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Why I am Still Running While Pregnant (Coaches Corner)

I’ve been asked a few times why I am still running while pregnant, and I thought it might be interesting for you all to hear a few of my reasons, both traditional and no so traditional, as to why I am still heading out to the Lakefront each morning. Join the Running Coaches Corner Link Up!

I want to state outright that this is not meant as a defensive post (though I’m sure it might seem that way). I just thought it might be interesting to discuss!

Why I am Still Running While Pregnant

I am running with my doctor’s permission and blessing. Consult your OB/GYN first!

Find out why I am still running while pregnant--it is more than just mental health! Join the Running Coaches Corner Link Up for more benefits of running. @suzlyfe http://suzlyfe.com/still-running-pregnant-coaches-corner-77/

Mental Health

First and foremost, mental health. We saw what a ****show I have been over the past year of hormone fluctuations and anxiety attacks. During the 7 weeks I did not run at the start of my pregnancy, I noticed that the stress of the unknown–such as when dealing with my subchorionic hemorrhage— really could have used a run or two to help level things out. I have no doubt in my mind that my running in between IVF cycles and my walking during my IVF cycles helped to keep me on an operational level as well as helped me process the motions I was going through.

Right now, I have several “types” of mental health runs–I listen to podcasts to just exist for a bit and get out into the world and the sunshine; I run without music or anything while I run with Alex, an act that helps me feel connected to him. Regardless of why I am going out there, I always come back better.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t have to convince myself sometimes!

Circulation

This is a BIG one for me. You have seen the picture of my jumbo feet from Aspen. I wear compression socks at some point on most days throughout the week, and I wake up and go to bed with swelling every day and night. But running helps with my circulation so much: I will start a run with my feet barely fitting into my shoes and finish the run with my shoes actually loose. 

AFTER running

Energy

Yes, running truly does give me energy. I often leave for my runs feeling lethargic, creaky, and tired, as if I had already run 10 miles. About a half mile in, I start to feel better, I start to loosen up. I may still feel a bit tired, or I might already be thinking about the number of miles I have left to go, but my body loosens up, and I return with a fresher mind and body than I left with.

Digestion

When you are pregnant, a lot of your body’s fluids are going to the baby, resulting in a higher likelihood of dehydration and constipation. Well, I already run constipated thanks to Crohn’s Disease! Running is helping keep me at least somewhat regular as well as working out any ahem air that might be lingering in there.

Bone Health, Overall and Core Strength

As someone with a history of osteopenia, the impact of running is actually helping with my bone density and health, even while so much of my body is given over to caring for the baby. As I get further alone, my ability to and interest in doing core work or strength work in any form is waning, so running is great as a way of working my core and arms passively and my legs actively. My tendons and muscles are still strong!

Mental Health>> Feeling Accomplished

As someone with a highly active past and someone who used to do a ton of strength training, etc, and who now doesn’t do as much (ok none), running while pregnant helps me to feel accomplished on multiple levels. No, I am not as fast as I used to be, I don’t run as far as I used to, but I am still getting out there. I don’t need to push it push it real good each time I go out. In fact, I’ve only done a few workouts over the past few months (at Runner’s High and the Runn Chicago Relay), and I took them relatively easy compared to many, but I still got to see numbers that I hadn’t  seen in a long time.

Today is National Running Day, but running is about so much more than putting one foot in front of the other. I run to believe. Why do you run? @Suzlyfe http://suzlyfe.com/national-running-day/

Otherwise? I am just out there to soak up the sun and come home feeling, “You know what? I did something good for myself and my baby today.”

And that is all that matters, frankly. There are days that I run farther than others, days that I push myself. But the vast majority of days, I am just getting out there to get out there. To feel the sun on my skin, have some private time for myself. To put thoughts on hold. To get my moving meditation.

To know that I am capable. That I don’t have to be afraid of my body. That I can trust it. I can believe. That is why I run. Pregnant or otherwise.

From a cure for swollen feet to a cure for frazzled nerves, why Suz is still running while #pregnant… Click To Tweet

And, obviously, if my body tells me no, I will respect that. I don’t have anything to prove!

But I am currently looking at jogging strollers πŸ˜€

What did you do to feel “normal” or like yourself while pregnant?

What makes you feel capable?

Join the link up and Running Coaches Corner for more great running advice and content!

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I am linking up with myself, RachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

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76 Comments

  • Reply Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    It’s really been cool to follow your journey to motherhood, and I’ve always wanted to learn more about the benefits of running while pregnant. I’m glad you’re able to get out there!

    August 30, 2017 at 6:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am so happy that I can as well!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:19 am
  • Reply angela @ happy fit mama

    I didn’t run while I was pregnant. It just didn’t feel good to me. The elliptical and walking were my BFF’s. In fact, I became known as the “Pregnant Walking Lady” around the neighborhood because I was always walking. Especially at the end…I need to work those kids out! πŸ™‚

    August 30, 2017 at 6:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      YEAH you were! I love that!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:19 am
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    I was not a runner when I had my kids but I have watched so many of our MRTT moms successfully run through their pregnancies. All of them have talked about how much this helped them stay sane throughout. One of members went into labor during her run 4 weeks early!

    August 30, 2017 at 6:24 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And I’m sure it will help with the sanity afterwards as well!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:19 am
  • Reply Sarah Dudek

    Running while pregnant is a really special gift that I felt was awesome to share with my babies. It was a special time for just us. It clears my head and honestly, during those first few months of constantly feeling exhausted and icky, it works wonders. Enjoy it!

    August 30, 2017 at 6:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It really is a gift. I am so so thankful for it!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:18 am
  • Reply Gretchen

    Not pregnant, but I can relate to a lot of this. I just don’t feel like “me” when I don’t run. If you feel good and your doctor is fine with it, I don’t see why you can’t run!

    August 30, 2017 at 6:31 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thus why I am just about to head out!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:18 am
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    I hope to run when I am pregnant. Like you said, mental health and GI health are even more important during pregnancy. Plus I bet the exercise is good for reducing gestational diabetes risks and staying fit for labor.

    August 30, 2017 at 7:18 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Here here! I hope you can, too!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:17 am
  • Reply Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups

    Healthy activities that make you feel sane and happy during pregnancy are a win in my book. I had some workouts that I took a hiatus from when I was pregnant, but I stuck to my regular spin classes until the end. I was definitely a lot slower towards the end, but it made me feel good and less stressed.

    August 30, 2017 at 7:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am SO SLOW. And I am totally ok with it!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:17 am
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    I didn’t have the energy to run while I was pregnant. I did a lot of walking, though!

    August 30, 2017 at 7:59 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will take whatever I can get!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:16 am
  • Reply Marcia

    Glad running agrees with your pregnancy!

    August 30, 2017 at 8:18 am
  • Reply Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real

    While I’m nor pregnant I can relate to some of these. Running is such a great way to get some me time in. When I’m having a bad day, a run to clear my head is the best thing ever and I always come home feeling much better.

    August 30, 2017 at 8:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And when you are pregnant, a good headspace is so important!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:15 am
  • Reply Coco

    I was not a runner when I had my kids, but I did do aerobics and then lots and lots of walking. Staying fit has so many benefits!

    August 30, 2017 at 8:32 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am hoping that the endurance will help me when the big time comes!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:15 am
  • Reply Beth

    Great post, Suz! My body told me ‘no’ to running pretty quickly into my pregnancy, so I’m so jealous of you ladies who can keep going. Enjoy every run–although I know you will πŸ™‚

    August 30, 2017 at 8:34 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You know that I am so thankful for it!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:14 am
  • Reply Kim G

    All great reasons! Whatever makes you feel good during your pregnancy, I say go for it!

    August 30, 2017 at 8:38 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Couldn’t agree more!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:14 am
  • Reply Emily Swanson

    LOVE all of these. Running is such a gift to help clear the head, relax my mind and body, remind me that God holds the whole universe in His hands, and that He’s making the world turn right now, and I don’t need to be anxious about it. I also love the energy you get from a run; it’s so fun to come home and feel alive and refreshed! <3 Keep on running Susie!

    August 30, 2017 at 8:59 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will do just that, my dear!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:14 am
  • Reply Kelli @ Hungry Hobby

    I think it’s funny anyone asked you why you are still running. It’s good you answered and not me, I would have just looked at them with a dumb confused look on my face like why not? She was an avid runner before and anything you did before pregnancy you can do while pregnant as long as it feels good. I love all the points you made though, much better than my “because she can.” response lmao

    August 30, 2017 at 9:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      LOL. I love you.

      September 7, 2017 at 7:14 am
  • Reply Marina @ Happy Healing

    I think it’s so great that you’re continuing to run/staying so active while pregnant. I definitely will want to do this too, especially because running and being active makes me feel normal!

    August 30, 2017 at 10:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Just staying active helps so much–running or not!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:13 am
  • Reply Ange // Cowgirl Runs

    Pregnant or not, those are all awesome reasons to run!
    I’m always so happy for any of my pregnant friends who can continue to run since not everyone is able to.

    August 30, 2017 at 10:24 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Precisely. I am sosososoos thankful.

      September 7, 2017 at 7:12 am
  • Reply Becky @ The Bex Factor

    All great reasons to run, but I feel like people should not be asking you why you’re running when pregnant. That’s what bugged me the most when I was pregnant, people questioning why I was doing things.

    August 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      People are nosy. I’ve gotten used to it. Luckily, it’s been more curiosity than anything lately.

      September 7, 2017 at 7:10 am
  • Reply Kimberly Hatting

    I didn’t become a runner until well after my last pregnancy…..but I did lots of walking πŸ˜‰

    August 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Practice for now?

      September 7, 2017 at 7:10 am
  • Reply Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday

    I can’t imagine you NOT running pregnant (unless it was a baby/mommy safety thing). Running is a part of you!

    August 30, 2017 at 1:55 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It really is now. When I rode horses, I imagined I would ride up to birth!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:09 am
  • Reply Adjusted Reality

    It’s awesome that you’re able to keep running through your pregnancy, and as long as you and your doctor are alright with it everyone else should be! I don’t have plans to join you on the baby train πŸ˜‰ but I know I would definitely want runs/swim/any cycling that was safe to keep myself fit and also sane! πŸ™‚

    August 30, 2017 at 4:36 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hey, just as with exercise–you do you!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:08 am
  • Reply Debbie

    I’m all for running through pregnancy. Or not. You should do whatever works for you (and with your doctor’s okay, of course). One of the women in one of my IG pods ran all the way through and just delivered a beautiful healthy baby girl!

    August 30, 2017 at 5:01 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I love hearing that! Congrats to her!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:08 am
  • Reply Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    It’s all about doing what works for you, and it sounds like running is going well so far! I think these are great reasons to run in general.

    August 30, 2017 at 5:12 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Precisely. You do you!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:07 am
  • Reply San

    I think as long as it makes you feel good (and there is nothing else that would advise against it), you should keep running during the pregnancy!

    August 30, 2017 at 6:23 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Exactly! Thank you!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:07 am
  • Reply Rachel

    I ran through my entire pregnancy with my second and it was the best thing ever. If I had been a runner when I was pregnant with my first, I definitely would have run then, too.

    August 30, 2017 at 7:03 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I kind of feel like a superhero when I do!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:06 am
  • Reply Katie Shepherd

    I was not a “runner” until after all three kids were born but I have always been active. I walked a lot with each pregnancy. Keep running as long as you can! I’ve seen expecting mothers run until nearly 9 months? That is amazing! Keep it up!

    August 30, 2017 at 7:45 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      One of my friends ran until her water broke! I don’t know how far I will get, but we shall see!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:06 am
  • Reply Jenn

    If your doctor is good with it, then go for it and enjoy. I wasn’t a runner when I was pregnant, but I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to run due to my eternal morning sickness. It was super frustrating, and it took months before I had strength to do anything but go to work and come home.

    Stay well and keep on doing what you’re doing!

    August 30, 2017 at 7:50 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is exactly what I am aiming for: to stay well! And yes, I have the doc’s blessing!

      September 7, 2017 at 7:05 am
  • Reply neil@neilshealthymeals.com

    From a male point of view I was fascinated by this write up Suz. I’ve never seen any pregnant women running either in the gym or around Glasgow here. I’ve seen them exercising in the gym though. I guess I was just a bit afraid that that running motion might affect your unborn, but I guess it’s OK for you?

    August 31, 2017 at 3:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Let’s just say they are very well padded, lol

      September 7, 2017 at 7:04 am
  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law

    I always say you do you – so I think it’s great that you’re doing what works best for you.

    I totally feel you on the circulation and energy. I’m not a runner but I do walk most mornings when I have time because it wakes me up, stops my circulation from being totally crappy and leaving my aching and I just feel like I’m ready to face the day.

    August 31, 2017 at 4:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know that when the time comes, I’ll be back to walking with you!

      September 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm
  • Reply Shalini

    It is good that you can trust and believe in your body, but doctor’s advice is really important on this I guess. Have a good day πŸ™‚

    August 31, 2017 at 4:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Most definitely! This is all with a doctors blessing.

      September 6, 2017 at 6:29 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    I’m so glad you are able to run pregnant! It is such a huge stress reliever! I’ve been out for 5 weeks now due to this stupid elbow and I’m a little cra cra!

    August 31, 2017 at 10:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      But you are getting to move more and more, right?

      September 6, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    I love that you’re still running! I truly think to each their own, and if you’ve been running or very active often pregnancy doesn’t mean that has to stop. Our bodies are used to that level of activity. Great post!

    August 31, 2017 at 2:34 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      PREACH LADY PREACH

      September 6, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Linda from Veganosity

    You go, lady! Exercise and healthy eating are the best things you can do for yourself and your little Yoshi. She or he will come out ready to get in that running stroller and go! πŸ™‚

    August 31, 2017 at 3:23 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I shoudl put them to work to pay for it as well, lol

      September 6, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Toni

    You are awesome! I did not run during my pregnancies. MY first I actually wasn’t a runner yet and my second I had too many issues. Kudos for you for running, it will make your pregnancy so much better and the benefits are awesome!

    August 31, 2017 at 5:43 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Then it sounds like you made the right decisions for your pregnancies!

      September 6, 2017 at 6:27 pm
  • Reply Lindsay Cotter

    Totally agree! glad you can run and feel good while preggers. It’s so individualized but at the same times, listening to your body. Right? Happy Yoshi!

    August 31, 2017 at 10:18 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Listening to body, listening to doctors.

      September 6, 2017 at 6:27 pm
  • Reply Stacy

    While I was not given permission to run during pregnancy, I did Olympic lift until 26-27 weeks (which was essentially measuring full term with twins) & some of the comments were downright rude. But in hindsight, I truly feel that my staying active for as long as I could held off some of the issues that popped up in late pregnancy – I feel like it helped my overall health which kept the babies in as long as possible. Keep doing what you’re doing!!

    P.S. It’s all about the BOB. Seriously. It’s the only way to go in terms of strollers for long miles.

    September 2, 2017 at 9:05 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      People will hate on what they don’t understand (in all circles). I am totally with you that finding some way to stay active is the most important. And if the babies didn’t mind, no one else should! I will look into the Bob–I see them everywhere!

      September 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm
  • Reply MCM Mama Runs

    If I had been a runner before my first, I’m sure I would have kept running. As it was, I hit the gym 5 days a week to lift weights and do the elliptical. Like you, it was for a combination of mental and physical health reasons. (We’ll just ignore the fact that I did no exercise other than chasing the older kid when I was pregnant with my second…)

    September 5, 2017 at 8:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hey, I think that sounds like plenty of exercise!

      September 6, 2017 at 6:04 pm
  • Reply Miriam @ SometimesSporty

    I didn’t feel like myself at all both times I was pregnant. I really struggled with my second pregnancy. Quitting running cold turkey at 23 weeks was terrible for my mental health. But I had to focus on making sure my body wouldn’t kick the kid out early!

    September 5, 2017 at 8:13 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That seems like it was a good idea! Definitely want the baby in cook as much as it needs to, right?

      September 6, 2017 at 6:02 pm

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