I will give you basic tips and recommendations regarding returning to running after delivering a baby. The timeline of when to return to running varies person-to-person. On average, I’m not recommending getting back to running before the 3-month mark, if not the 4-month mark, and I’ll explain why.
First, running is hard and it is hard on your body. Running causes a lot of high level impact on our bodies and our bodies just went through 9 months of changes and a delivery. Your body has been through a lot, and it needs time to recover well before it’s able to tolerate those high impact exercises. I recommend starting with walking and strength training to allow your body to heal and strengthen before starting higher impact activity like running. A good way to think of return to running: you don't run to get in shape, you get in shape to run.
Signs that your body may not be ready to return to running:
Things to do to prepare your postpartum body for running:
One last thought-- acknowledge that you are starting over. You are beginning a new phase of your fitness. Even if you’ve been a runner, after your pregnancy, you just had a beautiful but huge change to your body. You're not starting from square one, but you are not going to likely be able to pick up where you left off because your body has been through this amazing change. Give it the grace that it needs and time to heal and know that you're going to get back into your running with the right guidance, but you need to start slowly. This doesn’t mean going out and running 5 miles at 6 weeks postpartum.
It’s important to get seen by a pelvic floor physical therapist if you’re not really sure how to start a program or strength training. We recommend everybody see a pelvic floor physical therapist after childbirth whether it was 6 weeks ago or 1 year ago. They can really see what’s going on in your body and make sure that you’re set up for returning to running.
Do you still have questions about the best way for you to return to running postpartum? Want to talk with a postpartum fitness specialist about your fitness goals? Click here to learn more about our postpartum fitness options at Legacy PT.
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