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Experts Corner

Fitness

Running During Pregnancy
By Lisa Stone, ACE

Q. I am wondering about running while pregnant. I am no marathon runner, but I do run fairly regularly. I have cut back to two miles per run since I found out I was pregnant, but I am concerned about some things I read.

I am somewhat winded, but not dizzy or anything, when I run. I read that I should be able to carry on a conversation. I cannot talk when I run. Is that a concern?

Body temp. Can my temp get over 100 degrees from running for 20 minutes?

A. Many women continue to run all the way through their pregnancies with no complications, but everyone is different. I would recommend that you discuss your fitness plans with your healthcare provider and make sure he/she knows you were running well before you became pregnant. I would also recommend that you let comfort be your guide - if the running becomes too uncomfortable because of its high-impact nature, or if you just don't feel right doing such high-impact activity, then switch to another aerobic activity such as power walking, prenatal step aerobics, swimming, etc. Also be aware that there are some wonderful products on the market today for pregnant runners, so surf the net and see what you find. One site I'll recommend is www.mothersinmotion.com - they make wonderful supportive running shorts.

To answer your questions about the Talk Test and body temperature, yes, you should be able to talk while exercising but not really feel like talking - does that make sense? If you're too out of breath to utter a single sentence, then you're working out too hard and need to cut back the intensity a bit. As far as your body temp goes, the limitation is on core (internal) temperature which you determine by taking a rectal reading - I'm sure that's not something you want to do while you're on a run! It takes extremely intense exercise for over an hour in hot weather to raise your core temp to a dangerous level, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

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