Kara Goucher is a world-class runner, set to deliver her first baby some time this month, and she has been very vocal about her continued running throughout her pregnancy. But you don't have to be an Olympic-level athlete to be able to keep up your running routine for all nine months.
Still, there are major benefits to running both during your pregnancy and in the postpartum months.
Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea literally wrote the book on maternal running. The two just released Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving -- and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity a few months ago.
"I'd marvel when I'd see a pregnant woman running," Bowen Shea says in the book. "I'd stare at her belly and think it must bounce up and down like breasts in a bargain-basement sports bra."
Nope. It doesn't (and Bowen Shea finds this out, too). It's hard and attached, but there are many myths about running pregnant and more than a few tips. Here are some:
Don't try anything new: Now is not the time to begin a new running routine or to do something you haven't done before. If you aren't a runner, now is not the time to become one.
Drink, drink, drink: Dehydration causes contractions. Drink before, during, and after any run.
DUL: Bowen Shea and McDowell reference this acronym often: Drink, Urinate, Lie Down. It could also be called "listen to your body" and is the key to staying healthy. If you hurt, stop running. Now is the most important time to really hear what your body is trying to say.
Get a good sports bra: The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. Your boobs will stretch and grow, they will get full, and they will get heavy. This isn't a job for a Target sports bra. Go to a real running store and consult runners with your cup size. Invest in a couple high-quality bras.
Consult your doctor: It goes without saying that any exercise routine, especially when you're pregnant, needs approval from either your doctor or midwife.
You can do it! You probably won't win any races or set any records, but you can still get your heart rate up and get all the benefits of a strong exercise routine.
Are you still running during pregnancy?
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