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Am I Ready to Run? 3 Exercises to Master First:

If you are reading this, then you are in the circle of incredible people that finds joy in feeling the wind in your hair, your feet gliding over pavement, and in embracing the freedom that running brings.


In addition to being amazing... I also know that you are stubborn.


Being told at any point that you aren’t allowed to do this favorite activity is hard. In fact, what I’ve learned in this field is, telling a runner to stop running is basically the equivalent of telling a dog not to chase the squirrel. It’s just part of their nature… and they aren’t going to listen no matter how hard I try. Lol.


So, I’m writing this today to all the mama runner addicts who are 'A', postpartum and desperate to get back to their source of sanity, or 'B', recovering from any injury and wondering if running is still a good idea.

PSA: I am not taking running away, I’m just here to give you the recommendations and ways to measure if you are physically ready to get back to your daily torture... Just kidding!

 

Let’s remind ourselves that running is not a casual sport, even if it is often treated as such. Running is a dynamic, single leg activity. Therefore, it is not something we should just casually return to immediately postpartum.

The latest and greatest study shows that it is not recommended to return to running until 3 months postpartum.

Here is why: There is no point in a jog or run when you have both lower extremities on the ground. Being able to perform static (not moving), dynamic (moving), and plyometric (jumping) single leg activities are crucial to practice before beginning running. If we are not masters of these things, we should probably not be repeatedly doing them for miles and miles. This is how we get injured and create further set-backs from reaching our goals.


Although it is not recommended to begin running until 3 months postpartum, there are things that you can begin practicing before that point! Strength training is something we, at NaptimePT, encourage throughout pregnancy and immediately postpartum. This is the only way to progressively work back up to feeling strong in daily tasks and back in your sport. Just like we would not expect to deadlift 200 lbs on our first day of weight training, we also want to progressively work back up to an activity like running post creating a human.


Based on the most current guidelines, here are three exercises that you can begin practicing as soon as you feel comfortable. I recommend avoiding any jumping activities until after six weeks postpartum, just to allow for full tissue healing. However, #1 and #2 are safe to begin practicing as soon as you feel good doing them.


Three Exercises to Master Before Returning to Running:
1. Single Leg Balance (10 seconds)
2. Single Leg Squat (10 times)
3. Single Leg Hop (10 times)



You should be able to perform all of these things without adverse symptoms, without losing your balance, and with appropriate form.


What are some signs/symptoms of not being ready for an exercise?

Heaviness in your pelvic floor

Urine leaking of any kind

Inability to hold in gas

Pain during or after the movement (other than muscle soreness)

Increase in Vaginal Bleeding

Lightheadedness

If you can master these three exercises, then you are that much closer to SUCCESSFULLY getting back to running.


Although this is not an exclusive list of the movements I would assess to be sure you are ready to run, it will provide you with a good base to work from and a better understanding of how your body is recovering.


Never hesitate to reach out if any of the symptoms listed are happening in your body.

NaptimePT is here for you to help you find strength in motherhood and reach your goals.


Kiri Krishingner, PT, DPT, PPCES




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