By Dr. Ashley Wozniak, PT, DPT
During the summer season, many people – new moms included! - start to think about taking the opportunity to exercise and spend more time outdoors in the warm weather.
Many postpartum moms tell me they never had any issues with pelvic floor incontinence, leakage, or prolapse until they started running again after having a baby. For many new moms – whether they’re seasoned distance runners or just want to get started with jogging for weight loss – there can be some questions around how their postpartum bodies will handle the activity of running.
Jumping back into running post-baby without any prep work can greatly increase the risk of injuries or other setbacks such as increased urinary incontinence or leakage. So before you start pounding the pavement, it’s important to get a sense of how to prepare – whether you hope to get back into or start a running or jogging routine.
Build the core foundation
For postpartum moms who have already done some postpartum pelvic floor therapy or exercises, that’s a great first step. However, in efforts to begin engaging in higher-intensity cardiovascular exercise such as running, many moms see a worsening in their symptoms or new symptoms including increased leakage and pelvic floor prolapse issues.
Running is a single-leg activity – your entire body weight is carried on just one leg at a time. The impact to your body and the stability required in your core and hips are greatly increased over an exercise such as squats, for example, where both feet remain on the floor.
It’s key to get the right foundation of breathing and core work, and then transition that into how to use core and pelvic floor strengthening in the context of functional exercise that simulates the actual action of running. This helps prevent incontinence issues from cropping up, as well as hip, groin and knee pain, and helps with injury prevention.
Ready for running
Dr. Ashley Wozniak is a trained Physical Therapist combined with personal experience in training for long distance races and triathlons. She provides a high level of personalized coaching to postpartum moms. Let's talk about your pregnancy or postpartum goals for healing with Physical Therapist, Dr. Ashley Wozniak. Learn more about the studio's wellness programs and Physical Therapy offerings at www.inspiredmaternity.com.
Inspired Maternity is a one of a kind Pregnancy and Postnatal Health, Wellness and Fitness Studio located in Peoria, Ill. We offer in-studio prenatal and postpartum fitness programs and Physical Therapy assessments throughout the calendar year, as well as virtual options and telehealth visits.