Jogging after pregnancy: what’s important

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Many women suffer from urinary incontinence, prolapse complaints, and so on while jogging. Petra Wagner shows you how running gradually becomes fitness training for your pelvic floor.

Rule of thumb and well-being

After pregnancy and childbirth, many women like to try jogging to get back into sports and fitness. However, precisely here lies great uncertainty as to when and whether jogging again is sensible and healthy.

Rule of thumb

Jogging at least 2-3 months after the birth and intensive training 4-6 months after the birth are OK.

Feel-good rule

As soon as you can walk at a brisk pace for a longer period of time, feel fit, and the pelvic floor has regained its elasticity, you can try jogging again.

My tip: it’s better to start somewhat later than too soon in order to give the regeneration process time.
Petra Wagner

This «waiting period» is necessary because the hormonal changes led to a loosening of the connective tissue, which first needs to regenerate.

Find your own centre again

It is an undisputed fact that the pelvic floor is severely stressed and strained by what are probably the most intensive events in a woman's life – pregnancy and childbirth. As a result, these changes often lead to bladder weakness and the tendency towards prolapse. The unfavourable posture and movement patterns developed during pregnancy – pronounced hollow back due to the growing belly – will remain even after the birth. Lower back pain and a poor posture are pre-programmed.

The heavy strain on the pelvic floor combined with postural misalignment is particularly disadvantageous.

Timing is everything

Recommendations to permanently tense the pelvic floor while running are definitely outdated! Tensing and relaxing to the rhythm of movement is required. This involves rhythmically activating the three-layer pelvic floor muscles – including massaging the pelvic organs! The pelvic floor also transmits important impulses to erect the pelvis and thus ensure the stability of the pelvis and spine during the floor loading phase – be it running or climbing the stairs. Walking and running - when correctly executed - naturally improve the speed of control and elasticity of the pelvic floor.

At a walking pace, the pelvic floor acts like a conductor; orchestrating the abdominal, hip, and back muscles.

Too little basic tension leads to a loss of strength and speed, too much to constipation and haemorrhoids. This fine interaction during walking and running has a significant influence on continence. Tensing and releasing at the right moment – that's what matters. Timing is everything!

Gender Medicine: Weniger Kreuzschmerzen beim Joggen dank Beckenboden

Incontinence when jogging

Many women suffer from back pain when jogging – and from incontinence.

To prevent this

Exercise «Pelvic floor rocket»

Benefits:

  • you will discover an impulse movement in your step and increase the stability and dynamics in your pelvis at the same time.
  • feel more lightness in the way you move.

Here’s how:

Jjump to your feet from a ball seat with an «explosive» impulse to your pelvic floor. If you don’t have a ball seat, put a small, slightly inflated ball on a chair and sit on it.

  1. Sit upright on the sit bones on the front third of the chair.
  2. Feet, knees and hips must form two parallel lines.
  3. Bounce a few times and on 1-2-3 – jump to your feet!
  4. Pull the two sit bones together, as if attracted by a magnetic impulse, and take off like a rocket.

Perform:

  • for 2-3 minutes
  • mornings and evenings

 

Variations:

  • Sit on your fingers – between your bottom and the ball – to boost the impulse action when you leap to your feet.
  • Integrate this action into your everyday life – every time you get up from your office chair, from lunch or the toilet.
  • If you want to practise rhythmic timing, you can also do the exercise on the stairs, preferably when going downstairs: at the same time as you place your foot on the next lower step, briefly tense the pelvic floor.

Take Home Message

The pelvic floor is designed to work under pressure in everyday life. The decisive impulse in the pelvic floor needs to be trained, timed, and integrated into everyday life. With a bit of practice, you will succeed and lift the treasure in the pelvic floor. If that's not good news for us women, what is?!

So, ladies, first go on a «treasure hunt», then put on your running shoes and get going!



This article is brought to you by «Medical Running».

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