, cycling and swimming are all great alternatives. If you do continue to jog then, once again, work at a comfortable intensity for a sensible duration and maybe build in some walk/jog sessions, alternating between each for five minutes at a time.

 Safety comes first:

In summary, if your pregnancy is low risk and you feel fine, don’t be frightened to continue something you enjoy, but remember running is high impact and you may feel more comfortable moving to gentler activities later on in your pregnancy with a view to taking up running again once you have had your baby. It’s up to you – every woman is different. Definitely ignore anyone that tries to criticise you jogging with a bump; we need to change the way people perceive pregnant women – start the revolution!

More about running in pregnancy here

Stay in Shape While Pregnant With Aqua Aerobics!

Guest post from Patricia Hogenes

You exercised regularly before you decided to have a baby. Now that your world is more focused on the pregnancy, how do you keep fit? Consider aqua aerobics, it’s a great way to stay in shape, and for pregnancy, very well suited to the task.

A great way to work out. As suggested by ParentingWeekly.com, aqua aerobics provides a safe and low-impact way to exercise during all 9 months of the pregnancy. There are a number of reasons why the aqua aerobics classes at the local gym will keep you having fun and working out, through your entire pregnancy.

Take advantage of buoyancy. A wonderful benefit of being in the water is that the buoyancy of the water only requires Mom to support 50 percent of her body weight. When backaches and muscle strains occur while carrying, the lightness of the water feels wonderful. Exercise is going to feel easier and it will reduce the risk of the risk of stress related injuries. Most water workouts only use things like foam noodles, which you can find at poolproducts.com, so you’re not trying to manipulate weights or walk on a treadmill to do a workout. Being in water of the appropriate temperature will also lessen the likelihood of overheating during a workout.

It’s just a lot of fun. Visit an aqua aerobics class to see if it’s for you. What becomes quickly evident is how much fun everyone is having. It’s like when kids jump in the pool – they immediately start to laugh and have big smiles on their faces. It very likely has something to do with just the pleasure of being in the water. But people in a water workout group are happy and enjoying themselves. Aqua aerobics may be something that will continue long after the pregnancy, just because it’s such a pleasant experience.

There is a lot of variety. Aqua workouts don’t have to be just one kind – Mom can choose from a variety of options, depending on what she prefers. So you don’t like the class so much, but want a great cardio program? Why not try aqua jogging? This is not a group function – just go to the pool when the lap lanes are open, and take off with a good jogging motion down one of the lanes. Would you like a calming workout? Why not try aqua tai chi, which is a soothing and relaxing series of movements that resemble a gentle dance. Aqua zumba and kick boxing – they’re now being offered at many gyms, but you might want to leave those strenuous options on your “to do” list for after the pregnancy. The point is – there are a lot of water workouts to choose from during pregnancy.

It’s low impact. This is a big advantage for an exercise routine during pregnancy – it’s easy on the body. Try doing some lunges in the water – the resistance of the water makes the impact of your foot totally different, and much more gentle, than on land. Every exercise is going to have an added soothing effect from the resistance of the water. Particularly later in the pregnancy, when the back might not feel the greatest, being able to have the water cushion the fall of your feet will be a great advantage to water workouts.

Stay in shape while pregnant, and enjoy yourself as well – what’s not to love about that program? Aqua aerobics is just an enjoyable experience. That’s not to discount the workout – you can get a solid workout as well from being in the water. Just give it a try, and you might quickly fall in love with aqua aerobics!

When Patricia Hogenes told her husband she wanted to become a freelance writer, he really supported her doing that – he knows she has enjoyed writing since college. Now she writes for poolproducts.com, and loves every new assignment she gets.

What is a healthy weight gain during pregnancy?

The latest NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidance, released in July 2010, says that:

  • Women who are a normal weight for their height (BMI 18.5–24.9) should gain 11.5–16 kg during pregnancy.
  • Overweight women (BMI 25–29.9) should gain 7–11.5 kg
  • Obese women (BMI greater than 30) should only put on 5–9 kg.

So try not to pack on more than this, otherwise you’ll still be left with a lot of weight to shift when your baby is born – this isn’t healthy for either of you. Try not to weigh yourself too often. Focus more on how your body looks and feels and remember that lean muscle weighs more than fat.

Where Does the Extra Weight Go During Pregnancy?

You’ll be pleased to hear that the weight you are putting on is not all sitting on your hips ready to bulge over the top of your fave jeans once you have had your baby. Here is a rough idea of where the weight goes:

Baby: 8 pounds

Placenta: 2-3 pounds

Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds

Breasts: 2-3 pounds

Blood: 4 pounds

Stored fat: 5-9 pounds

Uterus growth: 2-5 pounds

Total: 25-35 pounds

Remember that everyone is different and you may gain more or less than this.

Guest blog from Sia Cooper: The Truth About Pregnancy Part One

Thank you so much to Sia for sharing this blog post with bump2mumfitness.com. Read more over at her blog Diary of a Fit Mommy, for more recipes and workout ideas.

 
Pregnancy is an awesome thing.
 
It’s probably the most amazing and beautiful thing I’ve ever been through. Think about it. You spend all this time creating another HUMAN that you get to carry around with you in your belly for almost a year!
 
I am officially halfway through and I have a lot to say about pregnancy-the good, the bad, and the truth! Granted, I have thankfully had a very easy pregnancy so far-I have not been sick hardly any. But there are some other side effects of pregnancy that people don’t tend to tell you!

These are my truths about the first half of pregnancy


sia1

Pregnancy is not 9, but 10 months long!

I am not entirely sure or why they say “9 months” but technically, pregnancy begins right after your last menstrual period-two weeks before you actually conceive. Most women’s pregnancy last a duration or 40 weeks or ten months. So when you get to 9 months, and dont go into labor just yet-dont fret! 9 months or 36 weeks just means you have reached full term and that its “ok” to deliver at any time.
 
Ouch! My butt hurts!
No, I am not talking about hemorrhoids-another health issue women tend to deal with during pregnancy (thats said to come way later). I am talking about Sciatic pain! Oh boy, this is a lot of fun. Try walking or sitting or laying with a twinge of pain starting in either or both butt cheeks that run down your leg! As baby grows, they put pressure on your sciatic nerve, which starts at both buttocks and runs downward towards your calf muscles. It can not only cause pain, but numbness and tingling. This only lasted 3-4 weeks with me and it went away shortly after. 
 
Whoops! That was a smelly one!
This makes me laugh to even think about writing. 
Have you ever heard that all pregnant women fart… alot? Guess how true that is? VERY TRUE! Embarrassing, yes, but thanks to the slowed digestion to increase nutrient absorption during pregnancy, this increases gas-and lots of it! My poor husband, he must really love me to be able to sit near me sometimes! You honestly cannot help it. There is nothing you can do to stop it either! Have fun!
 
sia2
Did you just poke me!?

The first time I felt my baby kick was right at 16 weeks. I was not too sure at first because it was only a one time thing-I did not feel it again that day. But it was a feeling I have never felt before. I was laying on my tummy, texting my family-this was a couple hours after finding out he was a BOY! I was very excited and happy. And then, I felt a little poke from the inside! It was very strange. Some women says it feels like gas, but not to me. I was very sure it was him. A few days later, I felt the same thing. A few days later, I would feel it a couple times a day, getting stronger and stronger. Now, at 19 weeks and 2 days, I feel it several times a day! Sometimes, they are such strong little pokes that they catch me off guard. My husband has been able to feel the movement with his hands a couple of times so far. It is the most amazing feeling ever. Now I feel it when I laugh, eat, and talk.

 
Flat by morning, HUGE by night
This is probably the strangest phenomenon I have ever experienced! Throughout your first half of pregnancy, you will notice that no matter what month you are, you will wake up with a flat tummy and go to bed looking 6 months pregnant. I still had visible abs at 4 months pregnant! Now, at around 5 months, I have developed a real bump that I wake up with now. I remember waking up one morning in tears because I thought my baby was shrinking! But surely enough like clockwork, with everything I ate and drank throughout the day, my bump slowly formed and came back. This is just due to a lot of water retention throughout pregnancy! You will know its the real thing when you wake up with it. Instead of it doing a disappearing act.
 

sia3

My boobs are on FIRE!!

Your breasts start growing the moment those HCG hormones start rolling in. And guess what?
THEY DONT STOP!
They grow so much that they no longer fit in anything you own! Say hello to new bras. Target has amazing and comfy nursing bras that are inexpensive that I would suggest. My biggest piece of advice is to sleeping in a supportive bra, because if you dont, your breasts will feel like they are on fire! The pain subsides a little in the 2nd trimester, but still hurts me at 19 weeks.
 
“I will take a pizza, sushi, fries, ice cream, and a cheeseburger, please?”
Yes! Food cravings are true. At least in the first trimester. I had no sickness so I was able to eat and crave things. I did not crave sweets very much, but I did crave CHEESE and SUSHI. I had to have it. I craved it so much that if I did not get it when I wanted it-my whole night was ruined! Yup. Thank youuuuu, hormones! They can turn you into a bitch if you are not one already. However, I controlled mine pretty well. Sometimes, I dont even feel pregnant! But according to what I hear, its a rarity to not get sick. I credit it to my staying health, gym going, and clean eating.
 
But I must eat for 2!
NO-you do not. Biggest myth ever. Yes, you are hungry and having cravings, but you must remember that everything you eat-baby eats too. That does not mean you need double. You should only take in 300 extra cals the first tri, 300 the second tri, and 500 in the 3rd tri and when you are nursing. This myth has been the cause of unnecessary weight gain and makes it that much harder for the baby weight to fall off. I am 19 weeks and my weight gain is at 3lbs. I eat around 2,300 cals a day and workout 4-5 times a week. I do eat clean but I do have my cheat day once a week!
 
I gotta go potty
Ahhh you and the potty will get very acquainted. My biggest tip? Do not drink fluids one hour before bedtime, and make sure you go to the bathroom right before you jump into bed. Dont get me wrong- you will still go several times a night, but it makes it one trip less. 

Maria Kang “what’s your excuse?” photo, she’s got a good point!

Maria is all across the TV this morning with her controversial photo, which shows her with a flat tummy and amazing body with her 3 children. All credit to her this is very clever PR (probably carefully planned for maximum exposure) and has got her worldwide coverage!

She shouldn’t be getting so much criticism though, she is a hard working mum who has prioritised her fitness and her body, setting a great example to her kids.

From my own experience I know that you don’t have to sacrifice time with your children to exercise. If you are motivated you can fit it in around them. But it is hard work, which is why most women don’t bother. Don’t blame her for taking control and looking amazing!

I lost all my baby weight in 2 weeks with both of my daughters with sensible eating and exercise at home, following my exercise plan, the 3-plan. Make having a child the time you become a healthier, fitter, more confident woman and your whole family will benefit.

Here is my photo after 12 weeks after baby number 2 – my plan really does work!

12 weeks after baby