Heart Rate Monitors Allow Pregnant Runners To Continue Training by Pam Daugherty
When a woman finds out she is pregnant it is usually something to be excited about. But many women who run or exercise have to then decide do I continue running or take off the next nine months. If you follow a few training guidelines you can continue training during your pregnancy maybe up to the day you deliver.
Before hitting the roads for a run a pregnant woman should consult her doctor about continuing her exercise program. Make sure to keep your obstetrician informed about the type and amount of running/exercise you are doing. In most cases if a woman ran or exercised prior to finding out she was pregnant the doctor will encourage her to continue exercising during the pregnancy. The important word is before because your body is accustomed to exercising already. You may have to run slower and at a different time of the day but there are lots of benefits for staying active during your pregnancy. You don't want to be running during the hottest time of day in the summer months. A pregnant woman should keep her core body temperature below 102 degrees to prevent fetal hyperthermia (over heating).
Another key element for a pregnant woman while running or exercising is her heart rate. Your heart rate will help determine how hard the individual is working while running of exercising. Most doctors suggest keeping a pregnant woman's heart rate below 140 beats per minute during the run. Monitoring her heart rate during exercise is essential for both mother and the unborn child health. The extra weight will make your bodywork harder then it did before you where pregnant. This is true even if you are working at a slower pace. Intense exercise boosts oxygen intake and blood flow to the muscles and away from other parts of your body such as your uterus.
If you don't have a heart rate monitor you would have to stop and count the beats for 10 seconds then multiply the number by 6 to get your heart rate per minute. Heart rate monitor provide a simple and accurate way to observe and regulate the woman's heart rate during exercise. When you train with a heart rate monitor watch it will allow you to train continuously and get her instant feedback. You can preset your limit of 140 beats and the watch will beep letting you know you are going to above your limit. Since you will know instantly when you are above your heart rate of 140 beats you can adjust your pace immediately. Most monitors use a weak radio signal to transfer heart rate from a strap you wear around your chest to a watch. This is safe for both mother and child.
I have three children and ran during all of my pregnancies. I personally was able to run until the day before I delivered each of my children. I didn't run the day I delivered because they all arrived early in the morning. My body was accustomed to running between 70 plus miles a week before I found out I was pregnant. The only thing that changed for me was I ran slower and shorter. The monitor helped me adjust my training pace as my body was adjusting to each pregnancy. Wearing a monitor helped me continue running while pregnant by giving me peace of mind that I was not harming my child. The fun part was when I entered a few 5k races. Other runners would get frustrated to a pregnant runner enjoying the race. I was use to running hard in races but being pregnant I just ran for fun.
About the Author
Pam Daugherty has been a runner for 28 years. She has three children and ran during all her pregnancies until the day before she delivered. For a large selection of heart rate monitors go to http://www.webwarezwatches.com