> Seek the advice of your gynaecologist and your GP in order to avoid any risk
There is one point on which the entire medical profession agrees however: women who have never run on a regular basis are strongly advised not to run during the pregnancy. Conversely, those who have proven running experience can continue their physical exercise during the first 13 weeks. It is of course imperative that you ask the advice of your gynaecologist or GP in advance. It is also essential that you listen to your own body whenever you go out running.
The first three months of the pregnancy are often troubled by morning sickness. According to the statistics of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 70 to 85% of pregnant women suffer from this. It is therefore important – despite any aversion to certain types of food – to maintain a calorie intake, which is in keeping with the requirement of the physical activity in addition to that of the pregnancy. Food that is rich in iron, calcium and vitamin D should be included in the diet. Also take care to eat enough fibre and drink sufficiently throughout the day.
> You should take great care…
There are no prior contra-indications during the first three months for women who run on regular basis. According to a number of doctors, regular sports practice during the first three months – or after this period if the pregnancy is going smoothly – helps to improve the health of the fetus. However, the following should be avoided:
– Starting a new training programme involving an increase in the weekly mileage or undertaking outings that were not previously taken prior to pregnancy.
– Increasing the level of effort to the highest limits. Engage in basic endurance training rather than interval training (on track or in the countryside), which should be avoided. The level of breathlessness must remain at a low or moderate level.
– Attempting to beat a personal best. It is not uncommon for sportswomen to ‘find out’ that they are pregnant just a few days or weeks before competition. Even if this can be frustrating, you need to be reasonable. There’s no reason why you should not start the race But forget about achieving a record time!
– Running in extreme weather conditions. Particularly during the summer. It is advisable to go running at the crack of dawn.. Similarly, it is important to reduce the static stretching exercises and ensure that you drink before, during and after the run.
Weight gain is generally minimal during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. It is unlikely – although not unheard of – that your weekly runs will be disrupted by back pains. However, the initial ‘unpleasant’ effects of pregnancy can discourage mothers-to-be from running: major fatigue, constipation, frequent need to urinate. These are just some of the symptoms that must be taken into consideration and attended to.
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