Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Can I run during pregnancy?

10 March 2016, 08:10

Many female runners worry that when they fall pregnant they will have to hang up their running shoes, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Done right and with the necessary precautions and clearances from your doctor, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to carry on running throughout your pregnancy for as long as is comfortable.

We spoke to Alan Green, club captain for the West Coast Athletics Club and qualified Sports  Scientist with 20 years coaching experience in the health and fitness industry as well as sports coaching in various disciplines. He agrees that if you ran before falling pregnant then it’s generally safe to continue doing so.

“Running is a good form of exercise. However if you were not a runner before pregnancy then taking up running is perhaps not the best form of exercise as it will place a lot of undue stress and pressure upon the body,” he says.

However, even for regular runners, he strongly advises that once you find out you’re pregnant you should get medical clearance from your attending obstetrician or gynaecologist. If you get the all-clear, the next most important thing to note during exercise is your body temperature" as this has the most adverse effect on the developing foetus”.

Read Also: The best time for sex

Running in the different trimesters

While exercise is important throughout pregnancy for both mother and baby, there are different precautions which you need to take as your pregnancy progresses. Obviously running in the first trimester will be a very different experience from running in the third, although the experts tend to agree that the second trimester is probably the ‘easiest’, hence why it’s often referred to as the ‘honeymoon trimester’.

“During the first trimester the body is going through a lot of hormonal changes and adaptations and it’s during this trimester when a lot of women experience morning sickness and severe mood swings. The resting pulse rate of the expectant mother will also now be elevated to accommodate the developing foetus and the amount of circulating blood in the body remains the same which causes the amount of oxygen capacity in the blood to be reduced,” explains Green.

This is when you should start taking not of any changes in your body during exercise and pay close attention to what your body tells you. If you feel dizzy, stop. If you feel very breathless, take a break.

By the time the second trimester rolls around you should be more attuned to the changes your body is undergoing and as things begin to settle down a bit more, exercise should become a bit easier.

“During this trimester you shouldn’t really experience too much discomfort as long as you remain fairly cool and don’t overly stress the lower back region,” advises Green.

In the third trimester, things may become increasingly uncomfortable as your centre of gravity will have shifted, your belly will be quite big and due to the hormone Relaxin, your joints will be more pliable and supple than usual which could contribute to you feeling uncoordinated and ‘clumsy’. If running becomes too much, then switch to walking but keep the pace steady and fast.

Water, water, water

Throughout pregnancy whenever you exercise it’s vitally important to keep yourself hydrated, says Green.

“Drinking enough water helps keep the body cool and also plays a role in the digestion, absorption, transport of vital nutrients as well as the removal of waste products.”

Try to drink small amounts of water before, during and after exercise.

Read Also: 4 MUST dating rules for young ladies

Running will become less comfortable

Let’s face it, running with a growing belly is not the most comfortable thing, so prepare yourself for the fact that as your pregnancy progresses running will become more difficult.

Green says that the two most noticeable changes during pregnancy will be that it becomes harder to breathe as the lungs can no longer expand downwards with the assistance of the diaphragm as the developing foetus will be pushing the organs upwards constricting the diaphragm. So be prepared to get a lot more breathless than you did before and pace yourself accordingly.

The second change is that due to the hormones released to make the joints more supple in preparation for childbirth, the running gait will tend to become shortened with less elasticity. It’s not permanent however and once the baby is out and you return to regular running you should regain your usual gait.

Distance: how far is too far?

Depending on how often you used to run for pre-pregnancy and what distances you covered, it’s fair to assume that you won’t be able to manage the same as you get more pregnant. However, as Green points out, each pregnancy is different and it all depends on the fitness and health of the individual pregnant woman.

“There are no set guidelines for what distances are safe, as far as I know. There have been reported cases of expectant mothers running ultra distances just days before giving birth, but I would advise each expectant to listen to her body and only run what is a comfortable distance for them,” he says.

Why running is good for mom and baby

Basically the good news is that if you are a runner and you’re having a healthy, complication-free pregnancy with the OK from your doctor, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to run for as long as you feel comfortable throughout your pregnancy.

There has been much research which shows that mothers who exercise during pregnancy tend to have healthier, leaner babies and the benefits to the mother are endless too.

“One of the major advantages is that it helps control the weight of the expectant mother and also gives her better body image. It has also been documented that expectant mothers who exercise have easier deliveries,” says Green.

Reference:Alan Green, club captain for the West Coast Athletics Club and qualified Sports Scientist with 20 years coaching experience in the health and fitness industry as well as sports coaching in various disciplines.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Health24


What causes cellulite?

21 October 2016, 13:23

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...