Running for new mums
I know many mums are keen to return to running after having a baby. Some mums are taking up running for the first time during lock-down as they need to get out of the house and running is an 'easy' form of exercise. I've been a runner my entire life and love running outside to boost my mental health. But there are a few things to consider before putting on those trainers if you're newly postnatal:
1) Is your PELVIC FLOOR able to handle the dynamic pressure of running?
2) Do you have enough STABILITY in your body (eg pelvis, knees and ankles) to avoid injury while running?
3) Are your muscles (eg core, glutes and hamstrings) STRONG enough to support your body while running?
The hormone relaxin, which softens ligaments and tendons, takes a few months to fully leave your body following child birth (and will be present for as long as you breastfeed). At Buggyfit we recommend waiting until you are 5-6 months postpartum before you start as by then you'll be breastfeeding less due to weaning. I know that might seem like an eternity to seasoned runners. If you are starting sooner, make sure you wear highly supportive trainers and follow a couch to 5k programme.
Nearly all of the exercises we do during a typical Buggyfit class will prepare your entire body for running: lunges, squats, step-ups, single-leg deadlifts, back extensions, hip bridges, clams, push-ups and pelvic floor exercises. In Fit Mums (from 6 months) we take it one step further and add jumping squats and jumping lunges (if your body is ready for them). If you're able to do these pain-free and leak-free, then your body is most likely ready for a run. I will always recommend combining running with strength training (eg bodyweight or dumbbells/kettlebells) and mobility work (eg Pilates) for the best all-round workout. And as always, listen to your body.