If you would have told me I would be running during my pregnancy at 35 I would have laughed in your face. The kind of laugh that involves snorting and other unattractive nonsense. I would have thought it an impossible idea that not only would I be pregnant at that age, but being super active was even a healthy option. My two older sons were 11 and 13 at the time. I still did normal activities while pregnant with each of them, but I never worked out. I barely even walked.
When I found out I was pregnant with my third it had been about 4 months since I began my journey to get back in running condition. I’d also given up alcohol and made a few other health choices. In spite of my age and spending the first 4 months hugging the toilet at all hours of the day I made a choice. I was going to keep running and keep working towards my goal as long as it was safe.
How Did It Go?
I was able to run until I was 5 or 6 months pregnant. I wasn’t doing any heavy runs, but I ran one day a week and was going to the gym 2 days minimum. At that point in my pregnancy I began to develop extensive pressure on my cervix and chose to stop running and cycling, but I was still able to use the elliptical and started walking everyday. I walked nearly 200 miles while pregnant and keep my gym workouts until I was near the end. I was still walking stubbornly while I was 8 hours into active labor (I have historically long deliveries….this one was my shortest at 18 hours).
My delivery went slowly but smoothly. My fitness level not only helped me stay strong through the delivery, but I recovered much quicker and it was over ten years after my last pregnancy. I have nothing, but positive things to say about how active I was during my pregnancy, but I listened to my body and didn’t push it either. There are a lot of pros, but there are some cons to consider too.
- Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling.
- Increases your energy
- Improves your mood.
- Can improve sleep
- Promotes muscle tone, strength, endurance and can improve your posture.
- It can make your labor easier to manage.
- Premature contractions can potentially be induced by the hormones that are stimulated by exercise.
- Incompetent cervix – a medical condition in which the cervix begins to dilate before the full term of the pregnancy.
- Persistent second or third trimester bleeding.
- Preeclampsia/pregnancy-induced hypertension.
My suggestion is to trust your body and self, but always talk to your doctor about EVERYTHING and anything. I talked extensively with mine about all of my concerns, but also my goals. The last thing I wanted was to put my little at any risk, but if it was safe then I wanted to still keep moving and even when running was no longer an option the constant walking was a constant positive part of my day. If you can and are able I highly recommend to staying active while preggo.