Imagine that scene from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Duncan was put on a boat in a very foggy lake. The film has no relevance (apart from being one of my guilty pleasures) but the weather does. After having both of my daughters I entered a foggy haze, this weird existence of feeding 24 hours a day so day and night became irrelevant.
In a deep and dark crevasse at the back of my brain was the knowledge exercise would help me clear my head, find some energy and make me feel better about my body. Not only did I want to loose baby weight but I also wanted to regain some strength so I could carry my baby around with sore knees, back etc.
A great way to regain fitness post baby is to build up from walking with a buggy and then a walk run method.
But are the old dusty trainers from the back of the wardrobe/cupboard under the stairs, suitable? Maybe not! You could do real damage to your body by not having the right trainers when you return to running. And here is why from an expert physio, Gibwa Cole B.Sc(Hons) Sport Physiotherapist and Movement Specialist, Drummond Clinic.
The feet undergo a few changes during pregnancy. Increased blood flow and fluid retention can lead to swollen feet, making it difficult to fit into previously well-fitting shoes. Additionally, the release of a hormone called relaxin results in looser ligaments which leads to longer, wider feet and flatter arches - both of which can compromise foot stability. Normally the feet revert back to normal after pregnancy, but some of these changes, and the resultant foot instability, can persist.
In the upright position the feet are the only part of the body in contact with the ground. How they react to this ground reaction force will determine how the rest of the body responds. A good and stable foot position is integral to allowing smooth transition of force through the ankles, hips and knees. A trainer is meant to facilitate a good and stable foot position. Ill-fitting shoes can alter the biomechanics of the foot and ankle complex which can have negative effects further up the kinetic chain e.g. feet turning out, knees falling inwards and hips dropping. This can lead to things like ankle, knee, hip and back pain. It’s also important to remember that no one trainer is suitable for everyone. You need to find the type of trainer which supports you and your movement. You can prevent a lot of issues by ensuring a good trainer choice and fit before you take to the roads/parks/trails.
Wow! So those body niggles you get some you return to running could be caused by ill fitting or structurally worn out trainers. Head down to your local running store to get fitted and assessed by someone in the know. I like to go to the friendly team at Runners Retreat in Marlow. If the body niggles continue then a physio (like at the Drummond Clinic) can assess your gait and recommend strengthening exercises to prevent niggles turning into injuries.
In short, the sports bra & trainers are your bread and butter when returning to exercise post baby! The Running buggy is important of course but that's another blog for another day. Go get that fresh air and enjoy the energy boost!