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Running While Pregnant

Amber Miller, a 27-year-old marathon runner  was nearly 39 weeks pregnant when she completed the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, but instead of putting her feet up and having a good rest, she went straight to hospital to give birth: her contractions started within minutes of crossing the finishing line.

Just like Amber, there are number of women out there who would like to compete a marathon or an event even while pregnant, but are afraid to do so out of fear of some untoward harm.

As long as you get the green light from your OB, you should continue to exercise (with modifications) right up until your delivery date. Not only will it keep you in shape, but it can also make for an easier labor and recovery.

There are certain body changes that take place while pregnant. For example, ligaments and bones soften, to accommodate the baby, making you more susceptible  to injury. Your temperature regulation mechanisms are strained, which means it is easier to overheat, which could damage the fetus, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. Therefore, you should avoid intensive exercise with high heart rates to avoid depriving your baby of oxygen.

Guidelines, to Follow:

Alerts to STOP:

If you develop any of the following symptoms, you should stop running immediately and consult a doctor:

The usual medical advice to women who want to continue running long distance while pregnant, is as long as you are fit and healthy and are already used to running long distance, then it should be ok. But as with all exercise during pregnancy, don’t try anything new or anything your body is not used to.

NOTE: Women are at higher risk of injury while pregnant because they have higher levels of relaxin, a hormone that relaxes joints and ligaments, so they should ease gently into a run and stretch properly afterwards.

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