As a new mom who loves running, you’ve probably been wondering when you can put those running shoes back on again. While you love your exercise, now there’s a beautiful little baby that also occupies that spot in your heart. Some worry that a newborn may put a stop to your exercising, and, while there may be some truth in this, you’ll be surprised how quickly your journey back to running can begin.
New moms are thrilled that their little one has finally arrived in the world, but are also thinking about losing that baby weight and getting (literally!) back up and running. Rest assured, both are possible with just a little organization. However, before putting those jogging pants back on, you need to know a few things.
In this article:
Respect that rest period
Every doctor and pregnancy book will tell you that new moms need a rest period of at least six weeks after giving birth. This means; no running, cardio, or heavy lifting. The reason for this is because giving birth is never easy and has a major impact on any woman’s body. This suggested period of rest time will allow your abdominal muscles to rest, get stronger and return to normal.
Also, it will allow for all the organs that were pushed aside and upwards while baby grew in your belly to lower themselves once again. So, it’s essential to take care of your body postpartum and allow it to heal. Now is the time to bond exclusively with your baby, experience the joy of being a new mom, and begin looking forward to that new running plan…
Get the gear to motivate yourself
If you need some motivation to get back into running, why not start with some new gear? Chances are that you could use some leggings and tops with a bit more stretch, so, go on, treat yourself! Also, if those old running shoes don’t fit your tired feet anymore, go ahead and look for a more comfortable pair. You might even go a little further and get some accessories you always wanted, like a comfortable neck gaiter, a more supporting sports bra, and some comfy socks. This may also be a good time to consider looking for a sturdy jogging stroller, so your cute newborn can join you out there! With all this in mind, just start again slowly.
Work on your core, hips and pelvic floor
If you neglect these three things, there will be little running for you, or it certainly won’t feel as satisfying or pleasant as before. Your core and hip muscles are what keep your pelvis stable, preventing injuries. A weak pelvic floor can also cause some health issues, from severe pain to leakage. We suggest you spend at least 6 weeks strengthening those muscles.
First of all, try taking light walks every day. Then start with a few gentle sets of glute-bridge exercises and belly draw-ins. Increase the number of reps each week and go for long walks. After the 5th week, slowly increase the pace of your walks, gradually switching to light jogging when it begins to feel comfortable. If there’s any pain or discomfort, slow down and work more on those hip and pelvic muscles.
Bring your baby with you
Since you’ve become a new mom, you don’t want to be parted from your baby, and that’s perfectly normal. However, you can easily include baby in your exercises! Swaddle baby, secure it gently into a stroller, and include them from the very beginning, pushing them around the neighborhood while you walk.
After 8 weeks of healing and rejuvenating your body, you might consider taking your baby for a spin in a jogging stroller. While it’s still too soon to run (or even jog) with them, you can gradually start to speed up your walking pace. Jogging strollers are an essential accessory for running moms. They are sturdy, designed especially for jogging, and ensure that you continue getting your exercise while baby gets some fresh air. At around 6-8 months you should be able to resume jogging or running safely again. This will depend on your child’s physical development. As a rule, never run with a jogging stroller when the car seat is attached.
Every new mom is thrilled that her baby has finally arrived, though, truth be told, a newborn does tend to cause havoc with your schedules and routines! But don’t fear, nothing is impossible. With patience and a little organization, things will soon return to normal. The same can be said for your running. Take it easy, let your body heal and you’ll be running again in no time.