It’s no secret that pregnancy takes a toll on the body – and for women who enjoy running, this can be problematic. One of the most frequent questions women have after giving birth is when can they start working out again. For women who do running professionally or as a hobby, this translated into, “when can I get back to running at top form?”.
six steps will serve as an ultimate guide on how to start running again after childbirth
1.Consult a Doctor and Be Honest With YourselfThis may be one of the hardest things to do. Especially for mothers who have been active before and during pregnancy, not being able to do everything normally can be torturous. However, giving birth takes a hefty toll on the body and it is important not to attempt something that is impossible or is likely to lead to an injury. Equally important to knowing how to start running again after childbirth is to know when to start. For most women, it takes around six weeks after childbirth to get into running again, though some (such as athletes and those who ran frequently before and during pregnancy) may be able to start running again in as little as a couple of weeks. Since each woman’s body responds to childbirth in different ways, it is important to talk to a doctor and just as important to not do anything that doesn’t feel right.
2.Ignore Other RunnersOne thing that can make it difficult to wait for the right time to start running again after giving birth is seeing stories on social media about friends competing in a race or watching a marathon run on the television. It’s only natural to feel competitive, but this urge to compete could be detrimental if it sees you lacing up your running shoes before you are ready.
3. Do Light Strength-Training ExercisesDon’t overlook the importance of other work-outs. Maintaining physical fitness is a big part of how to start running again after childbirth. Right after giving birth isn’t the time to hit the trail and start working your heart. Save the cardiovascular exercises for later and opt for easier work-outs, such as lifting or using a leg machine with very little weight. The idea is to be sure to move around – even a little bit – each day in order to not let muscles atrophy.
4. Get the Right FootwearPregnancy affects a lot of areas of the body. One of the places most frequently affected is the feet. Due to extra weight and a shifted center of gravity, pregnant women may develop overpronation and/or other leg, heel, and foot problems. One of the most common of these problems is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia run along the bottom of the foot and connect your heel to your toes. In order to start running without any problems, it is important to find a good pair of shoes for plantar fasciitis or whatever other problem you may have.
5. Take it SlowThis point cannot be stressed enough. It is absolutely vital that you listen to your body. If it is telling you that today is not the day for a sprint, then go for a light jog or do a different exercise entirely. As mentioned above, knowing how to start running again after childbirth goes hand-in-hand with knowing when. When that time comes, though, don’t go at it full speed. Forget about time or distance goals. Focus on how you feel. When you finish a jog or run – does your body feel good or do you just feel weak?
6. Preparing for a Running Race Once a few months have gone by and assuming you have eaten a healthy diet and maintained an active lifestyle (albeit a more restrained one), you should be ready to get back into the heat of things. Take stock of your hormone fluctuations – is your body going to allow you to run? If not, back off. If so, then it’s time to get ready. Many women worry they won’t be able to be competitive in races anymore, simply because they do not know how to start running again after childbirth. Get the right shoes and work your way up slowly so that come race time, you’re ready. No day care available? No problem – invest in a jogging stroller and bring the baby along for your warm-ups.
There you have it – six steps to follow that show you how to start running again after childbirth. Not being able to do something you are passionate about is difficult, but in the case of any physical activity during and immediately after pregnancy, restraint is often the best policy. You could start trying to immediately get back to top form and then injure yourself – or you can listen to your body (and to your doctor’s advice), take it slow, and work your way back up. It may take longer getting back to running by following the second path, but the first path could lead to serious injury – and possibly sideline you from running again.