• Denise A Olson

5 Tips For Running Postpartum

If you are pregnant or recently had a baby, you may be wondering when/if/how can you get back into running. Running is a high impact activity! Pair this with the additional load of carrying a baby, or the unstable core of a newly postpartum momma, we are looking at difficulty managing intra abdominal pressure and excessive force on the pelvic floor. This may present as pelvic pain, leaking, feelings of pressure, discomfort or like something is bulging; nothing pleasant!

The key thing to keep in mind with any of these symptoms, is that they are a red flag that something is not right. So what do you do? First and foremost: stop the movement(s) that is causing these symptoms. It doesn’t mean it’s off limits forever; it just means you have some work to do before getting back into them. Second: seek the help of a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. (Your OB or midwife can refer you to one!) Pelvic Floor PTs specialize in the pelvic floor and can pinpoint the root cause of the symptoms you’re having and support you in treating it.

If you have been recovering well from your pregnancy, labor and delivery, have gotten the OK to begin working out, and are feeling great, here are a few tips to support you in getting back in to your running routine:

1. Prime your core! We love dead bug abs, bird dog abs, and low bear crawls to activate the transverse abdominis.

2. Follow this with a warm up including squats and lunges that will loosen up the legs. Use this as an opportunity to coordinate your breath with your movement. Exhale during the "work", i.e. when you're driving out of the lunge, or pulling yourself up from the bottom of the squat.

3. Start with run/walk intervals and increase as you feel comfortable.

4. If running with a stroller, be selective about which one you choose. You want the handles to be at a level where your arms are at/around 90 degrees when on the handle bars. You do not want to be reaching out in front of you, reaching up, or hunching over to keep a hang on the stroller. Other things to keep in mind when running with a stroller:

  • run with one hand on the handle, and switch hands about every 10 minutes

  • be mindful about the position of your chest. Think: long spine, head is an extension of the neck

5. Lastly; nurse or pump prior to hitting the pavement. High impact activity + a full chest are a recipe for discomfort.

Running can be a great way to get some fitness in, while having your little one with you. If you’d benefit from some more support in your running routine, keep an eye out for a Dumbbells & Diapers running specific program that will be coming out soon.

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