Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. It helps boost energy levels, fights constipation and back pain, improves mood, makes labor and delivery easier and keeps your baby healthy. However, not all forms of exercise are safe during pregnancy. Most doctors approve of jogging as long as your pregnancy is healthy and you are already a jogger, but you may need to modify your routine to match your growing size. Talk to your obstetrician about a healthy amount of jogging for your pregnancy.
Wear appropriate clothing. This includes a supportive sports bra to protect your breasts and keep them in place. As your belly grows, wear a belly band, which wraps around your stomach to keep if from bouncing or jostling as you jog. These are sold where maternity clothes are available. Wear well-fitting running shoes. Some women's feet swell during pregnancy and you might need a bigger pair until your baby is born.
Slow your jogging speed. At the beginning of your pregnancy, you may be able to continue with your current jogging routine, but as your belly grows, the need to slow down is likely. In general, if you are too winded to hold a conversation while you jog, slow your pace to prevent your heart rate from exceeding 140 beats per minute, which could be dangerous for your baby. Wear a heart-rate monitor as you run to track this.
Avoid jogging when the weather is very hot. This can be dangerous to your baby, so stay indoors when the temperature is high or it is humid. To counteract this, plan to jog in the early morning or evening when the temperature is typically lower.
Jog on flat surfaces. This is particularly important in the later weeks of your pregnancy. As your belly grows, your center of gravity shifts, which may increase the risk of stumbling or falling. Sticking to even terrain is safer because the likelihood of losing your balance is lower.
Drink plenty of water. Exercise increases your fluid needs, as does pregnancy, so ensuring that you get enough protects your baby from the effects of dehydration and maximizes the benefits of your jog. Drink about two cups of water before jogging and one cup for every 20 minutes you jog. After jogging, drink until your thirst is quenched.
Listen to your body. If jogging feels too strenuous or you feel any discomfort or pain, stop or slow down and call your doctor.
Items you will need
- Heart-rate monitor
- Supportive sports bra
- Belly band
- Some pregnancy-related conditions may require you to give up jogging until delivery. If you have placenta previa or high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend against jogging to prevent complications such as bleeding and preterm labor.
- If you experience any bleeding or contractions while jogging, stop immediately and contact your obstetrician.
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images