Pregnant Elite Runner Sparks Social Media Debate

A video featuring an elite distance runner's impressive prenatal workout is making waves on social media—and not everyone is on board with her moves.

Research consistently shows that frequent exercise is one of the best steps women can take to ensure their pregnancies are as healthy as possible. There's plenty of evidence to support this idea, but we see it time and time again: Women who stay committed to their workout routines while pregnant open themselves up for criticism at every turn.

The New York Times recently shared a Facebook video featuring a pregnant woman named Clara who also happens to be an elite distance runner. As you might imagine, the woman's athletic background means her prenatal workouts are seriously impressive (though maybe outside the reach of the average pregnant woman). After all, every woman's situation and fitness level is different.

But some people didn't get that memo, and social media users are chiming in with comments about the woman's routine. Facebook users have commented saying that the moves Clara is doing are unsafe, and that it's irresponsible to promote a prenatal video like this one to followers. 

Here's the thing, though: Pregnant women certainly should be assessing their workout routines, getting the all-clear from their doctors and modifying wherever necessary. But that doesn't mean that every pregnant woman needs to spend nine months couch surfing—and we've seen other elite athletes, including Serena Williams and Olympian Alysia Montano, sticking with some serious workouts. We believe that what a woman does during pregnancy is her business (and her doctor's!) and that everyone else should probably just mind their own business—or follow up with a supportive "You go, girl!" That's probably why many other Facebook users are speaking out in defense of Clara and her workout. 

"This is great! I'm not insinuating that everyone should work out like her, but a lot of pregnant woman treat pregnancy like it's some kind of disease permitting them to be lazy and eat lots of crap and junk, since they seem to think that they have to 'eat for 2 people,'" one user writes. "Besides going to work 37 hours a week, I exercised every day during pregnancy, walked my dog for an hour Every morning and every evening and I have never felt so strong or fit, as when I was pregnant...."

Another commented: "I love this!!!! How inspiring! If you did it before you were pregnant, you should continue to do it after. I can't imagine giving up my workouts, just need to modify some."

Does that mean we think you should give this runner's prenatal workout a try at home? Not necessarily. It's important to remember that every pregnancy is different, and there are so many factors that can influence how safe a particular workout will be for yours. To put it simply, there's no point in comparing one preggo's fitness game to another—but celebrating a woman who continues to kick butt while she's expecting? Well, that's something we can behind for sure. And as long as Clara's doctor is on board with what she's doing, well, let's just applaud this fit mama and leave it at that.