It all depends on your level.You can go running and you are quite right to do so! Like any endurance sport, jogging is excellent for your cardiovascular system, your glycaemia, cholesterol and bone density, it helps you to better manage your stress levels and to optimize your ability to concentrate. And, as an added bonus, jogging helps you keep your figure trim. As a mother-to-be, it is therefore tempting to want to continue to make the most of its benefits...and to benefit the baby. Why not, but it all depends on your level. If you are a regular jogger, you can carry on with your favourite activity up to the third or even fourth month of pregnancy depending on your form. Of course, you must always take your doctor’s advice beforehand and ensure you jog safely. On the other hand, if you are a beginner, it would be better for you to walk (also a very good endurance activity) and wait until the baby is three months old before starting to run!
Your log book for safe jogging From the moment your doctor gives you the go-ahead, you can go jogging without overexerting yourself up to the fourth month. After that, it would be better to opt for a gentler activity such as swimming or yoga. Until then, in addition to warm-ups and recovery time which are a must, you should also observe some precautions so that your jogging sessions are as beneficial to you as to your baby.
- Remember to drink more fluids: good hydration during sporting activities is even more important now that you are pregnant. Sip 500ml of water 30 minutes before your session, a sip every 10 minutes during it (stopping to drink) and continue this hydration calmly afterwards to stock up on good minerals.
- Above all, do not overexert yourself: 20 to 40 minutes of gentle jogging twice a week are generally sufficient to keep you in good shape. Do not try to beat any records at this time! And to protect your knees from repeated impact (with each stride, your weight is multiplied by a factor of five), alternate your jogging sessions with activities in which your weight is supported such as swimming or cycling, which are more gentle on your joints.
- Wear good running shoes: do not hesitate to consult a podiatrist to be sure that your shoes are suitable for the type of ground and your weight. After a short assessment, this specialist may also prescribe insoles to benefit your gait and reduce any risk of falling or tendon or muscular injury. Support your bust: you will have noticed, as of the first month of pregnancy, your bust is already heavier and running begins to become uncomfortable. Even if you did not wear one before, you now have every reason to wear a sports bra when running. This will protect the skin on your chest from stretching. Better still, use a treatment specially formulated for mothers-to-be on a daily basis.
- Protect your tummy: the rounder your stomach becomes, the more your centre of gravity changes. In order not to risk losing your balance, systematically opt for running on springy, even ground. Remember also to wear leggings with a reinforced abdominal area, they are effective and fit well. And after your run, do not forget to give your stomach a moisturising massage (the rubbing of clothing dries your skin out too much) and anti-stretch mark treatment (running can sometimes benefit them).
- Tone up your perineum: this muscular chain that supports your pelvis is an important element in the correct development of your pregnancy. When you run, the repeated impact on the ground increases abdominal pressure and therefore the pressure exerted on your perineum. In order not to undermine it, remember also to tone it during the session.
- Always listen to your body: now you are no longer running alone and must therefore be twice as aware of you body. At the slightest sign of fatigue, it is better to stop jogging rather than risk a fall or a sprain... In fact, during pregnancy, your ligament system becomes more flexible to facilitate delivery and this hyperflexibility increases the risk of twisting your ankle or knee.
Do not forget that running is not the only way of taking care of your body: pamper your skin too!