Is It Ok To Run If You’re Pregnant?


If you’re pregnant, you’re probably questioning everything in your life, and considering what may pose dangers to your unborn child. You might be thinking about exercise, and how to find the right balance between keeping yourself healthy and not overdoing it. However, if you’re wondering “is it OK to run if you’re pregnant?” the answer is yes!

When Should A Pregnant Woman Stop Running?

This will depend a little bit on your pregnancy experience, your fitness levels, and you as a person, but many people can run up almost to their third trimester.

If your belly is very big, you will find running hard work and may have to stop more quickly than some people who do not get as big. You may also find that you need to reduce your running before you have to stop completely.

A few signs that you ought to stop running, besides discomfort, include muscle weakness, headaches, calf pain, or vaginal bleeding.

Can Running Cause A Miscarriage?

It is not thought that exercise can increase the chance of having a miscarriage. Exercising can make your body stronger, increasing your overall health and wellness, and making you feel better.

Your baby won’t be harmed by the impact or movement of running. They are safe in the womb and impact damage will not hurt them. You can run safely in the early stages of pregnancy and even the later stages if you’re comfortable.

If you are worried about miscarrying and the impacts of exercise, think about some low-impact options that are a bit gentler. Swimming or walking may be good ways to keep up your fitness levels, and you can combine walking with a little gentle jogging if you feel your confidence improves.

Related: What Happens To Your Body When You Walk More?

Can I Jog In Early Pregnancy?

Yes, you can jog in early pregnancy. You will likely find it harder than running when not pregnant, however. If you are already a runner when you get pregnant, there’s no harm in keeping it up.

However, if you are not already a runner, you might find running while pregnant hard going. You will need to ease into it slowly, and you might find that your joints aren’t used to the impact, which may make you ache.

It might be better to choose a lower-impact sport unless your body is already used to the jostling and impact of running.

Can Running Hurt The Baby While Pregnant?

No, running should not hurt the baby while you’re pregnant. Your body protects the baby from impact sufficiently well, and your baby won’t suffer any damage from running, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.

It’s important to respect your limits, however – do not push yourself too hard while you’re pregnant, or the extra stress on your body could cause problems. Pay attention to how you’re feeling, and don’t expect to be able to achieve the same levels of exercise as you could before pregnancy.

Can I Start Couch To 5K While Pregnant?

This is probably not a good idea, no. If you are not already reasonably fit, running can put a lot of stress on your joints and your body as a whole – so going for the couch to 5K may be setting unrealistic and possibly unhealthy goals for yourself.

If you want to increase your fitness and you are not regularly exercising when you get pregnant, it’s much better to choose an easy sport. Join a walking group, and build up to gentle jogging if you want to and feel ready.

You should speak to your doctor if you are determined to start the more strenuous exercise. Discuss your fitness plan in-depth with them, but on the whole, it is not a good idea to be putting a lot of strain on your body while pregnant. Most doctors will advise against this.

Running During The First Trimester – What To Expect

So, what’s going on in your body during the first trimester and what should you expect from running? At this point, you may not “feel” very pregnant, but a lot is happening. You may suffer from morning sickness, which may make it difficult – or even impossible – to run.

Your body will be releasing hormones and gearing up to protect and nurture a baby. Your digestion will slow down, and the amount of blood in your body will increase. You may experience an increased need to urinate.

All these things can make you feel less like exercising, even if you’re not particularly conscious of them. Respect that, and go for shorter, easier, and less frequent runs if that’s what feels comfortable to you.

Running During The Second Trimester – What To Expect

In the second trimester, you’re likely to notice more results of pregnancy, though many people actually feel better because their body is adjusting. You will be putting on weight, and running will seem more effort. Backaches may be more prominent or your legs might not feel as strong.

You may also notice an ache in your lower abdomen, which can sometimes be combated by strengthening your core.

Again, respect it when your body tells you to be gentle. If you feel pressure on your pelvic floor, slow down, and opt for walking instead of running. You are more vulnerable to injury, so take it easy.

Benefits Of Running While Pregnant

Running while pregnant has plenty of benefits, which include:

  • reduced constipation
  • reduced fatigue
  • healthier weight
  • reduced back pain
  • improved mental health
  • better mood due to endorphins
  • possibility of reduced labor time and healthier baby

Drawbacks Of Running While Pregnant

It also has some drawbacks, such as:

  • risk of injury (slightly increased by looser ligaments due to pregnancy)
  • harder to stay hydrated
  • joint pain (looser ligaments increase post-exercise soreness)

Some people just do not enjoy running while pregnant. If that’s how you feel, take up a different sport, and return to running later.

Can I Do Squats Or Sit-Ups While Pregnant?

Yes, you can. You should always move gently and carefully while pregnant and don’t push your body, but these sorts of muscle-strengthening exercises are very good for you. Anything that helps to keep your joints supple and strong will make exercising easier.

Try to incorporate these as part of your running routine, or cut down on running and exchange it for this kind of exercise.

Can I Strength Train For Running While I’m Pregnant (Lift Weights, Kettlebell, etc.)?

You can do some strength training, but you should consult your doctor or a trained specialist to get guidance on how much is safe. Everyone has different levels, and you do not want to strain your body.

Avoid weights that are too heavy for you, and don’t put too much stress on getting to the next level; it may be enough to just focus on maintaining your strength.

Discuss appropriate exercises with an instructor as there are some you should avoid while pregnant, such as weighted sit-up exercises and abdominal rotations. The instructor will be able to guide you on safe weight-lifting exercises for your fitness level and stage of pregnancy.

Remember, if in doubt, stop before you hurt yourself!

Related: What Is A Kettlebell? (


Running while pregnant can be very beneficial as long as it is done with care. Respect and listen to your body, and pay attention to the signs that you need to stop. Don’t judge yourself by what others achieve, but by your own experience!

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Coach Scott's Credentials:
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He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 22nd half marathon race. 

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