Running Again After Baby – Move, Nourish, Believe.
Runners are competitive by nature and they want to push themselves in many areas of their lives – even after having a baby. If you take on too much too soon, you can do more damage than good for your postpartum recovery.
18 months ago, we learned I was pregnant, and 9 months ago we welcomed our healthy baby boy into the world. After being only a few months pregnant, running no longer felt enjoyable, but I kept active by walking 2-3 times per day with our American Eskimo. I kept fit through low impact activities, maintained a healthy weight and ate nutritious meals (thanks to my husband!).
After I gave birth, I wanted to be back in that place before I was pregnant, feeling strong, ambitious and confident in my abilities to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. I wanted to push myself to run and do my absolute best.
Today, as much as I am ready to get moving again and I’m feeling more confident in my abilities as a new mom, my body still isn’t feeling strong enough. My lower back is weak and I’ve lost all my core strength – my core foundation to keep me feeling healthy and able to move with ease. Even after 9 months, my body hasn’t fully recovered from delivery and it’s challenging to find the time to fit in a workout and care for a baby while running a successful PR business, Pink Pearl PR.
I’ve been reading Lorna Jane Clarkson’s latest book, Love You, and feeling very inspired by her daily rituals, despite her busy schedule, and learning some tips to take care of myself both physically and mentally so that I can live my life at 100% and be the best mom possible. I have followed Australian active wear and active living brand Lorna Jane’s blog, Move Nourish Believe, for years and I was thrilled that she launched her latest book just when I needed some inspiration the most!
In her book, Clarkson explains, “without self-love, you can’t have self-belief and without self-belief and self-confidence it’s almost impossible to reach your full potential in anything that you do.”
I’m ready to get back to participating in activities I could do so freely before pregnancy and having a baby slowed me down. After 6 weeks postpartum, I received the go-ahead from my doctor to participate in low impact activities again. However, I wasn’t in a good mindset and it felt too soon for any kind of activities.
It’s extremely challenging to have to restart and rebuild from the beginning, especially as someone that didn’t have any issues with high impact activities, such as running, before my body went through so many changes with pregnancy.
Luckily there are things that can be done to rebuild my core strength and energy just by getting moving again – stretching, core strengthening workouts and running. The timing feels right to start leading a healthy and active lifestyle again and I wanted to encourage other women to get moving along with me.
Before you can start running again after having a baby, you need to focus on the muscles that were weakened during pregnancy, starting with core workouts such as, planking, pelvic floor exercises and push-ups.
I’m finding the time to do these exercises by spending 10 minutes each morning doing core work to prepare to get running again. Planking is an effective way to do this as it targets muscles with little movement. I’m also waking up those sleeping, tired muscles by doing pelvic floor exercises. I’m doing some push-ups to strengthen my core and rebuild my overall foundation.
I would appreciate your tips for strengthening my core, so please reach out!
Although you may be eager to get back into a regular running routine, it’s important to hold off on back to back exercising to avoid injury to the hips and pelvic floor. Start by increasing your daily walks with your baby around the park to clear your mind. I’ve been walking for 30 minutes each morning and I’m going to increase the speed and time before I start running.
After you have increased your core strength and increased your walking pace, you can slowly ease back into running. I’m going to start jogging with my stroller, alternating jogging and walking. However, running with a stroller requires additional core strength, making it even more imperative to focus on re-building your abdominal muscles.
In Clarkson’s book, she also talks about the daily rituals that have carried her through the most difficult times. She explains that taking care of your health, both physically and mentally is especially important, and anything truly is possible when you make the commitment to LOVE and believe in yourself every day.
Although your slow postpartum recovery time feels frustrating, remember that nothing worthwhile is easy. I’m making a commitment to myself to rebuild my strength by taking small steps each day in the right direction. They say it takes 9 months for your body to recover after having a baby, but for me, it’s been over 9 months and I’m just starting to feel like my old self.
Building and rebuilding something important to you takes time. For me, running was always an outlet that helped to clear my mind and I know that through perseverance I will be able to get back to feeling strong and healthy again.
For the next year, I’m going to share my journey to get back into leading a healthy, active lifestyle with you, while juggling a successful business and being a new mom. From learning to move again, to healthy eating and getting myself in a better mindset, I hope you will feel encouraged to get moving along with me.
Move, Nourish, Believe, always!