Running as a New Mom

jogging stroller, new mom runningAs a life long runner, I guess you could say that I enjoy the sport.  I started running in 7th grade, continued through high school and college and have run pretty consistently ever since.  That is until my husband and I decided that we wanted to expand our family and we got pregnant with our first (and so far only) child.  I was lucky and had a pretty easy pregnancy. I ran good mileage during the first trimester and then it tapered off to just walking by month 5.  I was able to walk several miles daily and lift weights twice a week up to the due date.

My labor and delivery was very fast (3.5 hours total) and very painful. I also delivered my breach (frank position) baby naturally.  Perhaps needless to say I had a long recovery ahead of me.  I always thought that I would be the woman who was able to go for a run in just a few days after giving birth. I was wrong. I had a good bit of healing and pain to recover from and I could not walk very well for about 2 weeks.  I did not go for my first run until 6 weeks after delivering my baby.  It was slow, short and painful, but at least I was doing it!  Since then, my training has progressed but slowly.

Mothers who want to exercise have so many obstacles to overcome; work, housework, meals, taking care of their children and along with all the other demands of life. I am a stay at home mom who doesn’t have family close by to help out on a regular basis.  Therefore I have had to be creative in how I get my running and other workouts done.  These are just a few tips that a new mom can use to help her get back into running.

Karmen’s Top 8 for Mom’s Returning to Running

  • Listen to your body…don’t force the exercise while you are still recovering.
  • Drink LOTS of water and other fluids, especially if you are nursing your baby.
  • Start with walking if running is too painful.
  • Walk fast uphill to get your cardio up.
  • Do your core exercises and kegels!
  • Join a gym that offers child care (the YMCA is great for this).
  • Be okay with cross training: walking, swimming, pool runs, elliptical, bike.
  • Invest in a running stroller.

Make up a weights routine that can be done around your house or check out one of our routines here. If you have a baby carrier, you can even wear your baby while doing some exercises like squats and calf raises. (Of course be very careful with balance while doing these!)

Don’t be discouraged if you have to “start over” several times before you get into a routine…that’s what I had to do.
Be patient with the weight loss. If you are nursing your baby, eating relatively healthy and doing even some regular exercise, the weight will come off. I noticed that my weight was almost back to “normal” between 6-9 months.

Have fun doing what you love!

This is definitely not a complete list of tips, but a good start.  Has anyone had a similar experience?


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