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Do you remember Charlotte from ‘Sex and the City’ feeling awkward about carrying on her running routine during her pregnancy? Ultimately, she stopped running in order to avoid complications. What she portrayed on screen was a dilemma most pregnant women go through, especially if they’re heavily into fitness.
To understand the implications of running while pregnant, we spoke to the renowned obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Manisha Ranjan from Motherhood Hospital, Noida. She talked about everything you need to know about staying physically active during your pregnancy.
Looks like Charlotte did the right thing by opting for running during her pregnancy! Dr Ranjan suggests that running won’t harm your baby. So, if you’ve been a runner pre-pregnancy, continuing your routine is totally fine.
“You need to adhere to certain precautions like wearing good running shoes, a sports bra and a belly support band. You need to drink lots of fluid before, during and after the workout. Physical activity is good for the body during pregnancy but there’s no point in overdoing it. Also, include strength training like lunges, squats, and light weightlifting along with running since you’re more prone to muscle injury when you’re pregnant. Your body needs extra calories when exercising during pregnancy. To maintain your energy level during workouts, have a pre-exercise snack like a piece of fruit or toast with nut butter,” she said.
You can continue running until the third trimester (weeks 28 to 40). You can carry on exercising as long as you feel well and comfortable. If you feel alright, you can stay active right up to the birth of your baby.
“According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. These are workouts that raise your heart rate and induce sweating, including running,” says Dr Ranjan.
“You need to consult your doctor once before indulging in any kind of rigorous physical activity. In case you have a complicated pregnancy, running can be risky and lead to bleeding, placental problems, or pre-eclampsia. But, for those with uncomplicated pregnancies, experts say there’s no harm in maintaining your exercise routine,” says Dr Ranjan.
Staying active and doing exercises that induce sweating are ideal during pregnancy. Overdoing any exercise can be risky. So, swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary bicycling and low-impact aerobics can be done under the guidance of a professional trainer and after the approval of your doctor.
“Consult your doctor provider before beginning an exercise program. Your doctor provider can offer personalized exercise guidelines, based on your medical history,” recommended Dr Ranjan.
So, ladies, don’t give up on your fitness routine during pregnancy but do consult your doctor about it!