Alexandra McCabe, pregnancy fitness expert and founder of Fitta Mamma maternity activewear, answers our question on running when pregnant
Running during pregnancy is a great way to maintain your cardio fitness – if you were running regularly before you became pregnant there’s no reason not to continue for as long as you feel comfortable. Accept that you might not be able to run quite as far or as fast – pregnancy is a time to maintain your fitness, not to beat your personal best. If you need to slow down and walk up hills, that’s fine!
Warming up is even more important when you’re pregnant. Be sure to cool down too, allowing your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature to gently return to normal. The hormone relaxin will soften your ligaments during pregnancy, so be careful not to overstretch. It’s also important to remember the ‘talk test’ – you shouldn’t be running so fast or exercising so hard that you can’t continue a conversation while doing so.
A well-fitting sports bra is a must, and you’ll find running much more comfortable if you wear supportive maternity running gear. Choose garments designed to support the weight of your baby bump during exercise.
Finally, always check with your doctor before exercising but be reassured that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends all healthy pregnant women should aim for 30 minutes’ exercise every day to benefit both mother and baby – exercise is good for both of you!