Last updated December 2011. Planned review date: December 2012
Running and pregnancy
If you’re an experienced runner, running during pregnancy has lots of benefits as it’s an excellent workout for your heart and lungs. If you're not used to running, don't start when you're pregnant – walking is safer.
Running can be tough on your joints when you’re not pregnant. Now, with the hormone relaxin loosening your joints, there's a greater chance of injury. As your balance is affected by your changing centre of gravity, run on even ground to reduce the risk of falling.
- Wear supportive shoes.
- Wear a proper running bra.
- Avoid running in the heat, especially in the first 12 weeks, because overheating could potentially harm your baby.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water.
In weeks 13 to 28, you may feel at your most energetic, but run less intensely and take more care as your pregnancy progresses. Consider swimming or walking instead during the last three months.
RCOG Guidelines (2006) Exercise in Pregnancy, Statement 4, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Department of Health (2009) The Pregnancy Book, NHS, London, 286153
In this section
How active should I be?
When to be careful exercising
Exercise/activity to avoid
Everyday activity suggestions
Pelvic floor exercises
Swimming in pregnancy
Running in pregnancy
Walking in pregnancy
Yoga and pregnancy
Aerobics and weights in pregnancy
Questions on exercise in pregnancy
Five pregnancy exercises (pdf)
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